Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order and zoom recording began only to be interrupted seconds later by the gentleman delivering the requested technology.  The recording was pause and not restarted, so sadly we can’t all view the meeting.  Below are meeting minutes for anyone interested.  There is also a list of attendees and a copy of the materials that were handed out.


First we had the elections.  All appointed individuals were appointed by acclimation.  I was reelected.  Dr. Todd Winkler, a doctor from Ohio was voted as Vice-President.  Mark Capron was reelected as Treasurer.  The Secretary is a position that no one is interested in doing, so though I asked for help, I was not able to find anyone.  The webmaster was voted to be Vasishta Tumuluri.  Before we voted him we had a discussion about his being 16.  Paul Covington, who has been working with computers for 50 or so years offered to stay “in the loop” where if something went wrong with Vasishta, he would serve in a brief emergency capacity.  There is no editor and no one exactly wanted the position, but there was a committee put together to be an Editorial Task Force to determine if we should have an editor, an online magazine, etc.  This committee consists of John Hartmann, Mark Capron, and Jim Eade.  The position of outreach was discussed and I highlighted the great differences by region and that it was illogical to have one person for the task when really you needed a group of people in their respective areas who have a key understanding of the people of their region, not a one size fits all sort of approach.  Jim asked if we could have a committee for outreach and we asked Scott Varagona of Alabama and he kindly agreed to serve.  We then drafted Jim Hollingsworth and Sophia Rohde.

We then discussed the awards.  We demonstrated the new awards paper awards as well as having the “Top 3” awards to be given out at the meeting for the first time.  Though, John Hartmann, Chess Journalist of the Year, was the only recipient who was present.  At this point there was also a discussion about the new logo which can be seen in later in this document.

Judging recruitment was also discussed.  While we had over 50 judges, with 185 entries and many people who can’t judge certain categories and others too busy, we can always use new judges.   Our oral history work, particularly the group discussion set up by Tony Saidy.and now is on the YouTube page.  The internship program was also discussed with the fine work of Vasishta and Yajat being highlighted.



Eric Vigil (IA), Louis Reed (TX), Jim Eade (N CA), Paul Covington (CO / OK), Pete Tamburro (NJ), Dan Lucas (GA), Melinda Matthews (GA), Sandy Hoffman (WI), Kevin Pryor (FL), Alexey Root (TX),  John Hartmann (NE), Evan Rabin (NY), Danny Rohde (NY), Sophia Rohde (NY) is on the list but she may have arrived at the end.  We also had numerous people zooming in including Scott Varagona, Ralph Dubisch, Mark Capron, Anthony Gold, Todd Winkler and a few others.  If you are one of the others, please let me know and I will add you to the list.


Handout offered to all who attended:


President – Joshua Anderson – Resume upon request, but briefly involved in the awards for the past decade both as chief coordinating judge and as President of CJA.

Vice – President: – Dr. Todd Winkler(?) – Not particularly experienced, but interested professional, and I would suggest his interest is more valuable than his inexperience.  Eye doctor who works with the blind/visually impaired in the Cincinnati, OH area.

Treasurer – Mark Capron – Treasurer – Experienced with both us and Iwo State Chess Association

Secretary – Somebody/anybody – Minutes, list of members, would work closely with me to bring projects up to current

Webmaster: Vasishta Tumuluri discussion – Youth problem, well-practiced working with me.

Editor – Do not have one.  The Chess Journalist, last beautifully run by Mark Taylor, is expensive and difficult to put out as little interest in writing/editing for it.

Outreach Position: Vacant.  Regionally we have people who are helping promote CJA and this may prove to be a better way to continue as unreasonable for say Jim Eade to know half the relevant people/organizations that Sophia Rohde knows in NY.  Likewise, Jim Hollingsworth and Alexey Root, to big CJA supporters in the southern Midwest, probably don’t know all the people Jim Eade knows in CA.  So, rather than filling position, I would just like to take a moment to thank them and encourage them to continue to continue to pass word along to others as they see fit.

Artwork – Logo Update

We have had a logo that was done by the wife of Harvey Lerman to represent the CJA.  I liked this logo, though it could be a little difficult to make out and several people, including VP Jen Vallens had promoted my changing it.  Josip Asik reached to me and asked me about changing it.  I explained the situation and we exchanged emails concerning what a new logo could look like.  We eventually worked through it and after discussion with Mark and Jen decided on below.


