Gruenhagen Conference Center, UW-Oshkosh May 24, 1998

Wisconsin chess is entering an intriguing period. Many new clubs, organizers and tournament directors have popped up all over the state. Growing pains remain. The key to overcoming these growing pains is planning. Organizers must work together when planning events. When selecting dates please consult with our tournament clearinghouse. (Currently this is Guy Hoffman.) Recently three Milwaukee area clubs ran events on three consecutive weekends with generally poor turnouts. Last December two tournaments were held on the same day. Economically, there is a finite amount of dollars our players can spend on events. Organizers must work together to maximize our tournament successes.

Another intriguing part of this period is the outreach our clubs are doing to attract national figures and national events. Congratulations to the Milwaukee area clubs who arranged for GM Bisguier to come to Milwaukee earlier this month for a series of lectures and simuls.

Once again I will be attending the Wisconsin Education Association Council's convention in October in Madison. But this year I've arranged at no cost to us for Beatriz Marinello, the USCF Scholastic Director, to deliver a two hour presentation on why chess should be included in schools. The talk will include a detailed discussion of current studies. She also will be available in our booth on the convention floor. Tell your teacher friends to attend!

The most exciting news of all is that the Greater Milwaukee Convention Bureau, the Milwaukee Public Schools, the UW-Milwaukee Chess Club and the WCA will jointly sponsor a bid for the 2000 National High School Championship.

The bid must be completed by July with the USCF Policy Board awarding the event in November. Volunteers are needed now to assist the organizational team. Sponsors, trophy dealers, computer firms, cell phone companies must all be contacted. On-site volunteers need to be coordinated. The list of jobs is endless.

If you are interested in working on this project, please contact me.

As I'm sure you read, Badger Chess is counting down to its last issue at the end of 1999. With help, in 1982 Bill Williams and Wray McCalester started Badger Chess. At first they alternated each month being the editor. When Wray moved on to the USCF office, Bill took over as full time editor.

The magazine has won several awards. It could have won many more but Bill refused to enter issues for review by the awards committee of the Chess Journalists of America. Let's encourage Bill to submit issues these final two years.

Bill, Wisconsin chess is indebted to you. Thanks for the great run! You've done a super job!!

This past winter, Kirk Plankey started a new magazine dedicated to northeast Wisconsin players and their games. Unfortunately in a recent letter to subscribers, Kirk states that for various reasons he is giving up his quest and that full refunds will be forthcoming.

To begin the new millennium Wisconsin will be without a state-wide publication. At the Board meeting immediately following this membership meeting, I will request that the Board approve the creation of a committee to perform a feasibility study to produce a WCA sponsored magazine.

The WCA normally sponsors six events each year. The State Closed Championship starts off the year. During fall we hold the Wisconsin Junior Open and Veteran's Tournaments, the William Martz Memorial/North Central Open and the Herman Schramm Memorial. Our chess year ends each spring with the Arpad Elo Open.

As many of you know, the 1997 calendar year was not good for us as the Elo and North Central were not held. Thanks to Yogi Lilly and the Waukesha club for running the 1998 Elo. My bid for the 1998 North Central was approved at our last Board meeting. It will be held at the Eau Claire Holiday Inn.

My thanks to Tom Feeney and the Racine Chess Club Board of Directors for switching dates with the WCA this fall. The Junior Open and Veterans Tournament will be held October 10-11 in Oshkosh and the Racine/Kenosha Open will be November 14-15. The switch was due to a booking problem here at Gruenhagen.

As announced last year due to cumulative losses over the past few years, the WCA has changed most of its tournament prize funds from guaranteed to based on. We cannot continue to lose money.

My thanks to John Rummel for taking over the job of maintaining our website. Its new address is

Please check it out and send John your tournament announcements, tournament reports and games. He'll be glad to hear from you!

The WCA received $537 this year from the USCF for our state's share of the State Affiliate Support Program money. We used $400 to support four programs and to reserve $137 for future use.

First, for the Junior Open we reduce entry fees for those that send in more than four entries in the same envelope. This helped ease the huge workload for the TD's at the event. Seventy five participated in this program that invites juniors and schools to get active and recruit others to come to the tournament thereby benefiting both the schools and the event long term.

Second, we continue to strive for excellence in tournament organization and direction by funding the Merit Award Program. (If you are interested in more detailed information on this or any other WCA program, please contact me later.)

Third, due to a request from several postal players, the WCA donated $50 to help defray the cost of flyer printing and mailing for the 1998 Wisconsin Postal Chess Championship. We are pleased to help this often overlooked group of chess players.

Fourth, the WCA has started a fund to purchase a proper memorial to Marshall Rohland in the form of a traveling trophy for the winner of the reserve section of the State Closed Championship.

The 1998 Wisconsin Scholastic Championship attracted 373 participants! Congratulations to Madison West for winning their first team championship.

Congratulations to Guy Hoffman for winning the 1997 Wisconsin Chess Tour. If organizers want their event on the tour, they should contact me or Guy, who is the Tour Committee chairman, by the middle of November of the year before the Tour. The Board will be looking at revising the prize fund for the 1999 Tour. With the recent rating deflation we will look at moving the class prizes down one level. This means that the expert prize will disappear and the 'C' and Under prize will be split into a 'C' prize and a 'D' and Under prize.

A great deal of thanks go to all the Board members for their hard work and many hours of time spent on chess endeavors this past year. Special thanks to Guy Hoffman and Matt Merrill who along with myself have our terms of office expire today.