Boycott Kenneth Fee's
"The Chess Club"
At the April board meeting it was voted that Ken Fee Jr. would be ineligible to run for the MCA board for two years due to "stuffing the ballot box" with new members of the Missouri Chess Association, most of them relatives, and many of whom had never even played chess before. This is very good news.
7 Time Missouri Champion Ron Luther has called for the removal of Ken Fee from the Missouri Chess Association's board of directors and from the position of editor of the MCB. The story is here: http://www.stlchess.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=256 You may get a page asking for a log in - the user name and password are: guest
If that does not work the material is posted under the MCA area and in the first area on the site.
If you have read my own call for a boycott of "The Chess Club" then you have the first part of Fee's behavior wherein he involved himself in something that was none of his business. Then after the St Louis Open Fee, who did not play in the event, made numerous libelous attacks against Ron Luther and myself on Tony Rich's web site: www.stlchess.com Perhaps he figured he would carry on his personal attacks against me in another part of Missouri. Many of the St Louis chess players read Fee's comments, read Holliman's boycott call, got the facts and truth, and took Fee to the proverbial woodshed. The light of truth caused him to pull his posts but not before several people archived all of it. If you want to see some of it just send me an e-mail.
Kenneth E Fee Jr ("Fee") has been up to more slander and defamation of character. He has been posting on the web site www.stlchess.com. If you go there you can click on the "forum" option and will then be asked to input "guest" for a user name and password. Go under events and find the "Cheating at the St Louis Open" thread and see if he left any of his libel posted. Then just read away and you can see the disgusting things Fee has been doing. Makes one wonder if his wife is aware of this stuff. Perhaps that is why he never put these statements on his website. If he has removed the postings and you would like to view them just e-mail me
When Ron Luther became Missouri Champion for the 8th time Fee continued with more of his stuff.
Anyway its just more reasons to avoid Fee and his "Club."
Come join us at the new club, - see the home page and click on the link.
The following open letter is for your information on another puzzling
development in the Kansas City chess community. Following is my summary of the
development followed by the written record of e-mails for you to read and draw
your own conclusions. Please note that comments in blue are inserted by me.
Should you wish to discuss this matter with me feel free to write or call.
Most of the Kansas City chess community is aware that Tim Steiner is engaged in running a chess promotion business focusing on public and private schools. There are several areas in the country where this type of effort is thriving. Students are learning how to play chess and in turn the game is giving them mental structure and discipline which will benefit them, and society, for the future.
As in any endeavor such as this it takes a number of people to fill the teaching positions, one person can only be in one place at a time. Sometime in the Spring/Summer of 2005 a school near my office expressed an interest in a chess club and Tim asked me if I would run the club starting in September of 2005.
The enrollment at this particular club has been low. The business charges a flat rate, pays its overhead and then takes the remaining income. In the case of this program the economics of enrollment verses cost were not working out. Tim sent me a note in September stating that he was reducing my compensation starting in January of 2007. As this is not consequential income I advised him that if he needed to replace me with someone else to do so as each growing club represents the future of chess in Kansas City. I never heard back from him on this issue and advised the school that there would probably be a change of instructor after the fall 2006 session ended.
What happened next one can only guess. At some point in the fall of 2006 the school made a decision to end its relationship with Tim Steiner and they asked me to work directly for them starting in January of 2007.
That is the background information between my working for Tim Steiner and being asked to work directly for the school. One other piece of background information is needed regarding a completely unrelated party to the above: Ken Fee and “The Chess Club.”
Ken Fee Jr. owns and runs a commercial venture called "The Chess Club" in Kansas City. The public is invited to participate in a host of activities including casual and tournament chess as well as the purchase of chess related material. Business invitees are openly solicited via his web site, Chess Life magazine and direct e-mail solicitation. USCF sanctioned events are promoted and are subject to USCF rules and regulations. It is important to keep in mind that unless there is information which I am not aware both Ken Fee and Tim Steiner run businesses that are not connected. However it is my understanding the Ken Fee does run a school chess club for Tim Steiner. Please keep this in mind as your read the next development in this very strange occurrence.
Upon being informed of this change Steiner (and others?) discussed his being terminated from the school with Ken Fee at a Wednesday night meeting at “The Chess Club.” I have no idea what was said during this discussion but the result was that Fee sent me an e-mail (see below) and told me not to come to the club. I am unaware of any rational reason for Fee becoming involved in Steiner's termination from a school chess club that would result in me, or anyone else, being told not to come to a public business.
Following are the e-mails I received from Fee and my replies. I’ve deleted the e-mail addresses in this correspondence to avoid web-trolls who scan for addresses to spam. Further the subject title is deleted as it was not related. In this instance I’ve reversed the typical e-mail train so the first piece of correspondence is the first thing you read - that way the whole thing makes more sense. I’ve tried to keep the margins and formatting but when it comes to this stuff I am not a master, probably not even rated!
**********Begin quoted messages**********
>>>From : Ken Fee
>> Sent : 12/7/2006 5:46:41 AM
>> To : Bob Holliman
>> Cc :
>> Subject : Not Related
>> I hope the news the club members heard about school name deleted is not true.
>> Tim can down to the club and we discussed the situation. (Who all is this “we” ?)
>> I just don't want you to be bad-mouthed in the chess community. Some
>> of the members - I won't mention names - thought what you were doing
>> was unethical. Why not mention names?
