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Annual CJA Meetings
From Alexandra Kosteniuk, Women's World Chess Champion and CJA President
Dear CJA Membership:
Sorry I cannot be there with you all today at the CJA annual meeting, since I am in Europe for a few months competing in various international chess tournaments including the Chess Olympiads and the Women's World Chess Championship, both in classical chess and in blitz chess. I will be back in Miami before the end of the year, ready to take on new challenges for 2011, both in competition and in Chess Journalism.
First of all I'd like to congratulate the whole membership with a fine recently concluded Awards Program. The new 2010 CJA Journalist of the Year award was won deservingly by Dan Heisman, for his untiring contribution to excellence in chess journalism. I am very happy for Dan and congratulate him wholeheartedly. I was also very pleased to see the improvements to the program itself, with new categories that attracted more entries (and winners!), as well as a more modern specially designed web site http://cjaawards.org , which showcased most entries and allowed them to be downloaded. The site also provided total openness and a nicely designed voting system (ratings 0-2), making it easier for judges as well as for everybody to see that the process was fair. A fine job by Ramon Hernandez, whom I thank for his work going the extra mile to do things right. This should help us improve even more for the 2011 Award program, I'm already looking forward to it!
As for the issues to be discussed today, in acccordance to the by-laws I will be naming an individual within the next month or so to chair CJA's By-laws Committee. From what I have heard, there are portions of the By-laws which should be updated and will be done so with final approval by the entire membership slated next year at our annual meeting in Orlando. As always, I will be glad to listen to your opinions, which you can share with me at your convenience.
With regards to the current vacant position of CJA's Vice President, I am in favor of keeping the position left vacated (since the moment when I was elevated to my current role) until next year's elections. Given that there is a succession order already in place as set forth in the by-laws, it seems simpler and more fair to all, to wait until all three elected executive members are voted in next year. I hope you will agree with me, I'm just trying to be fair and give a chance to all to give it a shot next year for any position they may seek.
I will be instructing our elections committee chairperson to begin the process of setting up for next year's CJA elections and offer my full support to anybody who seeks to run for any of the positions available. With your agreement and support, as well as with the support of the whole CJA membership, I am ready to continue to promote excellence in Chess Journalism for one more term and will begin the necessary paperwork shortly to be placed on the ballot. Though I cannot be with you this year, I plan on being with you all next year in Orlando.
As always you may reach me via e-mail at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org . Feel free to write and share your suggestions and questions.
Again I thank you for your dedication and strong involvement to the Chess Journalists of America. This is a very important time for chess, and we need you all to spread the love of our beloved game. Please continue to make your love of chess contagious, and do it in all chess journalistic ways you can! Please continue to be CJA members, and don't hesitate to invite your friends to join, if they help promote chess in the world, we need them! I will continue to do my best to help the CJA organization and chess in any positive way I can, you can count on me for that!
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk