2006 President's Report

WCA President’s Report

2006 Annual Membership Meeting

Howard Johnson’s, Wisconsin Dells

May 28, 2006

It was an exciting year for the WCA!

Last month the WCA hosted the 2006 National High School Chess Championships in Milwaukee. 1423 players from 37 states descended on the Midwest Airlines Center to compete for the title of National High School Team and Individual Champion.

I am proud to report that Wisconsin’s scholastic programs came out in force to support the event. Over 300 individuals and over 70 teams from the state participated. And were they rewarded! Wisconsin individuals took home 33 top 25 trophies over the five sections of the event while Wisconsin teams took home 31 trophies. Including individual tied for 25th place trophies and class trophies, Wisconsin accumulated 85 trophies in the main draw of the event.

Although several of our tournament directors were able to work the event and gain valuable experience working with National TD’s, several others wanted to work the event but were shut out because the USCF filled many positions with experienced scholastic TD’s from across the country. One of the side effects of the USCF taking over organizing the events back in 2002 has been that local tournament directors wanting to get their foot into the door have been unable to and local organizations are losing valuable opportunities to gain experience. If for no other reason, it makes economic sense to hire local directors and I’ll continue to pursue that view as co-chair of the USCF Scholastic Council.

While I had to draft a few coaches and parents at the last minute to fill a few volunteer positions, all shifts were adequately covered. Many thanks to them for their donation of time.

The USCF was pleased with the turnout of the event as it was only 12 short of the USCF run event record. (As a note of reference, the National Elementary was around 300 short of its record and the National Junior High was over 300 short of our record from 2002.) I’ll continue to pursue opportunities for us to host this event again, probably not before the 2010 or 2011 cycle of events.

Preliminary word is that the USCF will run a small deficit this year. They did move into their new building in Crossville, TN. My opinion is that the Executive Board has not accomplished too much this past year. The office staff is either very experienced or experienced chess players who are able to answer questions quickly. Online systems continue to improve. USCF unveiled its Membership and Tournament Registration Store last October and has been used with great success at each of the five national scholastics to the point where first rounds have routinely started on time. The online TLA Area started up a couple of months ago.

The June issue of Chess Life will include a ballot for all eligible voters age of 16 and over. The ballot will be for two members of the USCF Executive Board and two delegates from Wisconsin. The same issue of Chess Life will contain statements from the candidates for the Executive Board. If you have any additional questions, please contact me or Guy Hoffman for input on the candidates. But do vote! The WCA Board placed me, Guy Hoffman and Arlen Walker on the ballot for the two delegates seats. We urge Wisconsin’s voters to choose two of the WCA Board nominated candidates.

Tournament organizers seemed to space out the events pretty well this past year. I did not hear of any conflicts. Tournament organizers should continue to contact the state tournament clearinghouse Guy Hoffman for open dates on the tournament calendar. Guy can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 Junior Open/Veterans Tournaments. All are open for bids from state organizers and tournament directors. If you are interested in more details on how to bid for these events, please contact any board member.

Last summer Luke Ludwig found the Arpad Elo Trophy given to the winner of the Championship section of the Elo Open. I researched all the past events and the WCA paid to put all of the names of the past winners on the plates on a new base for the trophy.

The WCA Board passed a motion this past year that requires organizers of our events to use the WCA affiliate ID (T5009006) on our events. The main reason for this is so that future research will be made easier by being able to more easily find the crosstable on the USCF’s MSA website.

Plan now to attend the 2006 US Open in Oak Brook, IL August 5-13. The 2007 event will be back in Cherry Hill, NJ while Dallas, TX has the lead for the 2008 event.

Congratulations to Madison West for winning their fourth consecutive State Scholastic Team Championship. Last March 547 students participated. The K-8 state team champion is Fond du Lac’s Woodworth Middle School while the University School of Milwaukee won the K-5 team championship.

Good luck to Jesse Blashe of Marion in the 2006 Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions and to Tracie Klauer of Milwaukee Bay View High School in the Susan Polgar Invitational for Girls Tournament. Both of these events will be held during the US Open in Oak Brook in August. Qualifications was based on finish in last year’s Junior Open.

Congratulations to Ashish Vaja for winning the 2005 Wisconsin Chess Tour. Organizers desiring to have their event considered for tour status need to contact Guy by November of the year before the tour.

Arlen Walker maintains our website free of charge to the WCA. It can be viewed at www.wischess.org. If anyone has any content to submit, please contact Arlen for details.

The terms of office of Andrew Becker, Mike Selig and Ken Rasmussen expire today. I want to thank them for their many hours of dedication serving the WCA.