CJA Awards

Give out prizes for: CJOY – John Hartmann, Best Story – “Chess Boom”  Eric Rosen, Best Column – Alex Fishbein

Largest number of awards, 185, for the years I have done this.  Back when there were many state groups that submitted we reportedly had over 200 a few times.

Problem with high number of ties this year.  If you have 1 or 2 entries, can’t have tie.  If you have many entries, that will really “spread” the scores out and make it difficult to have two with the same amount and win.  So, if we continue to improve turn out we should be fine, if we have less entries in the future we will be fine.  I will speak to our resident mathematician, Peter Minear and discuss and report as we begin to prepare for 2022 awards.

Judging Recruitment

50 judges sounds like a lot of judges, but there are many conflicts of interest these days.  Also we have many judges who only judge a couple of categories due to specialty considerations.  Bette Marshall, for instance may have known Bobby Fischer, but she does not play like him.  However, as a famous photographer she is in an excellent position to bring knowledge to judging photography categories.

Committee – We have had an increase ask for some sort of guidance documents concerning the judge.  A committee had been put together in January when we had met.  They weren’t able to get anything prepared for this award season.  The committee chair, Anthony Gold, has been able to go back to more full-time lawyering, so Eric Johnson and Pete Tamburro would be by themselves.  However, I know at least one person agreed to help.  Tony Saidy and I were discussing this need and I spoke of my lack of time for this and sent him an email asking if he wanted to be on the committee and I was quite surprised when he answerer yes.  So, Saidy is willing to help out.  I am not exactly sure what the committee will produce, but I do know that judges, especially with the newer tech categories were looking some very broad instruction on what they might be on the lookout for.  So, the committee will run as it will, but I suspect it might well reach out to some of our more “specialized” judges for a little guidance in this area or that.  Do we have others who would be interested in helping with this project?


Our previous webmaster had not checked her backups when she got them, then tried to transfer to a different platform, one she could work and which was more elegant, but apparently could not accept the information from the previous website.  So, we lost the information.  Now, fortunately, we have a back up that Franklin had made when he transferred the site to Bethany allowing us to slowly work on recovering information for 2016 and before.  Also, we have been able to use the wayback machine website to help as well.  We have much more to clean up and recover, but we wanted to focus on the awards.   (Note: We are now taking a brief look at what is up and what isn’t up.)

Oral History work and US Chess Trust

As you can see, we have a few things up, but not very many.  We have done several interviews that WCHOF was nice enough to say they would transcribe.  Unfortunately, they are very busy and also to be fair, two people who have gotten the transcriptions have yet to get back to us with corrections.  John Hartmann recently recommended as a source for transcriptions.  They are reasonably priced, and since USCT has given us a budget of $2000 for this project (none of which we have ever used) we are planning to try and see how they are.

We are always looking for more interviews like the one you see here for John Curdo as well as the larger round table discussions.

Recognition of Journalists – People for us and Famous Chess Journalists

Numerous people have spoken about some sort of page or recognition for past and / or current noteworthy journalists either to the CJA or to chess journalism as a whole.  I suggest that we have a simple page on our site with 2 categories one for people who have been particularly helpful to the organization over the years and one for famous chess historians.  In both cases, we would then have a simple page with a few paragraphs about each person.  For those who are important to the organization and still living, I suggest we send an award, much like the one that we use for the CJA Awards.  I would suggest we start with Franklin Campbell (key figure in running website for about 20 years and did much judging and a variety of other tasks) and Steven Dann (did much work with this organization and its predecessor in the 1970s and 1980s) and then we could give one out a year.  This wouldn’t be too expensive and it would be a way we could say thank you to those who helped us in previous years.

The other page, which would aim to be much more inclusive, could have journalists such as, and in no order, Hermann Helms, I. A. Horowitz, George Koltanowski, Robert Byrne, Daaim Shabazz, Andy Soltis, etc.

Would anyone be interested in helping me with either group of journalists.  Whether they volunteer or not, people with a long institutional history, should expect emails from me on the subject.

State Magazines/Previous Magazines

As you saw briefly, there is a small collection of state magazines.  We are currently working on putting together all of the past The Chess Journalist and the website should soon have the list of what we need.

