Nominations received for
Chess Journalist of the Year (2008)


Cramer Award Category
Category 1: Chess Journalist of the Year
Nominations should be sent to the Chief Judge for the CJA with a supporting statement. This should be a person who has greatly contributed to chess journalism this past year. Only work in the past year should be considered.

For a full list of CJA Awards categories see: 2008 Chess Journalists of America Awards.

Ballots for voting by CJA members will be distributed in the June 2008 issue of The Chess Journalist.
You may also email your vote to the chief judge
. Each member may vote once. Only individuals listed in the current Membership List may vote.

Votes must be received by July 26, 2008 to insure they are counted.

Kosteniuk Heisman Donlan Peterson

Following are the statements provided by the nominators.

Note that the Award is for work done during the last year, not for their career.


GM Kosteniuk

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk

Alexandra Kosteniuk is a chess Grandmaster (with the GM men title) ranked in the top 10 women in the world continuously since 2004 (#8 in April 2008 with 2523 ELO, highest #3 in 2006 with 2540 ELO), who continually works to promote chess in the world. Some examples of her work for the period 2007-2008:

Maintains her own site http://www.kosteniuk.com regularly adding news, photos, competitions, games. Site visited by 700-2000 daily fans and visitors.

Continues the “Chess is Cool” Audio podcast started in November 2005 and now a popular chess audio podcast on the web see http://www.kosteniuk.com/podcast/ Episodes available free on iTunes and more than 1,000 regular subscribers.

Created in 2007 the new free instructional chess video podcast “Chess Killer Tips” http://www.chesskillertips.com/ which has 3,000 regular subscribers (who get episodes immediately as soon as they are listed in iTunes) and many episodes over 10,000 views, many more if you count the copies posted by fans on YouTube, Google Video, and other video sites. Chess Killer Tips is by far the top free chess video podcast on the web today. More than 50 episodes available for free.

Top contributor since 2007-2008 of the new video chess sites http://chessmovies.com/ (Quicktime video) and http://www.tubechess.com/ (Flash video) regularly posting there commented blitz videos, as well as tournament report videos. Alexandra is an exceptional chess blitz commentator and the games she selects to comment (her own or of other GM’s) are most instructive. Several videos have passed the 10,000 views line.

Created in 2006 and continued in 2007-2008 a series of chess comics called “Chess is Cool”, with her text and illustrations of well-known artist René Duret, distributed free to schools and magazines in order to promote chess with children. See http://www.kosteniuk.com/comics/comics.php.

Created in 2006 and continuing now a chess school for kids 3 to 7 in Moscow, where Alexandra teaches personally when she is in Moscow, The school's site is http://www.azbukachess.com/

Gives lectures for free in the USA to schools, especially in her home state of Florida, she is partner of the Miami-Dade School System and participates for free to scholastics and other educational events see http://miami-dadechess.blogspot.com/ for a recent talk to the Miami Beach High School (see April 1, 2008 entry).

Participates in celebrity running events for example the Miami Celebrity 5K race http://www.celebrity5k.com/celebrities.asp where she promoted chess to the press and helped raise fund for the Partnership for the Homeless (http://www.cphi.org/) She also finished 1st of her age category with very good time of approx. 22 minutes, showing that chess champions can be also in good physical shape.

Writes chess articles with analysis of her games from tournaments and offers them to chess magazines for publication, most recently her team victory in Crete landed her cover photo in Europe-Echecs chess magazine and several long articles in various other magazines. Alexandra’s articles always include deeply analyzed games.

Alexandra is probably the woman chess champion who has been the most on the cover of chess and non-chess magazines, from India to Spain, passing by Russia, Singapore, France, Italy, Poland, etc. See http://www.chesspics.com/index.php?e=64 for a pictorial review, New covers were added in the last year, thanks to the success in October-November 2007 in Crete (winning Gold at the European Team Championships, Board #1 for Russia).

Alexandra has written in 2007 a new book “Play like Kosteniuk” that she sells at the very discounted price of $5.99 so as to promote chess. Through her Chess Fund she has donated half of the print run to children in low-income schools, and regularly runs competitions and gives out dozens of books to winners.

Alexandra promotes the Fischer-Random chess variant, by winning the 2006 World Chess960 Championship and then defending her title this year in July 2008, in Mainz, Germany. She has given lectures about Fischer Random Chess and has written articles about it, published in several magazines. See http://www.playchess960.com/ for details.

Alexandra and her team have created a convenient pgn player that works even with Chess960 positions, see http://www.playchess960.com/chess960player/pgn.html it is a very nice looking board that works flawlessly, you can even type in moves in the box or copy-paste full pgn’s in the box and the board will play perfectly all moves.

Alexandra has accepted to put all her photos, including all fashion chess photos on the site http://www.chesspics.com/ which attracts a great number of fans to see the best chess portraits of chess GM’s. Most of Alexandra’s photos are to be found online for free.

Alexandra has co-authored in 2007 with her mother a book to teach parents and teachers to teach chess to kids 3-7 years old. The book is used in Alexandra’s school in Moscow and has also been donated to many kinder gartens around Russia. The first edition is in Russian and she is looking for an editor for the English version.

Alexandra has created in 2007 a chess blitz DVD with her commented games from the 2005 Golden Blitz Tourney, which she won with Ruslan Ponomarev. All games are commented, as well as a tandem game Ponomarev + Bareev against Kosteniuk + Skripchenko. This last game can be seen for free on http://www.chessmovies.com and http://www.tubechess.com

Alexandra gives lectures around the world about chess, a recent one from April 2008 on the Ruy Lopez is available for free on the web (in small size Flash or Quicktime), on http://www.chessmovies.com and http://www.tubechess.com.

