2024 WCA President's Report

2024 WCA President’s Report
April 1, 2024

A reminder that US Chess has signed a contract with the Madison Marriott West to host the 2025 US Open! The dates are July 28 – August 3. The first thing to note is that that is only seven days. The 2025 event will be the first of the new seven-day format US Opens. There will still be nine rounds with the Traditional schedule doubling up rounds on two of the first three days. Shorter schedules such as a four day and most likely a five or six-day schedule will also be available. All schedules merge Friday evening in round seven.

I’m impressed by the number of new organizers and events held in the state. We have to work cooperatively however in our scheduling of weekend events. There is a problem with concurrent or adjacent weekend events that are making our players select which events they go to instead of possibly participating in multiple events. Organizers need to work together in setting dates for their events. The way to do that is to contact our tournament clearinghouse (an official US Chess post) who happens to be Guy Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He will let you know what other organizers are planning and let you know if your dates have already been taken. I suggest not signing contracts until you get with Guy.

Striking a blow to our organizational efforts is that UW-Oshkosh’s Gruenhagen Conference Center due to UW-Oshkosh’s financial problems, no longer has any staff to check people in or clean the rooms after the event. Due to this the recent State Scholastic Championship was reduced to a one-day event. For the first time since 1987, it will necessitate us looking for a different location for the Junior Open and Veterans Tournaments. If you have any suggestions for venues for any of our events, please contact a Board member.

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 may need to e-mail me so that I can publish the event.

WCA’s financials continue to be on extremely strong ground.

Ken Rasmussen, Robin Grochowski and Reid Pezewski have terms as WCA Board members expire March 31, 2024. All three were re-nominated along with Steve Erbach, Zaher Haidar and two others. Ken, Robin and the two others declined nomination. With only three accepting nominations, all three were elected by acclimation. My thanks to Ken and Robin for their dedicated service to Wisconsin chess. I want to especially call out Ken’s dedicated service as our treasurer for the past 15 years. He did a remarkable job straightening out and maintaining our books. Thank you Ken!

We met this past week and elected the following officers of the WCA for 2024:

President: Mike Nietman

Vice President: Guy Hoffman

Treasurer: Neil Hogg

Secretary: Reid Pezewski

In addition, Neil is taking over as Wisconsin Chess Tour Statistician. Organizers or Tour events need to send their checks ($1 per entry) and a wall chart (not crosstable) of their Tour event to Neil. Prizes for the Tour come from the entries to Tour events.

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, the Rapid and Blitz State Championships 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.

The 2024 State Scholastic Championships was held in March in Oshkosh under the organization of Chris Wainscott and Alex Betaneli. They had just under 400 attend! Congratulations to University School of Milwaukee for winning the state team championship! The Milwaukee School of Languages won the K-8 state championship and the Milwaukee German Immersion School defended again their K-5 state championship.

Since the State Scholastic is a team Swiss event at the high school level, Wisconsin uses the Wisconsin Junior Open as its qualifier for the national state invitational events. Please plan to participate in the event to qualify for the 2025 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 which will be held in conjunction with the US Open in Midleton, WI. In 2024 these events will be held in Norfolk, VA. Our representatives will be Hersh Singh (Denker) and Aradh Kaur (Haring). Playoffs are needed yet to determine our Barber and Rockefeller reps. Competing in the playoffs are Nicholas Pennington-Cross and Jind Kaur in the Barber and Yueze Huang and Ishaan Harsha in the Rockefeller. Good luck team Wisconsin!

With the same format as the Denker, Barber, Rockefeller and Haring is the John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions. We use the Veterans Tournament held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Junior Open to select our representative. Bryan Lilly will be our 2024 rep.

As noted above, in conjunction with the US Open in 2025 the National State Invitationals will be in Middleton, WI. That means that we need to identify not only our rep for each event but also an alternate who will play in their event if there is an otherwise odd number of players. The idea being US Chess doesn’t want someone travelling across the country to receive a bye. The alternate will take part in the opening ceremony and receive a medal. Alternates need to be available to play in any round in the event of someone needing to miss a round.

Also, as chair of the National State Invitationals that oversees the invitationals at the US Open, I’m waiting to see if there is room at the Marriott to expand the list of invitationals. Thanks to the sponsorship of John D Rockefeller V, US Chess is starting the Paul Morphy National Tournament of K-1 State Champions. (John will also sponsor a GM Maurice Ashley National Tournament of K-3 State Champions that will start before 2030 as well.) So, we may need to identify a rep and alternate for the K-1 event for 2025.

Congratulations to 2023 Wisconsin State Champions John Zapata for capturing the 2023 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.

Hope to see you at a tournament or club soon!

Respectfully submitted by WCA President, Mike Nietman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..