I would like to work with the states to enlarge this collection to include state/regional publications bringing it up to more modern times, but being very sensitive to the idea that we want to promote state publications and push traffic toward the various state entities.  We would also like to promote discontinued magazines like American Chess Bulletin, which can be found online for some years and would just link to them again just to point the research in the right direction.  We could do this for more current publications i.e. Chess Life at

Intern Program

Last year during the meeting we decided on an intern to help my work and that was Yajat Gupta.  You can read a little bit about the experience in the next Chess in Humor book that will be out this fall.  Along the way we gained Vasishta who has been focused on the website.  Both have been a great help in these “unprecedented times.”  While Yajat has done a wide variety of tasks and currently he is scanning material Pete Tamburro donated to the CJA.  Vasishta is largely responsible for the page with all the hyperlinked entries.  He not only showed me how to hyperlink, but then corrected numerous problems that I caused.  In Yajat’s case, he is actually done the 40 hours he needed for his school internship program and is staying on just to help us.  Unfortunately, neither young man could be with us today.  Yajat is in a prep SAT class program this week, Vasishta is downstairs playing in the Open.


Jan 1, 2021 Starting balance: 7226.25

Expenses: Website costs -67.35

Trophies -625.49

Income: Memberships/Entries 521.46 Aug 1, 2021

Ending Balance 7054.87

Please note that the trophies were the 2019 and 2020 trophies, and they were exceedingly high causing a new policy which is that we will not send physical awards internationally.   A couple of organizations owe us award entry money that will be paid but will not show up in the budget for a few more weeks.  This amount is slightly over $500.

Traditionally, we have had one meeting a year.  Last year we decided to get together via zoom to check in/talk about the upcoming awards, etc. and it worked very well.  I would like to propose that we plan to meet the evening of the Sunday before the Super Bowl (if that conflicts with AFC – NFC championship games, then the week after the Super Bowl) via zoom, with the focus being the upcoming award season.  This will be Sunday, February 6, 2022.


Award List of Winners

(Note: HM stands for Honorable Mention)


Chess Journalist of the Year 

John Hartmann         25           Winner

Best Story of the Year  

“The New Chess Boom,” by Eric Rosen (Chess Life: August, 2020)          23           Winner

Best Column    

Endgames by GM Alex Fishbein (American Chess Magazine, Issue 17: Pages 50-54 and Issue 18: Pages 54-59)         23                Winner


Best Book – Instruction      

Best Lessons of a Chess Coach by Sunil Weeramantry – Mongoose Press  13           81.25% – HM

World Champion Chess for Juniors: Learn From the Greatest Players Ever By Joel Benjamin – New in Chess              16                Winner

Best Book – Other 

The Life & Games of Vasily Smyslov by Andrey Terekhov – Russell Enterprises       19           Winner

Smyslov, Bronstein, Geller, Taimanov and Averbakh: A Chess Multibiography with 220 Games by Andrew Soltis – McFarland Books             16           84.21% – HM

Best Self-Published Book

The Carlsen Variation – A New Anti-Sicilian to Rattle Your Opponents by Carsten Hansen 25           Winner


Best Photojournalism Article 

“A Fighting Warrior” by Jamaal Abdul-Alim, photos mostly by Gabriela Herman (Chess Life: March, 2021) Yes                Winner

Best Single Chess Photo

The Covid Cowboy by Jim Hollingsworth 18           Winner

”Fairy-16” by Philip Peterson (Northwest Chess: January, 2021)   15.5        86.1% – HM

Best Art

“New Chess Boom” Cover (Chess Life: August, 2020)         23           Winner

Best Single Chess Magazine Cover

“New Chess Boom” Cover (Chess Life: August, 2020)         16           80% – HM

“Inside Strategies” Chess Life Kids, June, 2020      20           Winner

Best Cartoon

“NASA Chess Club” by Brian Berger (Northwest Chess, September, 2020) 23           Winner


Best Regular Newspaper Column

David Sands – 1  Yes         Winner

Best Single Article of Local Interest

Tribute to Mikhail Philippovich Ponomarev (Pages 9-19) by Richard Buchanan – Colorado Chess    17           HM

“The Detroit Veterans” by Saleem (Chess Life: August, 2020)         19           Winner

Best Overall Magazine

American Chess Magazine            25           Winner

Best Feature Article

“Worth the Wait: The Queen’s Gambit” by Bruce Pandolfini (Chess Life: November, 2020)              23           Winner

Best Interview

“25 Questions for James T. Sherwin” by Pete Tamburro (American Chess Magazine, Issue 18: Pages 20-23)              14                Winner

“Interview with Irina Krush” by Dusan Krunic (American Chess Magazine, Issue 21: Pages 7-9)       13           92.8% – HM

