The Blitz and the Blindness
An avid Blitz player, my official rating is 2024. What's strange is the fact I have been legally-blind, since birth, due to retinal scarring. (I was treated for Cataracts and Glaucoma, in 2013, but have had to adjust to further vision-loss, since.)
Thankfully, I'm still able to recognize the blurs and distortions I see, normally, but cannot see to drive, which classifies me as blind in competition. As a result, I have played the U.S. Blind Championship, three times, finishing 2nd or 3rd in the country, each time. (The top 4-6 finishers in that event qualify for the World Blind Olympiad.)
My goal is to become the first blind women’s master in the United States, though I'm already the strongest female in that division, with some 600 rating points separating me from woman #2. Likewise, it would be nice to become the strongest female blind competitor, in the world, though that's going to take some doing...
I still get questioned, now and then, on a bit of old muckraking that ruffled serious feathers in US Chess, back in 2008.
Former-USCF official, Susan Polgar, claimed, most outrageously, that myself and another enthusiast (having become Federation delegates at the time), were bribed, in relation to a vote to remove her husband, Paul Truong, from serving on the USCF Board.
All I can say is that no such agreement existed… What's more, we weren't even acquainted with the officials purportedly responsible AND we abstained from that vote, altogether! The most telling fact, nonetheless, was that both Susan and Paul were later removed from Executive office, before being expelled from the USCF.
This occurred in the wake of a forum- and email-hacking scandal in which they were effectively implicated, having employed a third party to perpetrate cyber crimes against their political rivals! (Suffice it to say, one can't always believe things one reads, online, yet, interestingly enough, I remain a USCF member, in good standing, and a Life Member, at that...)
In hopes of combatting such fraud, in the future, I later joined the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, having since developed an interest in Fraud Prevention. Selection criteria are so exacting, however, no person having committed “crimes of moral turpitude”: theft, fraud, hacking, taking bribes, etc., is even considered for membership. (I was accepted, without incident, and am in the process of becoming an anti-fraud professional.)