1999 President's Report

Travel Inn, Fond du Lac, May 30, 1999

First and foremost our great thanks to Bill Williams for editing and sponsoring Badger Chess. First published in 1982 by Bill and several others along the way, Badger Chess has had a remarkable run that will end this year. Wisconsin chess players owe a great deal of gratitude to Bill for working the long hours putting the magazine together.

The WCA Publications Committee queried players around the state asking them what they wanted in a state magazine. They were also looking for talent to lead a successor to Badger Chess. Of course it is always difficult to follow a success. Sadly no one came forward to volunteer. The committee also looked into cost issues. The WCA does not have any plans for producing a magazine at this point. Our options include but are not limited to doing a state-wide mailing to publicize all state events. This could be done on an annual or semi-annual basis. Alternatively, a new magazine has sprung up in Minnesota. The Midwest Chess Review desires to cover chess from Winnipeg to Chicago. Currently the Minnesota Chess Journal is incorporated into the pages of the magazine. Dale Gustafson, the editor, is open to a similar arrangement with Wisconsin. Please see me if you wish to review a copy of this magazine.

One function of Badger Chess is to announce future tournaments. In its absence tournament organizers must work together more efficiently to avoid conflicts. Whether running a large weekend Swiss, a small scholastic event, an RBO or a weekend club event, I'm asking all organizers to request weekend assignments from the Wisconsin tournament clearinghouse which is currently Guy Hoffman. His address appears in each Rating Supplement.

Another ongoing problem is the cost of quality playing sites. Typically chess groups do not spend much money at the playing site. The sites need to make money. To keep these sites organizers across the state need your help. Consider staying in the playing site hotel even if the one across the street costs a few less dollars. Consider eating at the restaurant on site. If everyone helps, we will keep our quality sites and keep them at an affordable level. The benefit in return for you the player is to allow the organizers to keep the entry fees as low as possible.

Congratulations to Alex Betaneli and Victor Chubukov for being members of the team that won the Midwest and national amateur team championship.

Congratulations also go to organizer Alex Betaneli for his work in creating the Scott Kittsley Chess Festival. Over 130 players participated. This included two GM's and an IM. Alex told me that with his impending medical school course load he will be unable to be the point person for a repeat but that he would work with an organizer in procuring titled players.

Our condolences to the family and friends of Henry Meifert who passed away last October. Henry was a tireless worker for Milwaukee and Wisconsin chess. He served as WCA President in the early 1980's.

An important change is taking place in the way that the USCF is governed. The procedure to elect state delegates to the USCF will change next year. As a compromise between the status quo where the state association selects the state delegates who vote for the candidates for national office and those who wanted direct elections by the members for national office candidates (One Member One Vote -- OMOV), State One Member One Vote (SOMOV) has all adult members of the USCF of a state voting for their state's delegate(s). These state delegates will in turn vote for the new Executive Board who will in turn vote for the officers of the Federation from the Board's own membership. The Board will be comprised of seven members with staggered terms of office. Elections will be held every two years with terms of office running four years. As I understand it, this process will begin next year with the elections at the state level followed by national elections the following year.

As announced last year the WCA and the Milwaukee Chess Foundation attempted to bid on the 2000 National High School Championship. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete the bid for downtown Milwaukee due to a lack of affordable hotel rooms and a high playing site cost. We turned our attention to The Grand Milwaukee Hotel and thought we had a deal for the entire hotel until their Executive Board nixed the deal a day before the bid was due. The WCA will continue to investigate the possibility of bringing national events to Wisconsin. My thanks to Arlen Walker for doing a tremendous amount of work on the project.

Last October I attended the Wisconsin Education Association Council's convention in Madison. My thanks to USCF Scholastic Coordinator Beatriz Marinello for coming to the convention. She and I also spoke at a breakout session to 25 people about why and how chess should be included in their school. The presentation was very well received as we were given many compliments. Follow ups continue. My thanks to Jerry Noel, John Rummel and Victor Chubukov for assisting in our booth.

The WCA normally sponsors six events each year. The State Closed Championship starts off the year. During fall we hold the Wisconsin Junior Open and Veteran's Tournaments, the William Martz Memorial/North Central Open and the Herman Schramm Memorial. Our chess year ends each spring with the Arpad Elo Open.

We were able to run all of the events during the 1998 calendar year. The North Central suffered its poorest draw in recent memory. We will be looking at moving it back to a larger metropolitan area during the board meeting following this meeting. Already in 1999 the Elo was not held due to the lack of a site bid. Wisconsin clubs and organizers are encouraged to bid for any WCA event. See me or our secretary for more details on the bidding procedure.

John Rummel has notified me that he will continue to be our webmaster only until the end of the year. The WCA is looking for someone to take his place. John stated that the new webmaster may take over sooner if they are willing. If you are interested, please see me after this meeting. Our current address is


Please check it out and send John your tournament announcements, tournament reports and games. He'll be glad to hear from you! Websites are only as good as the information they present. The information needs to be accurate and current. Please continue to send our webmaster the data. I've heard many good remarks about our site. Organizers, remember that this is free advertising! In addition, if you or your club have websites, let's work together and link them up.

The WCA received $599 this year from the USCF for our state's share of the State Affiliate Support Program money. In addition, we held $186 over from the previous year. So in all we had $785 to spend on SASP projects.

First, for the Junior Open we reduce entry fees for those that send in more than four entries in the same envelope. This helped ease the huge workload for the TD's at the event. Seventy eight participated in this program that invites juniors and schools to get active and recruit others to come to the tournament thereby benefiting both the schools and the event long term.

Second, we mass mailed a Junior Open flyer to every high school in the state. This always locates new scholastic clubs and lets them know we exist and are able to help.

Third, the above mentioned WEAC booth costs were paid for by SASP funds. No direct WCA funds were used for this purpose.

Fourth, we continue to strive for excellence in tournament organization and direction by funding the Merit Award Program. (If you are interested in more detailed information on this or any other WCA program, please contact me later.)

Fifth, the WCA donated $50 to help defray the cost of flyer printing and mailing for the 1999 Wisconsin Postal Chess Championship.

Sixth, the WCA purchased the Marshall Rohland Cup awarded to the winner of the reserve section of the State Closed Championship.

Last, the WCA helped Josh Kaul, the highest finishing high school player in the 1997-1998 Junior Open, attend the Denker Tournament of High School Champions at last year's US Open. Although not faring well in the Denker Josh had the privilege of playing GM Joel Benjamin and GM Julian Hogdson in the US Open itself. Good luck to Morgan Feeney in this year's event.

The 1999 Wisconsin Scholastic Championship attracted 423 participants! Congratulations to Madison West for winning their second consecutive team championship.

Congratulations to Neal Gleason for winning the 1998 Wisconsin Chess Tour. In the closest race yet, Neal overtook Bill Williams in the last game of last year's last tour event! If organizers want their event on the tour, they should contact me or Guy, who is the Tour Committee chairman, by the middle of November of the year before the Tour. The Board revised the prize fund for the 1999 Tour. With the recent rating deflation we moved the class prizes down one level. This means that the expert prize will disappear and the 'C' and Under prize will be split into a 'C' prize and a 'D' and Under prize.

A great deal of thanks go to all the Board members for their hard work and many hours of time spent on chess endeavors this past year. Special thanks to Josh Kaul, Kelly Borman and Chris Krumenauer who have their terms of office expire today.