An Open Letter to the Scholastic Community

Dear Coaches, Players,  and Families:

Carol Meyer

I miss seeing you in person and hope that you are weathering the pandemic and its associated impacts. The trajectory of 2020 has been demanding, offering unexpected opportunities to create, assess, and reflect. It should be no surprise that I find myself assessing and reflecting on the events of last weekend’s K-12 Showdown and the problems that affected the K-5 Sections in particular.

For starters, please know that I am very sorry for the terrible experience our youngest players had on Saturday, December 12. We pride ourselves in offering high-quality events that make participants want to play again and again throughout their scholastic careers. On Saturday, we let you down. Our team is working hard to identify the points of failure and is committed to addressing every single problem we find. When we run our next online event for our scholastic players, you have my promise to deliver an event that runs smoothly, meeting our own high standards for quality.

US Chess is grateful for its scholastic community and your efforts to bring chess into the lives of many students. We recognize the hours you invest in getting your players ready to compete in a US Chess-organized event. While you did your best to prepare your players to compete in this event, I am certain that nothing prepared them or you for the chaos that ensued. I’m sure it was a painful life lesson for the players. We are committed to improving our procedures in all areas of pre-event planning, technology evaluation and testing, communication, and staffing to handle the various elements of an online event. The Executive Board will ask the Scholastic Council to draft regulations for online scholastic events and as such, we welcome your input that will help us make the necessary improvements.

Finally, I suspect that we had many first-time coaches/teams/players/families for this event. Whether new or a veteran, I hope that you give us another chance to offer your players the positive experience that comes with playing in a US Chess organized event. All of us agree that playing chess offers many positive benefits to scholastic players. I thank you for the continued support and understanding you show US Chess and the community of players we represent. I look forward to seeing you in person in 2021.

I wish you all the best in this holiday season and good health for 2021.

Warm regards,

Carol B. Meyer
Executive Director




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