Letter 12/10/2000

Dear Wisconsin TD's, organizers and tournament sponsoring affiliates,


The Wisconsin Chess Association (WCA) is taking this opportunity to pass along information regarding the policies and programs of the WCA. With the infrequency of publication of Badger Chess and with a number of new affiliates we believe that the communication pipeline among clubs (including the state affiliate) is breaking down.

Tournament Clearinghouse: First, the USCF has set up a series of tournament clearinghouses. The clearinghouse person is in charge of overseeing the master schedule of events in a geographic region. The purpose of this is to avoid conflicting events. Clearly, two tournaments cannot be held in Wisconsin on the same weekend because we do not have enough tournament players to support multiple events.

Wisconsin is its own region and our clearinghouse person is Guy Hoffman. As soon as you are thinking about holding an event, please contact Guy first to make sure your weekend is available. His address is P.O. Box 259822, Madison, WI 53725. It is from this list that our website calendar (discussed later) is updated.

Tournament Standards: The WCA used to sponsor the Merit Award Program (MAP) but due to budgetary constraints at the USCF from whom the WCA received money to fund this program, we had to suspend it. However, the WCA and this state's tournament players expect that Wisconsin events are run under MAP guidelines as closely as possible. See the attached page entitled 'WCA MERIT AWARD SYSTEM' for further definitions of the program. In fact, numerous players from out of state are impressed with the quality of Wisconsin events! Let's keep it up!!

Wisconsin Chess Tour: The Wisconsin Chess Tour is a series of 8–12 events during the calendar year that promote participation in tournaments around the state. Funding for the Tour is by a donation of $1 per player to the WCA by the organizers of the events on the Tour. Attached is a further explanation of the Tour that includes the breakdown of the prize fund. Note that Tour events are especially held to higher standards and must follow the MAP guidelines.

The Tour is put together each November for the following year. If you desire to request Tour status for your event, please contact Guy at the address above by November 1. He is the chairman of our Tour subcommittee. The subcommittee looks at all of the requests and then recommends the set of events to the whole WCA Board who in turn vote to approve or modify their proposal.

It is vital that the organizer or director of the event get a copy of the wall chart (not crosstable!) to the Tour Statistician within one week after the event. Players like to know how they are doing before the next Tour event occurs. The 2001 Tour Statistician is Andrew Becker. His address is 1501 Briquelet St., Green Bay, WI 54304. Payments should be sent to WCA Treasurer Chris Krumenauer at 1729 Buehring Rd., Oshkosh, WI 54904.

WCA Events: The WCA sponsors seven events each year: the State Closed Championship, the William Martz Memorial/North Central Open, the Herman Schramm Memorial, the Arpad Elo Open, the Wisconsin Junior Open, the Wisconsin Senior Open and the Veteran's Tournament. The last three events are usually held concurrently. Each event can be bid upon by Wisconsin clubs, organizers and TD's. Organizer bids must include a budget. Please contact me for more information on the events and the bidding process if you or your club wishes to bid on an event. Note that some events have not been held in the past due to a lack of bids.

Clubs: Interestingly, one of the columns of Badger Chess that I used most often was the listing of Wisconsin clubs. As the contact for Wisconsin Chess, I've received dozens of letters, phone calls and e-mails requesting information about a "club near me". Usually they are from people moving into Wisconsin or from someone just picking up the game and wanting to play against some "local" competition. So, I'd pick up the most recent edition of BC and give out the information that your club provided Bill.

To update the last BC list, please take the time to send me an e-mail or a post card that provides me with a listing of your club's particulars. When (include day of week and time) and where does it meet? Who is the contact and what is their phone number and e-mail address.

In the future whenever your club changes sites, nights or contacts, please remember to drop me a note with the new information and I'll update my list. You never know when a master wants to play in your local club!

WCA Website: In this new electronic age, the WCA is sponsoring a website. Arlen Walker and Joe Hitselberger are co-webmasters. Please check it out and have your club's players do the same! It was recently revamped.

A website is only as good as the information on it. We will be glad to list and advertise your events on our website at no charge! All we ask is that an electronic format of the TLA or flyer be This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In addition, electronic crosstables, games and articles of your events will also be welcome.

If your club has a website. let us know and let's link them!

eFlyers!: In this same vein, Errol Hartman is undertaking a project to collect e-mail addresses of Wisconsin chess players. The purpose of this will be to disseminate flyers to the players. Please tell your club members about this and have them send their e-mail addresses to Errol.

If you have a flyer for your event in electronic format, please send it to Errol and he will forward it to the members of the list. Please advise as to when you want it sent out.

And remember, the website listing and the e-mail distribution are FREE advertisements for your events!!

USCF: The USCF is in a severe cash crunch having lost over $400,000 last year. Services will cost more. Check out the October Rating Supplement for details about numerous changes taking place on January 1. Specifically, some dues are raised. Please note that the base adult membership of $40 is not changing. USCF bylaws have been modified to allow for other membership dues to be a percentage of the base adult membership. For example, Youth membership will be 50% or $20 and Scholastic membership is 33% or $13. Also, affiliate commissions have been eliminated.

The TLA fees have been greatly modified. (Please note that what was printed in the October supplement regarding TLA's was further modified in early October. Check out the USCF website for further updates.) One of the reasons for this change is that several organizers from around the country abused the system as they would send in a "place holder" TLA to meet the initial deadline but then greatly revamp the TLA when sent the approval draft. Clearly this is not cost effective as it takes the clerk double time to get it right. (Also, the average income from TLA's on a given page of CL does not pay to produce that page!)

Note also that Rating Reports must be correct upon submission else they will be returned to you. This of course delays the rating of the event for your players. Talks regarding returning some of the rating fee if a report is correct have taken place but not yet implemented. Again see the October Rating Supplement for the exact details of the requirements for Rating Report submission.

In case you and your club members missed it last summer (most did!?), USCF elections have been opened up to all adult members of the USCF. Elections take place every two years for state delegates and alternate delegates who in turn vote for the USCF Executive Board and attend the Delegate's Meeting at the US Open. Wisconsin has two delegates and six alternate delegates. The WCA nominates eight people to be on the ballot. Individuals may also be nominated with the signatures of ten USCF members. Ballots were in the June Chess Life.

Andy Becker and Tom Feeney were elected as delegates for Wisconsin for the next two years. Congratulations to them! However, less than thirty Wisconsin USCF adult members voted in the election!? (Incredibly our percentage of people who voted was twice the percentage of eligible voters that voted nation-wide!?) In 2002 we need to better publicize the election and urge our members to vote.

Publications: Errol Hartman is leading a committee to look into the feasibility of the WCA running a state magazine. However, we are in need of an editor. If you or anyone you know is interested in being the editor or taking a role in a state magazine, please let him know. Alternatively, the WCA would support an independent magazine like Badger Chess.

This of course assumes that our players want a magazine. Please poll your club members and let us know what their desire is. Also ask about what they'd like to see in terms of content.

Our goal is to work with you and your clubs. By increasing the flow of information between us, the players will benefit and hence the organizations!

Please get me that club information and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.




Mike Nietman

WCA President