2020 WCA President's Report

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.

Sandy Hoffman, Jeff Peck and Randy Bubolz’s terms as Board members expire in 2020. After the nomination period ended Jeff resigned his seat on the Board. With only two confirmed nominees Sandy and Randy are elected to the Board for three year terms. With an open seat, according to our bylaws, the president is able to fill the open seat. If you are interested in sitting on the WCA Board, please e-mail me with a statement of interest at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Priority will be given to a person willing to do some tournament organizing but those with other skillsets are welcome as well.

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.

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..

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.

Tournament organizers are able to add calendar entries to our website calendar and we encourage them to do so. It is free advertising for their events. After submission, you need to e-mail me so that I can approve the event. We have received only a couple of news stories this year 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 me. I may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hope to see you across the board soon!

Respectfully submitted by WCA President, Mike Nietman