2020 WCA President’s Report
April 5, 2020
What a difference a month makes! A month ago I was preparing to host the 2020 State Scholastic Championships usually attended by over 400 Wisconsin student chess players. Of course, due to the pandemic we’re all facing, the event had to be cancelled. That wasn’t the only event cancelled as all club meetings and weekend events are cancelled for the foreseeable future. The WCA Board has also cancelled the 2020 Elo Open. We won’t have over the board events again until it is safe for all participants. Once events start up again we hope that you’ll participate once again.
While tournament attendance slipped a bit in 2019 the WCA continues on strong financial footing. The most pressing problem the WCA faces continues to be the inability to secure playing sites at an affordable cost. If you have any suggestions for venues, please contact a Board member.
Officers for 2020 will be
- President: Mike Nietman
- Vice-President: Guy Hoffman
- Treasurer: Ken Rasmussen
- Secretary: Robin Grochowski
The pandemic has also affected the US Chess Federation. The National Scholastics and the US Championships have already been cancelled and postponed respectively. The US Open may or may not be held. Luckily we have a limited reserve fund but that can’t last forever. 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.
2020 marks the end of my term on the US Chess Executive Board. Since I’m term limited after having served three three-year terms and one one-year term, I am unable to run again. Hopefully I’ve continued the Wisconsin legacy of service to US Chess that the likes of Fred Cramer, Marshall Rohland and Arpad Elo started. It has been a pleasure serving during an eventful time in US Chess history. The biggest change has been the transformation of the federation to a 501(c)(3) organization. I will continue to work on committees for the Federation and was recently named a trustee for the new Endowment Fund.
In addition to my seat, President Allen Priest is also term limited. A third member, Hal Sprechman has chosen not to run. So there are three seats on the Executive Board open for election this summer. If you’ve registered in the past or register by May 1 to vote on your MSA page at https://new.uschess.org/players/search/ and will be a member on June 30 then you’ll receive a ballot in early June that will need to be returned by July 20.
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.
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 junior individual invitational events. Please plan to participate in the event November 7-8 at UW-Oshkosh to qualify for 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 2020 these events will be held in conjunction with the US Open in St. Charles, MO. Our representatives will be Rithwik Mathur, Hersh Singh, Arjun Suresh and Gauri Menon. Good luck team!
With the same format as the Denker, Barber, Rockefeller and Haring is the National Senior Tournament of Champions. We use the Veterans Tournament held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Junior Open in November to select our representative. For the 2020 NSTOC our rep will be Mike LaBudde. Good luck Mike!
Congratulations to Susanna Ulrich for capturing the 2019 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.
Hope to see you across the board soon!
Respectfully submitted by WCA President, Mike Nietman