Michael Atkins, Candidate for USCF Executive Board

I am currently serving on the USCF Executive Board in a term that ends Aug 11, 2013. I am running again and there are six candidates for the four open positions. The top two candidates get a 3 year term, and the next two candidates get a 2 year term. Be sure to exercize your right to vote in the USCF elections by going to the USCF Voter Registration page. Once registered, you'll get a ballot via Chess Life and can cast your vote


April Statement for Chess Life

I am Michael Atkins, and my 4-year term on the Executive Board ends this August in Madison, Wisconsin. I am running again because I think there is still much work left to be done.

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Maryland, recently retired after 32 years in the Mental Health field and moved back in Baltimore, which is my home town. Along with being a Life Member of the USCF and an NTD, I have served chess at the local, state, regional and national levels as a 4-time President of the Virginia Chess Federation and Region 3 Tournament Clearinghouse Coordinator since 1999. I am also a FIDE Arbiter and International Organizer, and I am interested in how the USCF relates to the rest of the chess world.

My goal on the board has been to approach every issue objectively and do my best for the USCF. Next month I will talk about past accomplishments and future goals.




Here I am presenting to the USCF (President Jim Berry on left, Executive Director Bill Hall on right)
the 2010 Senate Proclamation for National Chess Day.



May Statement for Chess Life

I am Michael Atkins and I am running for re-election to the Executive Board. Win or lose, this will be my last foray into USCF politics. I consider myself an independent voice on the board. I have no axe to grind and no specific agenda other than to do my best for the USCF. I have not made deals in order to get motions to pass; they will pass on their own merit or not, and I have always voted each individual motion on its value to the USCF.

Over the last four years, we have moved from the financial depths of lawsuits that threatened to destroy the federation to several years of profits. Most if not all of the legal debts will have been paid by the time you read this. We have recently begun to replace the hardware in the Crossville office, and the next step is to revamp and upgrade the website, which is our face to the chess world. These improvements to our technical infrastructure are an essential part of moving the USCF forward.

The USCF is the governing body of chess in the United States. Its goal is to advance chess in the USA while managing a small national non-profit, which soon should be a 501(c)3 organization. With this change and increases in the funds to work with, we can do a better job getting the word out about chess in the USA.

I am 56 and have been involved with chess since discovering it during the Fischer-Spassky match in 1972. I’ve contributed at the club, local, state, regional, and national levels and hope to continue both playing and helping the USCF.

Aside from the almost daily participation in discussions and votes during my term, I think my notable accomplishments have been the following:

·         Proposed and developed the National Chess Day program, which included working with Senator Rockefeller’s office toward the Senate proclamation of National Chess Day. Organizers from all over the country used this program of reduced and free listing and rating fees in order to promote the game. The 2010 Proclamation is on the wall at the Crossville headquarters. The 2011 Proclamation, signed by both the Democratic sponsor Senator Rockefeller and one of the Republican co-sponsors, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), is being donated this month to the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

·         Blitz Chess: Prior to being on the board, I developed the successful motion to change USCF blitz rules from the Quick system to a modified version of the WBCA rules and continued to update them through additional motions. After an initial failure on the floor in Indianapolis 2009, the motion to create a USCF Blitz rating system was approved at the 2012 Vancouver meeting, and the Blitz system went into effect March 1, 2013.

·         Proposed the Tournament Director Lifetime Achievement Award, which is intended to recognize TDs who have a distinguished history of directing but are no longer as active as they once were.





June Statement for Chess Life