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2008 President's Report

WCA President’s Report

2008 Annual Membership Meeting

Radisson Hotel and Conference Center Green Bay

May 25, 2008

The WCA had another successful year. Tournament attendance continues to rise and our treasury is strong. Our youth continues to impress. Additional city clubs have or are opening in Manitowoc and Hartford. New organizers and tournament directors are emerging but there is a need for mentoring. If you are one of these new organizers or TD’s, just ask to assist at an event run by a more senior organizer or TD and they’ll be happy to show you the ropes.

Preliminary word is that the USCF will run a six figure deficit this year. The president wishes to cut costs. One such idea is to move Chess Life and Chess Life for Kids online. Members would have the option for less expensive dues to get their Chess Life content online or for the current membership rates to maintain a hard copy. However, there is great debate that the per copy cost of the remaining magazines would be too prohibitive to maintain a hard copy. Note that online memberships would still receive a quarterly newsletter with TLA’s and some chess content in it.

Part of the proposal is also to reduce the number of membership categories and then just have an online or hard copy price for each category.

Another proposal to raise revenue is to open up the regular rating system to online play. There has been great opposition to this proposal since the regular rating is a great asset of the USCF and ruining it will harm the Federation. If this proposal moves forward, restrictions will need to be in place such as to have an unbiased TD present or somehow monitoring the event.

The June issue of Chess Life will include a ballot for all eligible voters age 16 and over. The election will be for two delegates from Wisconsin for two year terms beginning after the US Open this summer. The WCA Board of Directors has placed the names of Mike Nietman, Guy Hoffman, Arlen Walker and Sandy Pahl into nomination and they will appear on the ballot. We urge you to vote for two of the four nominees. But do vote!

When deciding on when to hold an event tournament organizers should continue to contact the state tournament clearinghouse Guy Hoffman to find open dates on the tournament calendar.

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 Junior Open/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. Note that the NCO has not been held recently due to a lack of bids.

We continue to be astounded by the talent of the Wisconsin youth. Brian Luo became the first Wisconsin player participating in the World Youth. He finished seventh in the Under 10 event in Turkey last November. Elo Open winner Alex Velikanov is also eligible to compete in World events. Both are ten years old and are the winners of the last two Wisconsin Junior Opens.

At the recent National High School event in Atlanta, two of the three under sections and the unrated section were won by Wisconsin players! In the third under section a Wisconsin player was playing on board one in the last round but lost. For the second straight year Wisconsin had the fourth largest delegation. At the recent National Elementary event in Pittsburgh one Wisconsin school won the K-3 Unrated section and another player tied for first in the K-6 Under 1000 section. Schools should start preparing now for next year when Supernationals IV occurs in Nashville, Tennessee.

Congratulations to Madison West for winning their sixth consecutive State Scholastic Team Championship. Last March 425 students participated. Congratulations to Marion and University School of Milwaukee for tying for the K-8 Team Championship and to New Berlin Glen Park Elementary and Muskego Mill Valley Elementary for tying for the K-5 Team Championship.

Good luck to Chris Brown, Jr. of Fox Point in the 2008 Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions and to Mira Ensley-Field of Appleton in the Susan Polgar Invitational for Girls Tournament. Both of these events will be held in Texas in August. The WCA uses the Wisconsin Junior Open held in November as the qualifier for these nominations.

Congratulations to Alex Betaneli for recapturing the Wisconsin Chess Tour title. In one of the more dramatic Tour finishes in recent history, several class prizes went down to the last tournament and in a couple of cases, the last game of the last tournament. Unfortunately one of the events advertised as being on the Tour this year wasn’t held and a second may not be. Organizers desiring to have their event considered for Tour status need to contact Guy by November of the year before the tour.

Arlen Walker maintains our website free of charge to the WCA. He states that no one submits content to him. If anyone has any content to submit, please contact Arlen for details. The terms of office of Sandy Pahl, Arlen Walker and Dennis Kosterman expire today. I want to thank all of the Board members for their hard work this past year.