Documents covering the Business of the Wisconsin Chess Association. Here you can find minutes of the board meetings, the current bylaws, letters from the President, and other official documents of the WCA.

2004 President's Report

  • Written by Mike Nietman
  • Published: 16 November 2004
  • Last Updated: 30 May 2004
Radisson Inn, Green Bay, May 30, 2004

USCF membership numbers in Wisconsin continue to decline. Since July overall numbers have declined from 1013 members to 926 in April. 716 of the 926 remained members from July. Another 71 were in my list from prior years but not members in July. There were 210 new players on the April list but 379 members who were members in July are not members any longer. This represents a 37% loss from last year’s membership. 54 of the 927 records were affiliates. 617 of the members had a rating but only 258 had a rating different than their rating last July. These are our tournament players! In the larger membership categories: there were 281 regular members, 224 life members, 168 youth members and 100 scholastic members. All were down except life members.

But some things are looking up!

As a reward to all of the scholastic programs in Wisconsin, it is with great pride that I am able to announce that the USCF has selected Milwaukee to host the 2006 National High School Championship! The setup will be the same as the 2002 National Junior High School Championship with the playing hall in the Midwest Airlines Center and the Hilton serving as the host hotel. The USCF was very impressed with the facilities and the volunteers and, with my prodding, negotiated the deal. Upside down from the rest of the nation, Wisconsin’s scholastic strength resides in its high school programs. 2006 will also be the 30th anniversary of Two Rivers High School winning Wisconsin’s only national high school team championship. I anticipate another record participation of 1400+ including a large turnout from the state for the April 21-23, 2006 event.

What is needed to make the event work? Volunteers! Volunteers! Volunteers! And several Tournament Directors. For volunteers, we’ll need volunteers to help set-up before the event, volunteers to pick-up and take results from the TD’s, volunteers to help at Chess Control, volunteers to assist at the airport, volunteers to help coordinate the media, volunteers to monitor the halls, volunteers to man the demo boards, volunteers to assist at the award’s ceremony and volunteers to help tear down the room after the event. Note that many of these tasks do not require chess knowledge and that several could easily be handled by coaches, spouses, parents and friends of the chess community. At the 2002 National Junior High several high school players volunteered their time. But remember also that since this is a high school event open to all students in grades K-12, most of our youth will want to play. So, abundant opportunities are available to you to assist the WCA and the Milwaukee chess community.

Tournament Directors, this is a wonderful opportunity to work a national scholastic event and to get credit towards upgrading to your next certification level. Both floor and backroom TD’s are needed. Backroom TD’s need to have experience with WinTD. Both groups will work with some of the most experienced tournament directors in the country so ample opportunities exist to gain valuable knowledge!

If anyone is interested in volunteering or TDing at the event, please don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll put you on my list.

Last year I reported that the USCF was nearly bankrupt. For the ten months ended March 31 the USCF was ahead $45,000 with the profitable National Scholastics still to come. So, barring auditor adjustments, the year should end with a profit. For the next fiscal year the working budget is to show a profit in the $250,000 range.

The office has completed the outsourcing of the books and equipment business to ChessCafe. This has resulted in savings in inventory and in sales and shipping personnel.

Another cost savings is that Executive Director Bill Goichberg has been working without pay since he started in early winter. The Executive Board has been very pleased with Bill’s efforts in this difficult time while maintaining his aggressive nation-wide tournament schedule.

A permanent move has been put on hold. But since a buyer is once again interested in the building, the USCF is looking at temporarily relocating. The current plan is to renovate part of the lower level of the current building and place a few workers there. Then move the rest of the employees into the building next door currently occupied by the Chess Life staff with possibly having some of the Chess Life staff working from home.

The long term solution that is still being investigated is to either find alternate facilities in the New Windsor area or to move to Tennessee or elsewhere.

The USCF continues to improve its website. Late last year a new service went on-line. The Member Services Area has greatly improved the visit for members. You may scan your rating history and review any crosstable for events back to 1991. Tournament Directors may view crosstables to all events they directed since that time.

