Letter 5/16/2001 (NJHS)

The 2002 National Junior High School Chess Championship is coming to Milwaukee! The U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) has arranged for the event to be held at the Midwest Express Center in downtown Milwaukee on May 9-12, 2002. The players will be housed right across the street at the host hotel, the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

Some of my most memorable events in chess have been playing in three national high school championships, being the local organizer for the 1990 World Youth Chess Festival, organizing and directing the last nine Wisconsin Scholastic Championships and attending the recent Supernationals II in Kansas City as a floor tournament director.

Because of my efforts on youth chess, I have been asked by Tom Brownscombe, USCF Scholastic Director and Chief Organizer of this event, to be the official Wisconsin liaison to the event. Since I live in western Wisconsin, the logistical challenge is great. Therefore, I truly need your help to make this event a great success!

We have been offered an outstanding opportunity that if done properly can lead to additional, future national events! To be done successfully, we need everyone to assist.

For the teams and players, play! The event will be in four sections: K-9 Championship, K-8 Championship, K-8 Under 1000 and K-8 Under 750. (1000 and 750 are USCF ratings.) The event will be an individual, seven round Swiss. 1200 entrants are projected. Trophies will be awarded to the top 25 individuals and top 25 teams in each section. In addition, class prize trophies will be awarded. Please note that USCF membership is required to participate in this event.

Opening events begin Thursday, May 9 with Bughouse and Blitz tournaments. Current plans are for these events to be held at the Hilton Hotel as the convention center is not available until noon on Thursday.

For the tournament directors, direct! This will give you the opportunity to work with distinguished national TD's and to add a national scholastic event to your directing resume! This will aid you in upgrading your level of certification. We will need sixteen floor TD's and five pairing TD's who have WinTD experience.

For the parents, coaches and other clubs members, volunteer! This will give you an opportunity to assist in a prestigious national event while supporting your child, student or club!

Please note that for many of the volunteer positions, no knowledge of the game of chess is required, only a desire to help. Everyone is encouraged to assist, even if you can only volunteer for one day, it will make a difference!

Who is qualified to help? Everyone!

There are many positions to be filled by volunteers and every position is important to the success of the tournament. For example,

  • Tournament Floor Control Specialists. This includes room setup Thursday May 9 afternoon and evening (boards, sets and board numbers) and crowd control through out the tournament. Also, sets need to be picked up quickly after the last round for sale at the bookstore.
  • Demo Board Operators for the top two boards in each championship section
  • Scorekeepers to assist each section's chief TD with results
  • Reception Staff responsible for greeting teams arriving by air
  • Award's Ceremony Assistants
  • Food Service Assistants to the TD's and volunteers
  • "Chess Control" Workers (to assist the USCF staff and to give out information about the area)
  • Press Relations Assistants

and many, many more jobs I haven't thought of yet! Believe me when I say that all help will be appreciated!

Now I am keenly aware that Wisconsin has more high school players than players in any other scholastic age group. The challenge of being host to the National Junior High School Championship is formidable. I'll need help from many people. The USCF has been made aware that if we do a superior job of being host to this event, we expect to host the National High School Championship in a few years. Eventually, we hope to attract the US Open.

Please forward a copy of this letter to the parents of the chessplayers who will be eligible to participate in this event next year and to the members of your club. Then, if they can help in any manner, have them forward their names to me or to you so we can get a working list of names of volunteers for this event.

Enclosed is a copy of the preliminary flyer for next year's national scholastic events. Please note that there is a wrong phone number listed for the Hilton. It should be 414-271-7250 instead of 414-272-7250.

With your help we can make Milwaukee famous in the chess world!




Mike Nietman

WCA President