WCA President’s Report

2010 Annual Membership Meeting

Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, Madison

September 5, 2010



The WCA had another quiet year.  Our financial position continues to be strong.  To keep being strong as an organization we need to continue to develop new organizers and tournament directors so there is continued need for mentoring them.  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.


Unfortunately last May the USCF Executive Board voted 3-2 to deny our bid to host the 2013 US Open in Madison.  The main reason given was that a majority of the board didn’t think that Madison was enough of a destination city for a US Open.  Of course we disagree with that viewpoint and I’ll continue probing for a possible opening for us.  It should be noted that USCF National Event Director Pat Knight Smith told me that the proposed contract from the Middleton Marriott was the “best US Open bid she’d ever received.”  Basically she asked for everything with the thought of giving things back as needed but they gave her everything she asked for.  Wisconsin last hosted a US Open in 1954 so it is about time!


I’m happy to see so many events on our fall calendar but there is a dearth of events in the spring.  Several spring events have either moved or ceased to exist.  Organizers should consider holding events in the spring and early summer as there is a void to fill.  Players have expressed this to me.  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..


I want to thank everyone for their support the last two years in my runs for USCF Executive Board.  This year I was fortunate enough to win the three way special election for two, one-year terms on the EB.  USCF Executive Director Bill Hall told me that the difference between me and the second place finisher was Wisconsin as we were fairly even over all the other states.  I took my seat on the EB at the recent Delegate’s Meeting at the US Open.  In our first EB meeting I was voted USCF Secretary.  For the remainder of the Delegate’s Meeting Sandy Pahl was elevated from Alternate Delegate to Delegate to take my former seat.


Following this meeting, in our next WCA Board Meeting we’ll be electing our delegates for next year’s national meetings which will be held in Orlando.


One item that the delegates passed was to create a voter registration for future EB elections.  If you wish to vote in EB elections you’ll need to register by March 31 but the exact methodology to do so is still being developed.  Registration is a one-time event, as long as membership stays current,  I will send out an e-mail letting everyone know how to do that.


As I stated, my current EB seat is only for one year.  That means I get to run yet again next year.  I have nomination papers with me and if you’d like to sign them, please let me know.


Fortunately the USCF is through most of the lawsuits that have dragged down their finances.  One last case stemming from the Polgar-Truong group of lawsuits is stayed pending a criminal case in California.


The USCF EB did vote last July to become involved in an arbitration case siding with Anatoly Karpov’s campaign as FIDE President against incumbent FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who is also running.    The case will be heard later this month in the Court of Sport in Switzerland.  However, the cost exposure to the USCF is minimal as the lawyers engaged are working the case pro bono and Karpov’s campaign has promised to pick up any extraneous costs.


When all was said and done, the USCF had a $30,000 loss last year.  This was mainly due to some write-offs, lawsuits and final pay outs to an old employee benefit program.  This year the Delegates approved a budget with a $100,000 surplus.  Times will be tough for a couple of years yet, then the future looks much brighter.


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. 


Congratulations to University School of Milwaukee for dethroning seven time defending champion Madison West at the State Scholastic Championships.  Last March 420 students participated at UW-Oshkosh.  Congratulations to Neenah Middle School for capturing their first K-8 State Team Championship and to New Berlin Elmwood Elementary for capturing their first K-5 State Team Championship. 


The 2010 Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions was held in conjunction with the US Open in Irvine, CA.  Our representative was James Bowen of University School of Milwaukee.  He finished 2-3-1 in a highly competitive event.  The Delegates authorized a new event next year, an invitational tournament for K-8 State Champions with the eventual goal of having a tournament of elementary state champions and a tournament of middle school state champions.  The exact cutoffs are still being worked out with the various scholastic committees of the USCF but the event will start with a K-8 event next year.


Congratulations to John Veech for capturing the 2009 Wisconsin Chess Tour title.   Organizers desiring to have their event considered for Tour status need to contact Guy by November of the year before the tour.  The WCA wishes to thank Neil Gleason for volunteering to take over as Tour Statistician.


The WCA website may be viewed at www.wischess.org.  Tournament organizers are now able to add calendar items themselves and we encourage them to do so.  It is free advertising for their events.  We have not received any new stories in years 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 Arlen or me.  Arlen may be reached at through the contact webmaster link and I may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


Continued thanks to WCA Treasurer Ken Rasmussen for keeping our financial books in order.  He provides the Board with excellent financial statements and statistics.


The terms of office of Guy Hoffman, Peter Webster and Mike Nietman expire today.  I want to thank all of the Board members for their hard work and dedication this past year.  I also regret to announce that board member Ashish Vaja has resigned his seat on the board citing a business opportunity too good to pass up in Illinois.  So, the fourth place finisher in today’s election shall assume the remaining two years of his term.