2021 WCA President's Report

  • Written by Mike Nietman
  • Published: 04 April 2021
  • Last Updated: 04 April 2021

2021 WCA President’s Report

April 1, 2021

Ugh. What a year!? The pandemic has cancelled every in person event since February, 2020. Hopefully the end is near and we get back to doing what we all want to do – play over-the-board club and tournament chess!

Online chess has thrived but some just don’t trust that option. Others have devoted time to studying the game. It’ll be interesting to watch ratings once we start up again.

In the meantime, the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit has opened the door to chess participation like nothing else since the Fischer boom of the 1970’s. Hopefully our clubs can open soon to bring in and develop that new found crowd.

I am saddened to report the recent passing of Mike Selig, founder of the NorthEastern Open Chess Championships and organizer and director of numerous other events around the state. He ran the Appleton Chess Club for decades. Mike was my main mentor in organizing events and deeded me the NorthEastern Open a few years ago to continue the legacy. I’m proud to announce the new name of the event as the Mike Selig Memorial/NorthEastern Open Chess Championships.

One other interesting project, I’ve been in communication with a gentleman in La Crosse who is on a sister city committee between La Crosse and Dubna, Russia. They are going to hold a chess match on Saturday, April 3 on Chess.com. Good luck to them!

Without revenue or expenses and thanks to some donations the WCA continues on strong financial footing.

Chris Wainscott, Robin Grochowski and Ken Rasmussen terms as Board members expire in 2021. All three were nominated and accepted nomination. With only three nominees all are re-elected to the Board for three year terms.

Officers for 2021 will be

  • President: Mike Nietman
  • Vice-President: Guy Hoffman
  • Treasurer: Ken Rasmussen
  • Secretary: Andy Becker

The pandemic has also affected the US Chess Federation. Luckily we have a limited reserve fund but the Executive Board has started to tap into that fund. Without tournaments, membership numbers are dropping and rating fees have dried up. If you’d like to help, consider renewing early or make a donation to the 501(c)(3) organization.

The US Chess Delegates voted to expand the Executive Board to eight elected members starting in 2021. So there are three seats on the Executive Board open for election this summer. The newly minted Nominations Committee has identified four candidates for the three slots. Please review their candidate statements in the April, May and June Chess Life magazines (which you can view online if you have a regular membership). If you’ve registered in the past or register to vote by May 1 on your dashboard at new.uschess.org/ (then click on ‘Member Site Login’) and will be a member on May 30 then you’ll receive a ballot in early June that will need to be returned by July 20 or so. There is an option on your dashboard that you can change to receive an electronic ballot instead of having to snail mail your ballot back to the election teller.

The WCA sponsors the Marshall Rohland Memorial/Wisconsin Closed Championship, the Arpad Elo Open, the William Martz Memorial/North Central Open, the Wisconsin Memorial, the Game/60 State Championship 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.

Due to some technical issues with the old site, the WCA changed its online registration system to www.kingregistration.com/tournaments. We allow clubs to post their events on this site but in the future may ask that clubs obtain their own account with this vendor as the fee structure is different than the first site we used and not disadvantageous if you only hold an event or two per year.

When deciding on when to hold an event, tournament organizers need to contact the state tournament clearinghouse director Guy Hoffman to find 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 is looking at alternatives to the cancelled Junior Open to name the 2021 GM Arnold Denker National Tournament of High School State Champions, the Dewain Barber National Tournament of Middle School State Champions, the John D. Rockefeller III National Tournament of Elementary School State Champions and the WIM Ruth Haring National Tournament of Girls State Champions. In 2021 these events will be held in conjunction with the US Open in Cherry Hill, NJ or possibly online like they were in 2020. Good luck team!

With the same format as the Denker, Barber, Rockefeller and Haring is the National Senior Tournament of Champions. Normally we use the Veterans Tournament held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Junior Open in November to select our representative. For the 2021 NSTOC our rep will be Mike LaBudde who was unable to participate in the 2020 event due to an accident. Good luck Mike!

Organizers desiring to have their event considered for Wisconsin Chess 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.

Tournament organizers are able to add calendar entries to our website calendar and we encourage them to do so. It is free advertising for their events. After submission, you need to e-mail me so that I can approve the event. We have received only a couple of news stories this year and depend on the state players, organizers and TD’s to supply content. If you have an interesting game to share or wish to write up a chess tournament or event, please do so and send it to me. I may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I also ask that clubs review their club’s content on the Clubs page of our website at www.wischess.org/clubs. Please pass along any updates to me or if you are part of a new club and want to get listed, let me know that too with all the pertinent information.

Hope to see you across the board soon!

Respectfully submitted by WCA President, Mike Nietman

Sep - Dec 1971

  • Written by Pete Webster
  • Published: 10 December 2020
  • Last Updated: 11 December 2020

Volume 3 #3-4

This was a double issue which opened with the editor's apology for how life conspired against him getting the issue out at all. Things had cleared up for Pete, and with this issue he announced a third year of Joyous Chess would, in fact, occur.

He added an apology for errors in v2#2: He'd flipped the names of the players in Webster-Martz, and he'd omitted the light notes that Richard Kujoth had supplied for the game Annen-Kujoth (there were 4 in all).

This was followed by announcements for the 1972 State Championship in Stevens Point and the 1972 High School Team Championship, run by Mr. Baird at Boys' Tech HS in Milwaukee, as well as a tournament ("sometime in May?") at UW-Madison and the Duluth Open at UM-D.

Other notes from this issue are reproduced below.

Read more: Sep - Dec 1971

Proposed WCA Bylaws Changes

  • Written by Mike Nietman
  • Published: 09 June 2013
  • Last Updated: 09 June 2013

Bylaws Changes to be Voted on At Annual Membership Meeting


At the Annual Membership Meeting being held on Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 3:30 PM in Neenah Wisconsin there will be a vote by the Wisconsin Chess Association (WCA) members to change the WCA Bylaws.  The details of the changes are posted on this site.


The biggest change is to have the Annual Meeting completed electronically (email) via the internet.  This would be completed during a three month time frame (January thru March) using a web site data base that will be maintained by a Data Based Coordinator assigned by the WCA Board of Directors.  The results of any elections, the President’s and Treasurer’s report will also be sent out electronically. 


The idea behind this change is to better communicate with WCA Members and to have greater participation by the Members.  You are a voting member if you at least 16 years old and have played in any WCA Tournament in the previous year.  You can also become a member by paying a $5 annual fee.  The current format has had the Annual Meeting at the Wisconsin Closed Tournament.  The attendance has been poor, and only the individuals at the tournament could vote.  WCA would really like greater participation in voting for new board members and feedback on any issues related to Wisconsin chess.  Another advantage to the change would be more time for chess at the Wisconsin Closed Championship either going to a seven round format or having other chess activities.


If at all possible please plan on attending the Annual Meeting this year to give us your opinion and vote on the proposed Bylaws change.

Wisconsin Chess Association

Bylaws Changes


Totally Replaces Section 6


6.         Meetings

6.1       Definitions:

            Annual Meeting:  The three month process described in this section.  References

to the Annual Meeting in other sections of the Bylaws is referring to the process in this section.

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. 

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.

Member Data Base:  The data base with the Voting Members email addresses will be maintained by 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 WCA tournaments will have a line for the players email so the Member Data Base can be updated on an ongoing basis.

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. 

6.2       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: 

            -  The announcement of Board of Directors members whose terms will expire

            -  Request for nominations to serve on the WCA Board of Directors

            -  Request for any bylaw changes

            -  Request for any suggestions or comments

            -  The announcement of changes in the membership fees to be effective April 1

            -  Nominees for Honorary Life Membership

            -  If a survey is ready it would be sent at this time

6.3       From February 1 to February 15 the following will occur:

-  The Main Contact will review all responses. 