The USCF is currently working on an on-line tournament submission system. Although promised earlier this year, the system is hoped to be up and running by the fall.

Inside the June Chess Life will be two ballots. One will be for two seats on the seven member USCF Executive Board necessitated when a second EB member resigned last fall. Most of the candidates are newcomers. Only one attended the EB meeting last weekend in New Windsor.

The second ballot will be for two Wisconsin delegates to the Delegate’s Meetings for the next two years. (2005 will be in Phoenix, AZ. I haven’t heard a site yet for 2006.) The WCA board has placed into nomination the names of four of its members: Guy Hoffman, Mike Nietman, Arlen Walker and Andrew Becker. The WCA Board nominees should be marked as such on the ballot. Please vote for at least two of these people to be our delegates to the US Open Delegate’s Meetings.

I urge all of you who are eligible to vote to please do so. Eligibility is anyone 16 years of age or older. Please read the directions printed on the ballot carefully. Be advised it will cost a first class stamp. If you are eligible but did not receive a ballot, please notify the office.

Wisconsin is entering an interesting time as new clubs are popping up all over and new and old organizers are running more events. Wausau and La Crosse have seen city clubs begin this year and thanks to Bob Patterson-Sumwalt and Randy Bubolz so have many Milwaukee area and suburban elementary schools. This trend is continuing as I know of other schools looking for coaches.

At the same time player’s spending money is limited. So, organizers must continue to work together and not step on one another’s toes when scheduling events. For any weekend event, organizers need to contact the WCA Clearinghouse Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to seek available weekends and to reserve the weekend in case other organizers request it. Guy will review the region of the state and expected audience of the event and try not to overlap competing events. Organizers of any event should contact Guy as early as possible to secure the dates they desire.

Congratulations to Madison West for repeating as State Scholastic Team Champion. Last March a record 529 students participated. It was the first year that I was able to split the K-8 group into a K-5 and a K-8 section. The K-8 team champion was Marion while the University School of Milwaukee won the inaugural K-5 team championship.

Some of the ideas that the board is throwing around for new events are a Junior Closed and a Wisconsin Closed which would both be round robin invitationals. Bob Patterson-Sumwalt has proposed a Wisconsin Grade Level State Championship in which each grade is a separate tournament. Bob has a new site lined up in St. Francis and has booked it for Friday evening, January 28 and Saturday, January 29, 2005. Numerous volunteers and TD’s are needed for this event. Contact Bob or me if you are interested in volunteering.

Congratulations to Neil Gleason for winning the 2003 Wisconsin Chess Tour.

Without a state magazine I encourage everyone to submit event and game material to the WCA website.

Arlen Walker and I each maintain an e-mail list of Wisconsin chess players. We try to keep the list private to reduce the chance of spamming. If you are not on my list, please give me your e-mail address.

The AmericInn motel chain will once again organize several regional and a national scholastic chess championship. Current plans are to hold the regional events in the months of November and December. They are currently soliciting AmericInn properties that are interested in hosting a local event. Then they will be interested in finding TD’s around the state to direct the events. Let me know if you are interested in the paid position and I’ll get you in contact with the marketing firm that is organizing the events. If the regional events are once again not USCF rated, then anyone, even those without TD certification but with enough tournament experience, may direct an event.

At last after three years they are starting earlier in the year with their planning and I hope that that will increase attendance.

My thanks to all the board members for their hard work this past year. Guy Hoffman, Dave Granik and myself have our terms of office expire today.

Current Bylaws

  • Written by Board
  • Published: 16 November 2004
  • Last Updated: 09 July 2018


  1. Name
  2. Purpose
  3. Membership
  4. Board of Directors
  5. Officers
  6. Meetings
  7. Finances
  8. Sundry Bylaws