“RZA Interview” by Adisa “The Bishop” Banjoko (Chess Life: January, 2021)             14           Winner

Best Tournament Report National / International 

“He Came Off the Bench and Scored a Winner!” by GMs A. Mastrovasilis and D. Mastrovasilis (American Chess Magazine, Issue 17: Pages 26-43)               11           84.6% – HM

“I Feel Blessed to Play Chess” by GM Wesley So (American Chess Magazine, Issue 19: Pages 9-18)                13                Winner

“Back to the Future” by GM Jonathan Tisdall (Chess Life: July, 2020)          11           84.6% – HM

Best Tournament Report – State / Local 

“Live Chess Outbreak in Dallas” by IM Justin Sarkar (American Chess Magazine, Issue 19: Pages 64-70)       19                HM

“Getting Back to Business” by Shlyahktenko (Chess Life: October, 2020)  21           Winner

Best Club Newsletter

Chess Advocate – No. 1 and No. 2 – by Dwight Weaver – Memphis Chess and Wise Chess Club        Yes         Winner

Best Instructive Lesson

“Master Class: Analyzing Your Games with Engines” by Jacob Aagaard (Chess Life: November, 2020)          16                Winner

Best Review        

“Fresh Leaves from the Bookshelf” by FM Carsten Hansen (American Chess Magazine, Issue 19: Pages 93-97)         19                Co-Winner

“Giri on the French Defense” by John Watson (Chess Life: December, 2020)           19           Co-Winner

Best Analysis   

“Nuances in Rook Endings” by Boris Gelfand and Jacob Aagaard (Chess Life: May, 2021)   19           Winner

Best Historical Article 

“America’s Forgotten Women’s Champion” by Bruce Monson (New in Chess 2021/3)        17           Winner

Best Humorous Contribution   

“In Praise of Descriptive Notation,” by John Hartmann (Chess Life: March, 2021)  21           Winner

The Masked Grandmaster            17           80.9% – HM

Best Personal Narrative     

“Finding Bobby Fischer” by Josip Asik (American Chess Magazine, Issue 18: Pages 32-39)  11           Co-Winner

“I Feel Blessed to Play Chess” by GM Wesley So (American Chess Magazine, Issue 19: Pages 9-18)                9              HM

“She Answered the Phone and Helped Change Chess History!” By Bette Marshall (American Chess Magazine, Issue 19: Pages 71-77)       10           HM

“A Knack for Winning Critical Games” by GM Irina Krush (American Chess Magazine, Issue 21: Pages 10-17)            9                HM

“Come Ye” by Pete Karagaianis (Chess Life: June, 2020)   11           Co-Winner                   


Best Interview  

“The Chess Files: The Answers are Out There” Episode 13 (Cyrus Lakdawala) by James Eade           14           HM

“13th World Champion Garry Kasparov and Queen’s Gambit Creator Scott Frank Visit US Chess Girls Club” –  (USChess)                17           Winner

“Interview with Magnus Carlsen” by Jon Tisdall (USChess)             16           HM

Best Feature Article 

“Chess with Charlie” by Michael Tisserand (USChess)       20           Winner

Best Podcast     

Premier Chess by Evan Rabin       21           Winner

Best Single Podcast Episode  

Late Knight: Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein by Jennifer Shahade (USChess)           17           Winner

Best Tournament Report – National/International 

“GM Elshan Moradiabadi on the Magnus Carlsen Tour Finals” by Elshan Moradiabadi (USChess)  20           Winner                         

Best Club Newsletter    

Chess Advocate – No. 1 and No. 2 – by Dwight Weaver – Memphis Chess and Wise Chess Club        Yes         Winner

Best Instruction Lesson  

“The Ways to Make Better Moves” by Dan Heisman         20           Winner

“A Beginner’s Introduction to Chess Analysis” by Dan Heisman    17           HM

Best Analysis      

“The Candidates” by Jacob Aagaard (USChess)    25           Winner

Best Humorous Contribution 

“How Soccer Is Copying the Game of Chess” by Ray Linville            23           Winner

Best Historical Article  

“The Evolution of Modern Chess Rules” by John McCrary (USChess)          21           Winner

“The Lost State Champions” by Scott Varagona p. 4 – 12  19           90.5% – HM

Best Personal Narrative  

“Leon Chess Festival: How to Lose to a Super GM Quickly” by Ray Linville                3.5          HM

Best Overall Chess Website

Eade Foundation              25           Winner

*Best Overall Website Small Organization (group of less than 500)  

