It was tough to top what we did in 2013 when we hosted the US Open, had a state player win the US Open and another state player win a world youth title so the WCA turned its attention to rebuilding some of our events. We were successful in some but not in others. The Elo, Jr/Vets and Memorial had outstanding attendance. The State Closed was ok but the North Central was way down. The net result was the largest overall attendance at WCA events in over a decade and a strong surplus financially for the year. We hope to continue building on this success in 2015 and hope that you’ll continue supporting WCA events and all Wisconsin tournaments.
To the point of making some changes, we’re currently looking at moving the North Central Open to Eau Claire. We have a very good hotel deal and have cleared the event with our friends in Minnesota who won’t hold a class tournament on that weekend this year. So plan to spend Thanksgiving weekend with us in Eau Claire and plan to take some rating points away from those gopher chess players!
I also recently received a Request for Information from the Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture to start (re-start?) a summer chess program in select Milwaukee county parks. I say re-start because Pearle Mann back in the, I believe, 1940’s ran a highly successful program. If this takes off, it would introduce organized chess instruction and tournaments to hundreds if not thousands of more youth in the Milwaukee area.
In the past the President normally writes this report for the State Closed Championship Labor Day Weekend (2015 we’ll be at the Radisson Hotel in Green Bay). However at the 2013 Annual Membership Meeting in Neenah, the members voted to allow for a different style of annual meeting. Basically on January 1 of each year, the “Main Contact”, someone appointed by the WCA Board will send out an e-mail to anyone who played in a WCA event in the previous calendar year requesting nominations for the Board of Directors, any bylaws changes or any other matters that need to be discussed by WCA members. Normally ballots would be sent out on February 16 but since there were only three nominees for three seats on the Board, ballots were not necessary this year. Then on or about April 1, the election results are e-mailed to the members along with this President’s report and the Treasurer’s report. In the future we hope to receive more nominations than there are for seats up for election on the Board.
Mid-fiscal year, the USCF is well ahead of its budget once again. We welcomed the IRS declaration of our 501(c)(3) status and have contracted with a company to begin a major overhaul of our website. FIDE relations are problematic as they seem to want to erode the rights of national federations.
The WCA rebounded financially in 2014 as our tournament attendance was up versus the prior year in most events. We need to examine our tournaments and be sure that they can be successful financially. We are also venturing into running one day tournaments with the inaugural Game/60 State Championship the Saturday after Memorial Day.
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 Wisconsin Junior Open and Veterans Tournaments. New this year is a one day Game/60 State Championship tournament. 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.
Congratulations to Madison’s James Madison Memorial High School for taking their first State Scholastic Championship. Congratulations to Madison’s Jefferson Middle School for winning their first K-8 State Team Championship and to Brookfield Academy for repeating as the winner in the K-5 section. Earlier this month 448 Wisconsin students participated in the State Scholastic Championships at UW-Oshkosh.
Since the State Scholastic is a team Swiss event at the high school level, Wisconsin uses the Wisconsin Junior Open as its qualifier for national individual invitational events. Please plan to participate in the event November 14-15 at UW-Oshkosh to qualify for the GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions, the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 and the National Girl’s Invitational Tournament. These events are held in conjunction with the US Open which will be in Phoenix, AZ in early August. Our representatives will be Alexander Velikanov, Kevin Li and Anupama Rajendra. Good luck!
Congratulations to Ben Smail for capturing the 2014 Wisconsin Chess Tour title. Organizers desiring to have their event considered for 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.
The terms of office of Robin Grochowski, Ken Rasmussen and Rob Reinke expire today. I want to thank all of the Board members for their hard work and dedication this past year especially Rob who is dropping off the board at this time. We welcome Chris Wainscott to the board.
Respectfully submitted by WCA President, Mike Nietman