2007 Chess Journalists of America
The following list of prize winners in this year's CJA Awards program was provided by Pete Tamburro, Chief Judge of CJA and Chairman of the Awards Committee.
Note from Chief Judge: Congratulations to the award winners. The judges frequently reported the closeness of their rankings, and several veteran judges observed that the quality this year was superior to previous years. You will note that sometimes there are several honorable mentions and sometimes none. Honorable Mention does not mean second place. It means that the entry was of such quality that it could very well have won if not for the winner. On a scale of 1-10 judges have to have awarded it all 8's and 9's, unless the chief judge felt a particular score was unjustifiably low. My thanks to Howard Goldowsky for his attention and leadership for category 24 and to Arlen Walker, who acted as chief judge in categories 19 and 21, where the chief judge was entered. Judges were chosen who had never met the chief judge and Arlen Walker was chosen for his integrity and for also having never met the chief judge.
As for the categories, the Cramer Awards Committee has not sent us the official results as of yet. Since the chief judge had some serious disagreements with Don Schultz of the Cramer Committee, he had resigned from the committee before their meeting, so cannot report with confidence what he heard. The Chess Journalist of the Year is known: Mig Greengard by CJA vote. Dan Heisman second place.
With categories 6-24, here are some tidbits. Category 7 had huge disagreements among the judges, which only points out the subjectivity of much of this. Category 10, tournament reports, had 19 entries, and judges agonized over their rankings because of the high quality of the reports. Our youngest winner, Jonathan Hilton, who received an honorable mention, has offered proof that we should encourage young talents. Category 23, special recognition, is not a ranking type judging. Each item is judged as being "special" in its own way. Susan Polgar's commencement address before a major university may very well be a first. We will be making the text available for the website and magazine. The mainstream media awards were given to very deserving articles, but everyone seemed to agree we had a winner out of New Orleans. CJA members should note that this category is to not only recognize mainstream journalism (and we defined that much better this year), but to make these mainstream media productions aware of the CJA!
This is my last year as Chief Judge. I have enjoyed working with the reasonable people who were judges and entrants. I have enjoyed bending the rules for late entries because of oversights or personal problems. I have enjoyed working with people who tried to make positive efforts to improve this system. I think it's great that our president and secretary have produced certificates to be proud of, and worth every extra penny.
I have not enjoyed the volume of entries taking over my living room and dining room. I remember Helen Warren talking about that years ago and to do it is to understand it. I have not enjoyed the sniping of people on the internet who criticize us and even attack me personally. I have not enjoyed the egos of some people who consider themselves and their own agendas more important than the good of chess journalism in the United States. I've done this too many times over the years and the whole thing has simply worn me out, as with all the other chess politics nonsense. It's time for others of good will to step up.
Pete Tamburro, Chief Judge
Cramer Award Categories
Chess Journalist of the Year (by CJA vote)
Gallery of Distinguished Chess Journalists
Best Chess Column, Any Media
Best State Magazine/Editor, Open Division
Most Notable Achievement in Correspondence Chess Journalism
Best Layout (Three way tie for first place)
Best Chess Art
Best Tournament Report, Any Media
Best Regular Newspaper Column
Best Regular Newspaper Column of Local Interest
Best State Web Site
Best General Web Site
Best Human Interest Story
Best Historical Article
Best Interview (Three way tie)
Best Review (Chief Judge for this category: Arlen Walker)
Best Instruction (Chief Judge for this category: Arlen Walker)
Best Humorous Contribution
Special Recognition Award (Multiple Winners)
Excellence in Chess Writing, Mainstream Media