The Chess Refinery         Yes         Winner

Best Online Blog  

Dana Blogs Chess             17           Co-Winner

Learning with Each Game             17           Co-Winner

Best Online Review    

“Queen’s Gambit” by Cub Noble and Nick Osness – En Passant p. 4-5         70%        HM

Best Non-Instructive Chess Video

“The Queen’s Gambit” by USChess          25           Winner

Best Twitter Feed   

“Chess Tip of the Day” – @danheisman by Dan Heisman 23           Winner

*Best Twitch Channel    

zefcatt (Sara Herman) – Colorado Chess  25           Winner


Best Print Article by a Junior 

“Under the Microscope” by Shlyakhtenko (Chess Life: February, 2021)     15           Co-Winner

“The IM Not a GM Speed Chess Championships” by Carissa Yip (Chess Life: August, 2020)                15           Co-Winner

“The G & H Attack: How Modern Chess Has Evolved” by Harris Lencz (Empire Chess, Winter 2020)               15           Co-Winner

Best Online Article by a Junior

“A Return to the Board” by Jennifer Yu (USChess)             Yes         Winner

Best Personal Narrative by a Junior

“My First Move and Chess Adventure” by John Burke (CLK: 4/21) 23           Winner


“Readers vs. COVID” by Readers and Editors of ACM (American Chess Magazine, Issue 17: Pages 67-97)    Special Achievement

“48th Anniversary of Fischer-Spassky 1972 Match with IM John Donaldson, GM Lev Alburt, Sal Matera, IM Anthony Saidy, Bette Marshall, and Maria Byrne” – Hosted by Joshua Anderson on behalf of CJA    Special Achievement


Best State Championship Report     

“The Championship Abides” by Scott Varagona (Alabama Chess Antics, Fall, 2020, p. 4 – 12)            Yes         Winner

Best State Tournament Coverage 

2021 Atlantic Chess News            Yes         Winner

Best Overall State Website 

Texas Chess Association 20           Winner

Best State Magazine/Newsletter – Print     

Northwest Chess (Print Edition) (12 issues: June 2020 through May 2021)               25           Winner

Best State Magazine/Newsletter – Online       

Northwest Chess (Online Edition) (12 issues: June 2020 through May 2021)            23           Winner

Best Personal Narrative  

“Girls in the Chess World” by Anjali Lodh – En Passant – p. 20-23   25           Winner

Best Photography    

”Shadow” by Philip Peterson (Northwest Chess: December, 2020)              80% – Winner

Best State Chapter Website 

Maine Chess Association               19           HM

Idaho Chess Association                 21           Winner




16 Fun Facts about the 1946 U.S. Open

  1. Walter Shipman finished tied for 7th, but tied for 2nd – 49 years later.
  2. Though there were no U.S. Champions in the event, players in this event would win 8 U.S. Championships – Evans (5 times), Steiner, Bisguier, and Robert Byrne once.
  3. Though there were no U.S. Champions in the event there were champions of Belgium (Koltanowski) and Cuba (Dovo.)
  4. Olaf Ulvstead played 1st board in the 1970 Olympiad – for Andorra!
  5. Deaktor, of Pittsburgh, had good company in not playing the round robin portion of the event, two of the others to leave after the Swiss part – George Koltanowski and Arpad Elo.
  6. Edmund Nash played in the 1934 Western Open, his first major tournament, and in the 2001 Eastern Open, his last major tournament.
  7. Seventeen players played in at least 1 U.S. Championship.
  8. Six players were born in the 1800s – Jenkins and McCord (1870, Stephens (1883), Gring (1888), Price (1890), and Kupchik (1892).
  9. This was the first U.S. Open for the Byrne brothers, Kramer, Shipman, Bisguier, and Evans.
  10. The two youngest Evans (b. 1932) and Deaktor (b. 1931) had a rough second part of the tournament. Evans 1-8 in the final, Deaktor did not play.
  11. Julius Paal and Anthony R. Wisniewski were living in the Pittsburgh area and were both Reverends.
  12. Eugene Levin became an actual rocket scientist who specialized in orbital debris.
  13. Eight players were from the Pittsburgh area.
  14. Cross and Dietz did not play against each other at the U.S. Open, but did play at the U. S. Junior Open just a few days previous.
  15. Sadly, two players passed within a year of the event – Ozgo and Price.
  16. One player, George Kramer is still alive.  It is to him and all the players in this event, that this list is dedicated.