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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm Still Alive After All, Friends!

Starting 35 or 40 years ago, I paid extra for my annual fees to the U.S. Chess Federation for five or ten years, in order to get a life membership. The main benefit was that that would entitle me to receive their excellent magazine, "Chess Life," for the rest of my days. But a few years ago I finally noticed that several years previously the USCF had stopped sending me the magazine.

As I had long since become inactive in serious chess, that didn't bother me. I decided that at some point they must have sent a notice to see if I was still around, and because I hadn't responded, they decided that I wasn't. I saw no point in correcting them, because I had been feeling guilty anyway about receiving the magazine for so long, at a cost to the USCF far over and above the amount that I had originally paid them. The chess world, at least in all the years when I was familiar with it, had never overflowed with cash.

Today I got a postal missive from the USCF. I thought they had picked up my name from somewhere and they wanted me to buy some chess books or something.

This immediately give me the playful idea of writing them after all, saying something like, "Hi, Folks. I'm still alive, and so you owe me a lot of back issues, don't you? Don't worry. If I had left this world, I would have written and told you."

But that wasn't even a notion.

I was surprised, then, when I opened the envelope and found that it was a questionnaire to determine my status, and lo and behold it even had my actual age, as if they had known all along that I was still on the scene.

I will probably fill in the questionnaire and send it in. Unless times have really changed, there's nothing more innocuous than anything to do with the chess world. But I won't say anything about the magazines.


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