I have been trying to locate a Master named Steve or Stephen Spencer. He played in chess tournaments, at least in Iowa, and no doubt many other states, many years ago. I’ve seen him sleep overnight in gyms rolled or wrapped up in a mat. Nice enough guy, just trying to pay his bills and win money in tournaments, preferably first places.
Living on the edge. I slept in a hospital one night and was wakened by a security guard in the morning and told to move along. I had no beef with him. Nor he with me. There were no terrorists per se back then.
When one goes to the USPS they hope to get help once in a while. That’s where the word SERVICE comes in handy, as in United States Postal Service.
But at the USCF one is severely restricted in the services they will help you with. Joan DuBois, at the USCF, is its oldest employee and probably its most capable.
Over the years I have had need for a couple of things but was forbidden to get them because of “policies.” If someone doesn’t want to help someone, they can usually point to a word policy to prevent them from doing something. Often this policy can’t be found anywhere, it’s just legend or myth. It’s just handed down from the previous “key holders.” (An example is the stupid phrase, “Mission Statement.” This is usually a money bleed which doesn’t do much except to put a plaque on the wall to remind people who are working there, what it is they are supposed to be doing!
Many years ago the executive director of the USCF thought it was his purview to decide who could and who couldn’t or shouldn’t compete with the USCF. If we sold item X and the USCF sold item X, we were “competitors.” I remember one time when I paid for an expensive ad to be run in CL&R (or CL). It ran all right (they took my money), but on the opposite page or back cover, the same items were being sold by the USCF in direct competition with my small company. Foul Play! The items being sold were published by Thinkers’ Press, my own company!
One other time I wanted to run a FREE Classified Ad for an Unrated Tournament in the Tournament Life section and I was told it was “against” policy! Always that policy thing! I wrote back and I said, “Show me because I don’t believe there ever was such as policy.” Well, it turns out I was right so, all of a sudden there WAS a policy, a new one! I think this “law” was handed down by Goichberg, out of New York to Joan DuBois in Tennessee. The long and strong arm of the law!
WHAT DO I WANT NOW?
Steve Spencer was a Master. He was known to play the Nimzovich Defense in order to disrupt his opponent’s play. Steve was fighting for his financial life (Chess Usually Doesn’t Pay Well). I don’t know what state he was from. I am just hoping someone out there in Radioland might know. When my wife Sarah suggested, years ago, that I set up a competing organization I told her she didn’t realize the work involved or the people who would be on my ass to do favors for them in return for ???? What? I understand the Quid Pro Quo thing, but some of these cats have egos so big you would know from the GetGo that you couldn’t trust them. They won’t ever leave the politics of chess. They love the perceived (???) POWER of chess (give me a break).
If anyone out there knows how I could get in touch with Steve that would be most interesting to me and a possible book project in the future. Here’s my Phone Number: 563-271-6657. I just don’t want the USCF giving it out to JUST anyone!
P.S.: Over the years I had directed many tournaments, brought in many Club Members, and in general, fattened up the rosters of the USCF membership. Was that the QUID or the PRO QUO?
P.P.S.: I wouldn’t be surprised if someone remembered Steve.
P.P.P.S.: Won’t you consider coming to the Chess Festival in August 18-20 with Simon Williams, the English GM? I am persistent if nothing else. I’ve heard the reasons for why people can’t come but I haven’t seen the reverse! That is, “why they can come!”