2021 WCA President's Report

2021 WCA President’s Report

April 1, 2021

Ugh. What a year!? The pandemic has cancelled every in person event since February, 2020. Hopefully the end is near and we get back to doing what we all want to do – play over-the-board club and tournament chess!

Online chess has thrived but some just don’t trust that option. Others have devoted time to studying the game. It’ll be interesting to watch ratings once we start up again.

In the meantime, the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit has opened the door to chess participation like nothing else since the Fischer boom of the 1970’s. Hopefully our clubs can open soon to bring in and develop that new found crowd.

I am saddened to report the recent passing of Mike Selig, founder of the NorthEastern Open Chess Championships and organizer and director of numerous other events around the state. He ran the Appleton Chess Club for decades. Mike was my main mentor in organizing events and deeded me the NorthEastern Open a few years ago to continue the legacy. I’m proud to announce the new name of the event as the Mike Selig Memorial/NorthEastern Open Chess Championships.

One other interesting project, I’ve been in communication with a gentleman in La Crosse who is on a sister city committee between La Crosse and Dubna, Russia. They are going to hold a chess match on Saturday, April 3 on Chess.com. Good luck to them!

Without revenue or expenses and thanks to some donations the WCA continues on strong financial footing.

Chris Wainscott, Robin Grochowski and Ken Rasmussen terms as Board members expire in 2021. All three were nominated and accepted nomination. With only three nominees all are re-elected to the Board for three year terms.

Officers for 2021 will be

  • President: Mike Nietman
  • Vice-President: Guy Hoffman
  • Treasurer: Ken Rasmussen
  • Secretary: Andy Becker

The pandemic has also affected the US Chess Federation. Luckily we have a limited reserve fund but the Executive Board has started to tap into that fund. 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.

The US Chess Delegates voted to expand the Executive Board to eight elected members starting in 2021. So there are three seats on the Executive Board open for election this summer. The newly minted Nominations Committee has identified four candidates for the three slots. Please review their candidate statements in the April, May and June Chess Life magazines (which you can view online if you have a regular membership). If you’ve registered in the past or register to vote by May 1 on your dashboard at new.uschess.org/ (then click on ‘Member Site Login’) and will be a member on May 30 then you’ll receive a ballot in early June that will need to be returned by July 20 or so. There is an option on your dashboard that you can change to receive an electronic ballot instead of having to snail mail your ballot back to the election teller.

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..

The WCA is looking at alternatives to the cancelled Junior Open to name 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 2021 these events will be held in conjunction with the US Open in Cherry Hill, NJ or possibly online like they were in 2020. Good luck team!

With the same format as the Denker, Barber, Rockefeller and Haring is the National Senior Tournament of Champions. Normally we use the Veterans Tournament held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Junior Open in November to select our representative. For the 2021 NSTOC our rep will be Mike LaBudde who was unable to participate in the 2020 event due to an accident. Good luck Mike!

Organizers desiring to have their event considered for Wisconsin Chess 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..

I also ask that clubs review their club’s content on the Clubs page of our website at www.wischess.org/clubs. Please pass along any updates to me or if you are part of a new club and want to get listed, let me know that too with all the pertinent information.

Hope to see you across the board soon!

Respectfully submitted by WCA President, Mike Nietman