-  All BOD nominees will be contacted to see if they want to serve

-  The ballot will be prepared for the vote on Board of Directors

-  The current BOD will review and vote on any Bylaw changes

-  The Bylaw changes will be prepared for a vote by the Voting Members

-  The current BOD will review and vote on any Honorary Life Memberships

-  Honorary Life Memberships will be prepared for a vote by the Voting Members

6.4       On February 16 using the Member Data Base the Main Contact will send 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.

6.5       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.

6.6       April 1 the annual report to the Voting Members will be sent via email by the Main Contact and will include:

            -  The results of the Board of Directors vote

            -  The results of the Bylaws changes vote

            -  The results of the Honorary Life Memberships vote

            -  The Presidents report

            -  The Treasurer’s report

6.7       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 maybe called by the President or upon written request of three Board Members.  Five Board Members must be present for a quorum for any meeting. 

6.8       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.

6.9       The Board Members as of September 1, 2013 will have their terms shortened by five months.      


For the following added changes are in BOLD deleted changes have a strike through line.


Changes to 3.2

A change in the amount of dues shall be announced thirty days after the meeting.


Changes to 3.3

Honorary Life membership maybe conferred by a three-fourths vote of the Voting Members present at an the annual meeting upon a person who has rendered notable service to the Association.


Totally replace 4.2

The newly elected Board of Directors shall elect 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.


Changes to 5.1

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 as both Secretary and Treasurer two officer positions, with the exception of holding both the President and Vice President positions. 


Add 5.6

The Board of Directors will appoint an individual to service as the Data Base Coordinator who will maintain the Member Data Base as defined in section 6.1.


Changes to 8.3

OFFICE ADDRESS:  The principal office address of the Association shall be in care of the secretary the President’s address.



The Pawns Alone

  • Written by Administrator
  • Published: 22 August 2012
  • Last Updated: 10 September 2012

Sometimes, because of events in other parts of the board, pawns are left on their own against the enemy King. When this happens, knowing one single rule will be enough to decide the game.

The Rule Of The Square

How can you tell if the enemy king can catch your pawn? One way is to calculate in your head, from the positions below:

"If I move my pawn to e6, then the king moves to c6, my pawn to e7, the king to d7, my pawn to e8 and I get a queen, but then the king takes my queen."

This works, as you see, but it's long and gives you too many chances to make a mistake. A second way is to count moves:

"Let's see, my pawn on e5 queens in 3 moves, while the king on b5 requires 3 moves to get to the queening square."
Read more: The Pawns Alone

Arpad Elo Visits the 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace

  • Written by Mike Nietman
  • Published: 22 June 2012
  • Last Updated: 27 December 2013

By Mike Nietman, Local Organizer, 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace

In July of 1990 Fond du Lac’s Marian College hosted the Under 14, Under 12 and Under 10 Open and Girl’s sections of the World Youth Chess Championships. Over 170 players from 40 countries and six continents descended on the small liberal arts college located sixty miles northwest of Milwaukee. Many famous players competed in the event. International stars included Romania’s Gabriel Schwartzman and a then-relatively-unknown Peter Leko of Hungary. The Americans were led by Tal Shaked, Morgan Pehme, Josh Waitzkin and eventual Under 10 champion Nawrose Nur. But the biggest name was the world’s number one rated woman, Hungary’s Judit Polgar who arrived with her contingent and her father Lazlo.

Most teams that flew came thru Milwaukee’s Mitchell airport; this included the Hungarians. We had staged greeters at the airport to welcome the teams as they landed and to shepherd them to waiting buses for the final leg of their journey to Fond du Lac. We knew the flights most of the teams would be on, so we asked the Milwaukee representatives to notify Hungarian-born and retired Marquette University Physics professor Arpad Elo about Judit’s itinerary, as he had always wanted to meet her.

Read more: Arpad Elo Visits the 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace


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