  1. NAME: The name of this organization shall be the State of Wisconsin Chess Association, commonly called the Wisconsin Chess Association, WCA.
  2. PURPOSE: The purpose of the WCA is to promote chess in Wisconsin, through tournaments and strengthening local clubs.
    1. Membership shall be open to any person who pays the prescribed dues.
    2. Dues: The Board of directors shall establish the annual dues to cover the period between the openings of two successive annual meetings. Effective 1998 membership meeting, the annual dues shall be set at $5 per annum. Players participating in any WCA sponsored event shall receive free membership to the WCA for that year.
    3. Honorary Life Membership: Honorary Life membership may be conferred by a three-fourths vote of the members present at an annual meeting upon a person who has rendered notable service to the Association.
    4. All members shall have all rights and privileges, except that only Wisconsin residents may vote or hold office. Students attending Wisconsin schools, military personnel stationed in Wisconsin, and members living in out-of-state areas which are suburban to Wisconsin cities are considered to be Wisconsin residents.
    1. The Board of Directors shall consist of nine members of the Association, three to be selected to three year terms at each annual meeting from those nominated at that meeting, to hold office until their successors are elected and qualified.
    2. The newly elected Board of Directors shall elect the Officers for the Association within one week after the Annual Meeting via a meeting or through email.  The new Officers will be announced to the WCA members via email.
    3. The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Association. The Board shall transact the Association business between annual meetings, provided no act conflicts with actions taken by the membership meetings. The Board shall arrange such tournaments, activities, and affiliations as promote the purpose of the Association.
    4. The President shall appoint a replacement for the unexpired term of any member of the Board who resigns or dies or becomes a non-resident under Bylaw 3.4 .
    5. The Board has the right to remove members that miss four consecutive meeting with a three-fourths vote.
    1. The officers of the Association are a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, who are elected by the Board, and such committee chairmen as the president may appoint. The Board, at its option, may elect one person to serve two officer positions, with the exception of holding both President and Vice President positions. The officers shall perform the duties described by the parliamentary authority in Bylaw 8.2 and the specific duties delineated herein, including formulation of general policy, management of the Association, and holding elections.
    2. The President shall call and preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board. He shall appoint chairmen and members for the committees approved by the membership or by the Board, and exercise active and general supervision over the conduct of Association affairs.
    3. The Vice-President shall assist the President in the discharge of his duties and perform those duties in the absence of the President.
    4. The Secretary shall keep minutes of the proceedings of the Association and the Board, send notices of all board meetings, and keep such records and make such reports as are required.
    5. The Treasurer shall receive all Association revenues, keep accounts of all receipts and disbursements and such other accounts as the Board may require, make a financial report at each Board meeting, and provide an annual statement to the membership at the annual meeting.
    6. The Board of Directors will appoint an individual to serve as the Data Base Coordinator who will maintain the Member Data Base as defined in section 6.1.
    1. Definitions:
      1. Annual Meeting:  The three month process described in this section.  Any reference to the Annual Meeting in other sections of the Bylaws represents the process in this section.
      2. Audit Team:  Two individuals that will be appointed by the Wisconsin Chess Association (WCA) Board of Directors (BOD) on an annual basis to review the results of the voting members as accumulated by the Main Contact.
      3. Main Contact:  The individual appointed by the WCA BOD to send out and receive emails from the voting members.  The Main Contact will also tabulate the results of all votes and report all information to the Audit Team.
      4. Member Data Base:  The data base with the Voting Members' email addresses will be maintained by the Data Base Coordinator.  The data base will be used by the Main Contact on the initial email sent out to the Voting Members.  All registration forms for the WCA tournaments will have a line for the player's email so the Member Data Base can be updated on an ongoing basis.
      5. Voting Member:  A WCA member in the previous calendar year and over the age of sixteen.  An individual is a member by playing in a WCA tournament or paying the membership fee.
    2. During the first week of January the Main Contact using the Member Data base will send to the Voting Members the initial email.  The deadline for a response from the Voting Members will be the end of January.  The initial email will include:
      1. The announcement of Board of Directors members whose terms will expire
      2. Request for nominations to serve on the WCA Board of Directors
      3. Request for any bylaw changes
      4. Request for any suggestions or comments
      5. The announcement of changes in the membership fees to be effective April 1
      6. Nominees for Honorary Life Membership
      7. If a survey is ready it would be sent at this time
    3. From February 1 to February 15 the following will occur:
      1. The Main Contact will review all responses
      2. All BOD nominees will be contacted to see if they want to serve
      3. The ballot will be prepared for the vote on Board of Directors
      4. The current BOD will review and vote on any Bylaw changes
      5. The Bylaw changes will be prepared for a vote by the Voting Members
      6. The current BOD will review and vote on any Honorary Life Memberships
      7. Honorary Life Memberships will be prepared for a vote by the Voting Members
    4. As close to February 16 as possible using the Member Data Base the Main Contact will send email to the Voting Members the ballot for the WCA Board of Directors, the Bylaws changes referendum, and Honorary Life Memberships ballot. The Voting Members have until March 15 to send their vote to the Main Contact using the email address that the original message was sent to.  If there is more than one voting member at an email address, the voters will have to indicate their name with their vote.  The reply is to be sent to the Main Contact.  If the Board nominees who accepted their nomination equals the open positions and no other votes are needed, no email will take place.
    5. March 15 to March 31 the Main Contact will accumulate the votes and review the results with the Audit Team.  The final results will be reported to the WCA BOD.
    6. April 1 the annual report to the Voting Members will be sent via email by the Main Contact and will include:
      1. The results of the Board of Directors vote
      2. The results of the Bylaws changes vote
      3. The results of the Honorary Life Memberships vote
      4. The President's report
      5. The Treasurer's report
    7. The newly elected Board of Directors term starts April 1.  The BOD will have three regular meetings.  Between regular meetings the BOD may conduct business by mail, telephone or email.  A special meeting of the BOD may be called by the President or upon written request of three Board Members.  Five Board Members must be present for a quorum for any meeting.
    8. A special meeting of the membership, following thirty day notice, shall be called upon a majority vote of the Board or upon written request by ten members.
    9. To promote discussion among members concerning any issues for the Association, WCA will establish a blog on the Web Site.
    1. No obligation shall bind the Association unless; (a) authorized by the membership or the Board and (b) authenticated in writing by the President or the Treasurer.
    2. The Treasurer shall deposit all receipts in a bank approved by the Board and disburse them only by check bearing his signature, provided that each disbursement be supported by a voucher authorized by the President or, in his absence, by the Vice-President.
    3. The fiscal year for the Wisconsin Chess Association will be the calendar year.
    4. The Wisconsin Chess Association will use accrual based accounting.
    1. Amendments: These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present (quorum of twenty people) at a meeting called for that purpose and so announced in the meeting notice or through the Annual Meeting process.  The final wording of the proposed changes should be drafted by the WCA Board of Directors and voted on by the BOD with a majority vote needed to proceed.
    2. Parliamentary Authority: Robert's Rules of Order shall govern all Association business conduct, when not specifically provided for in these Bylaws.
    3. Office: The principal office of the Association shall be the President's address.
    4. IRS Limitations: No part of the income of the Association shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, officers, or other private persons, excepting reasonable compensation for services and payments in furtherance of the purposes in Bylaw 2.
    5. The Association shall carry on no propaganda activity or otherwise attempt to influence legislation. The Association shall not participate in any way in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
    6. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, the Association shall carry on no activity not permitted (a) by an association exempt from Federal income tax under 501 ( c ) (3) of the Internal Revenue code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future law) or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under 170 ( c ) (2) of the cited code and future law.
    7. Upon dissolution of the Association, the Board shall pay all liabilities and dispose of all remaining assets exclusively for the purposes in Bylaw 2 or to such organizations as then qualify as exempt under 501( c )(3) of the cited code and future law.
    8. Participation fee: For participation in events requiring Association membership, a fee equal to the annual dues may be paid on behalf of a computer or device not eligible for the usual membership. Acceptance of the fee and the participant shall be at the discretion of the director of the event.

LAST UPDATED:  9/6/2015


At least annually, the president of the WCA is required to present a "State of the Association" letter (at the membership meeting held during every championship). These official announcements are kept here.
Here are official minutes of the WCA board meetings.
Here are copies of old and new bylaws.