>> I guess the old sayings are true. "God please protect me from my
>> friends; I will take care of my enemies." and "Locks are only for
The e-mail heading is lost but the initial message my reply and his response are all within the same day.
>> Kindly elaborate on this message.
>> The only chess news from school name deleted is that two of the kids participated
>> in the name deleted event last Saturday and with 3 points each they
>> finished 2nd as a team.
> ------- Original Message -------
>>From : Ken Fee
> Sent : 12/7/2006 9:21:46 AM
> To :
> Cc :
> Subject : Not Related
> The club members heard that you were trying to steal/take the School Name Deleted
> program away from Tim. Who are these members and what are the exact words that were said?
> I hope this was not true.
> Tim does not have a regular job like you and me - chess is his job.
> If Tim is speaking these things it is called slander, if he put these
> allegations into writing it is called libel. The fact of the matter is
> that the school asked me to work directly for them and I agreed.
( How this is anyone's business other than the parties involved is beyond my understanding.)
> I was unable to reach him last night after I left the school to tell him. I
> called twice and left a message the second time. Obviously I can't
> spend my time chasing someone.
> Frankly, I expected this to be my last semester there as Tim sent me a
> very unprofessional e-mail several months ago saying something like "no
> matter what, the most I will pay you is X." I simply responded that if
> the economics required him to find another instructor to do so, he
> never responded back to me. Shall I forward that correspondence to you?
> Ken Fee never asked to see the correspondence. Considering his action against me I find that rather strange. I mean why would you not want to see this? If you are going to involve yourself in something that does not concern you why not get a grip on the facts?
> You are correct, I have a day job just like you. Further, I have no
> delusions about being able to make a living from chess. If Tim is able
> to make a living from chess I think that is great. I've always
> supported him in this, offered encouragement and worked for him. Now he
> goes about making false statements about me.
------- Original Message -------
From : Ken Fee
Sent : 12/7/2006 10:21:30 AM
To : bob
Why would you agree to take over the program that is not yours?
Sounds like stealing to me. Not good!
Why would you even talk to the school when it is under contract with Tim,
and you (I guess) are under contract with Tim?
Is the small amount of chump change worth your reputation as a person in
the chess community?
All of Kansas City will know about this! WOW! People are already talking!
If there is anything I can do ! to help you, please let me know.
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 2:37 PM
As I've previously stated I was asked if I would run the chess club for the school and I agreed, the club belongs to the school not Tim. One of the things I wanted clarified was if there was a contract and I was told that there was not. Perhaps after Tim speaks with the school he will give you some kind of release to speak with them and find out why they decided to end their association with him. Not that it is anyone’s business why the school terminated their association with Tim Steiner. Funny that Ken never took me up on this. Like the old saying “don’t confuse me with facts, I’ve got my mind made up with fiction.” If you will re-read below it was already understood that I would not be working for him after the end of this semester.
Tell me something - why does a professional ballplayer, manager or coach talk to another team when they are under contract to the current team? Why does an employee, perhaps someone such as yourself, seek a better deal in another district? Why should I not consider working directly for the school when they ask? While people like to gossip I'd not want to be one that facilitated or helped spread rumors. (Or slander or libel or defamation of character or lies or just gossip but people just love to gossip, it must be the national hobby) Whatever went on between Tim and the school should remain between them, their working relationship was not dissolved by any action on my part thus I do not fear for my name or reputation.
----- Original Message -----
From: Kenneth Fee
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 6:01 PM
I hope it works out for you!
----- Original Message -----
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2006 12:26 PM
Based on the evidence, your act is pre-meditated. Name deleted e-mail
is evidence. Sounds like collusion.
I do not want to get between you and Tim because I consider you both
So you should probably not come down to the club, and I am going to replace
you for the KC Masters.
Numerous people at the club are upset with you, and I do not want any fist
fights. Based on this admission the club is not a safe place for anyone
**********End Quoted Messages**********
Just for grins I’ve got to throw in an observation or two or three.
What business is it of Ken Fee’s, or anyone else for that matter, who works for whom? Anyone else ever been banned from a chess club for accepting an offer of employment for a very, very part-time job? I wonder what would happen if this behavior made its way over to Pembroke or one of the other schools where Steiner has a program. Does he whine to them like he did to Fee and who knows who else? This is not the only “problem” Steiner has been involved in over the years. He even puts out pages on his website occasionally with some kind of complaint. If you would like me to forward you the e-mail string I can do that, just let me know.
Once all this fun and games “hit the fan” and I received Ken Fee’s last e-mail I contacted the program director at the school and informed her of this action and asked if she would forward me whatever correspondence was sent to Steiner so I would at least be informed.
Below is the message from the school to Steiner which Fee refers to in his 12/13/06 e-mail.
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 5:07 PM
To: Tim Steiner
Subject: RE: Fee for fall chess club
Hello Tim, Bob told me he left you a message last night about this issue, but I wanted to address it with you as well. We have decided to keep him as the instructor next semester. I think it will be better for the children, for consistency's sake, to keep the same teacher on the same day. They are doing really well in chess club, and I think Bob is a big part of that. Bob came to me earlier in the semester and indicated that there might be a change in instructors. I encouraged him to consider staying on as our instructor at that time, but you should know that his original intention was to step aside. I apologize if this causes an inconvenience for you. Please let me know what of our supplies belong to you, and I will return them at the end of the semester. Your check should arrive soon for the second half of this semester. Thank you very much for your help with this program.