Alexandra gives to deserving chess charities (for example The Silver Knights Alzheimer Charity http://www.thesilverknights.org/) so that they can grow and help others to play and learn chess. She is very much involved in supporting chess in the developing country of Colombia, South America and sponsors a school for underprivileged children there.

Due to her high profile Alexandra is often approached by the press for interviews and she always accepts press interview requests. She recently was featured in the “Chess Me Out” Documentary see http://chessmovies.com/index.php?id=103 (Quicktime) or http://www.tubechess.com/index.php?id=107 (Flash), and in several chess and non-chess magazines, in the USA and abroad.

And this is all for a period where she had a baby girl, Francesca, born prematurely at 29 weeks on April 22, 2007. When things calm down a little Alexandra will do even more to promote chess in the world. In 2008 apart from these projects she is planning to play in the Women World Championship and the Olympiads, the two largest chess events in the women’s chess calendar, and she is training very hard for them.

Winning the Chess Journalist of the Year Award would provide Alexandra with recognition for what she is doing, and will give her even more energy to continue to promote chess in America and in the World. As the winner of the award, she will also promote high quality chess journalism as well as the CJA itself.


Dan Heisman

Dan Heisman

  • “Ask the Renaissance Man” show on Chess.FM – for a while he was going twice a week until they hired John Watson. So for a few months he got a chance to not only have his regular Thursday Q&A show, but also a Tuesday guest show that featured Bill Goichberg, Dr. Mark Glickman, Larry Kaufman, Vas Rajlich (Rybka), Mike Leahy (Bookup), etc.
  • Recorded five ICC instruction videos in May which are released to both ICC and WCL.
  • Discussed chess on the Sep 10, 2007 Howard Stern show on Sirius Satellite Radio 4)
  • Covered scholastic chess (games) for the PA State newspaper Pennswoodpusher via the column “Junior Gems”
  • Donated ~1,000 copies of “A Parent’s Guide to Chess” book for distribution at the National Elementary
  • Finished the fourth edition of the book Elements of Positional Evaluation for publication in 2009
  • His Novice Nook column on Chess Cafe is a continuing wealth of instructional material for scholastic coaches everywhere. His numbered archive has now hit the 80s
  • This award is long overdue.

Mark Donlan

Mark Donlan

Mark has an extensive and impressive list of journalistic credentials. Among his work in chess journalism, he is:

  1. Editor of Chess Horizons, the official magazine of the Massachusetts Chess Association (www.masschess.org) since September 2000. He is responsible for content and design.
  2. Editor for ChessCafe.com from 2001-present. He is responsible for editing and creating Web-based articles.
  3. Editor for Russell Enterprises from 2001-present. He is responsible for editing and publication design. In the past year he has worked on titles such as Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual (2nd edition), Victor Bologan: Selected Games 1985-2004, Common Sense in Chess, A Strategic Opening Repertoire (2nd edition), The Art of Bisguier, Selected Games 1961-2003, ChessCafe Puzzle Book (2nd edition), and Topalov-Kramnik - 2006 World Chess Championship. Plus he authored the introduction to chess play for Back to Basics: Fundamentals and designed the Deluxe Tournament Scorebook.
  4. Web manager for USCFSales.com
  5. Editorial consultant for Lev Alburt's Building Up Your Chess.
  6. Editorial consultant for Susan Polgar's Chess in 24 Hours.
  7. Editorial consultant for Michael de La Maza's Rapid Chess Improvement.

Mark has also been a freelance proofreader for Thinkers Press Inc., a chess columnist for the Cape Cod Times newspaper, and a USCF Certified Chess Instructor. His work has won many awards for Chess Horizons magazine, but he himself has never won the award for Chess Journalist of the Year, which, in my opinion, he richly deserves. -- George Mirijanian


Macauley Peterson

Macauley Peterson

Macauley Peterson is a media developer & foreign correspondent for ICC Chess.FM and writes for Chess Life and Chess Life Online.

The past couple of years has seen a growth in the industry for on-the-spot chess video reporting - and none come better than those professionally produced by ICC's Macauley Peterson.

Macauley is a new force in the chess media as ICC's roving reporter, bringing to the general chess public arguably the finest video footage from elite events this year, such as Corus, Linares, Amber and the Mtel Masters. All his work is made freely available to the general public and not just restricted to ICC (Internet Chess Club) members.

Macauley recently completed a masters degree in Film Studies at Amsterdam University, and his name can be found in the Internet Movie Database being involved in series film work, such as editor on Adam Nemett's independent feature film, The Instrument, which appeared at the 2005 Dances With WFilms festival, in L.A., and was part of New York's Anthology Film Archives' New Filmmakers series.

With his knowledge and skills behind the camera and in the editing process, Macauley has presented a side to the elite chess tournament scene (and the superstars involved in it) that the public rarely - if ever - see.

He's become an integral part of ICC Chess.FM's live radio coverage from the press room of these elite events - and at his last event (the Mtel Masters In Sofia, Bulgaria), he did live interviews with the likes of Vassily Ivanchuk (minutes after he won the title), Boris Spassky, Veselin Topalov and Genna Sosonko. All can be viewed and listened to here http://webcast.chessclub.com/Mtel08/GOTD/Macauley.html

His best work in the last year includes his daily reports from the Amber tournament in Nice, France (http://webcast.chessclub.com/Amber08/GOTD/Macauley.html), Linares (his four favorite videos can be found here at http://www.macauleypeterson.com/WP/?p=66) and a special Bobby Fischer Remembered tribute (http://webcast.chessclub.com/Corus08/GOTD/Macauley.html) from Corus the day after the former world champion died.

Winning the Chess Journalist of America award would immediately recognize this new media of video coverage direct from major chess events, and Macauley Peterson as the preeminent exponent of this new media form.


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