FIDE Visa Card scam

Sam, I told you I appreciate not being involved in chess politics. The two e-mails from you on the latest FIDE plot are alarming. FIDE is not only seeking a monopoly on chess tournaments, with 2500 as the starting line, but is not to be trusted with the VISA card idea.

All FIDE players with a FIDE VISA card would result in VISA paying FIDE. This is not automatically wrong, but such a card should not be required. I also wouldn't trust a Russian banker and FIDE to not have access to credit reports on players. I would also worry about fraudulent charges being made on member credit cards. It seems that the players are supposed to become the sponsors of the officials. On these matters I am willing to express my opinion.

The USCF, along with others, is not something FIDE can do without. Players have fled the unfree areas of the chess playing world in sufficient numbers to show that confinement doesn't work. FIDE has in the past done without Fischer. FIDE has supported boycotts or handicaps of free players such as Pachman and Korchnoi.

FIDE has sometimes done without Kasparov. FIDE may be bigger than any one player, but not bigger than all of us. The USCF plus other national federations do not need an overbearing FIDE. We can do without FIDE if it is not serving its purpose. We can achieve its purpose without the current leadership.

The only visa chess players need is the one needed for travel. This is not issued by FIDE. We have access to FIDE rules and ratings. Can FIDE preclude their use? If organizers bow to FIDE's plan, will they invite players rated below 2500 to reduce costs? If so, FIDE will revise its fee schedules. I could go on, but the point is I agree with you. On this issue, I hope all American chess "politicians" are united.

Lonnie Kwartler

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