2013 was a banner year for Wisconsin chess. As I reported last September, we hosted a highly successful US Open in Middleton in which 514 participants played in the main draw. This includes 137 from Wisconsin! Thanks to one and all for playing! The USCF was very pleased with the event. An offer has been made to host a future event. Negotiations are under way for that possibility. Please keep your fingers crossed!
To top it off, Milwaukee based GM Josh Friedel won the Armageddon playoff for the title and trophy but also the automatic spot into the 2014 US Championship which will be held in May in St. Louis. Good luck Josh! Wisconsin will be rooting for you!
The year was capped off with an amazing performance by Madison’s Awonder Liang at the 2013 World Youth in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates. After building an unsurmountable lead starting 10-0 he finished 10-1 and won the gold medal in the Under 10 Open division. This is Awonder’s second world title as he won the Under 8 Open title in 2011 in Brazil. As a two time world champion, he graces the cover of the March Chess Life. The story is about the World Youth. If you haven’t taken the time to read it, check it out at www.uschess.org.
Kenosha’s Anupama Rajendra finished with a strong 6.5 out of 11 in the Under 14 Girl’s section at the World Youth and tied for 24th out of 126 players.
Good luck to both of them and all others from Wisconsin that may qualify for the 2014 World Youth in South Africa in September.
In the past the President normally writes this report for the State Closed Championship Labor Day Weekend (2014 we’ll be at the Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc). However at the 2013 Annual Membership Meeting in Neenah, the members voted to allow for a different style of annual meeting. Basically on January 1 of each year, the “Main Contact”, someone appointed by the WCA Board will send out an e-mail to anyone who played in a WCA event in the previous calendar year requesting nominations for the Board of Directors, any bylaws changes or any other matters that need to be discussed by WCA members. Normally ballots would be sent out on February 16 but since there were only three nominees for three seats on the Board, ballots were not necessary this year. Then on April 1, the election results are e-mailed to the members along with this President’s report and the Treasurer’s report. In the future we hope to receive more nominations than there are for seats up for election on the Board.
Mid-fiscal year, the USCF is well ahead of its budget. FYE 2015 will be a challenge for the USCF as the Olympiad will be held. We still await 501(c)3 status from the IRS. FIDE relations are problematic as they seem to want to erode the rights of national federations.
On a personal note, my term on the USCF Executive Board ends after the US Open in August. I have elected to run for another three year term. Hopefully I’ve earned your support in the election which begins in June.
The WCA had another down year financially in 2013. We need to examine our tournaments and be sure that they can be successful financially.
The WCA sponsors the Marshall Rohland Memorial/Wisconsin Closed Championship, the Arpad Elo Open, the William Martz Memorial/North Central Open, the Wisconsin Memorial and the Wisconsin Junior Open and Veterans Tournaments. All are open for bids from state organizers and/or tournament directors. If you are interested in more details on how to bid for these events, please contact any board member.
Congratulations to Neenah High School, Madison West High School and University School of Milwaukee for tying for first at the State Scholastic Championships. Neenah took the official title and the travelling trophy based on tie breaks. It is the first win by a school north of the Milwaukee-Madison line since 1993. Congratulations to Brookfield’s Wisconsin Hills Middle School for three-peating as the K-8 State Team Championship and to Brookfield Academy for winning their first K-5 State Team Championship title. Earlier this month 415 Wisconsin students participated in the State Scholastic Championships at UW-Oshkosh.
Since the State Scholastic is a team Swiss event at the high school level, Wisconsin uses the Wisconsin Junior Open as its qualifier for national individual invitational events. Please plan to participate in the event November 8-9 at UW-Oshkosh to qualify for the GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions, the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 and the National Girl’s Invitational Tournament. These events are held in conjunction with the US Open which will be in Orlando, FL in late July.
Congratulations to Wade Christensen for capturing the 2013 Wisconsin Chess Tour title. Organizers desiring to have their event considered for Tour status need to contact Tour Committee Chair Guy Hoffman by November of the year before the tour. Tour standings are listed on our website www.wischess.org.
The terms of office of Ben Corcoran, Dennis Kosterman and Sandy Pahl expire today. I want to thank all of the Board members for their hard work and dedication this past year.
Respectfully submitted by WCA President, Mike Nietman