• Bethany Carson

2014 Minutes

The annual meeting of the Chess Journalists of America was held in Orlando, Florida during the U. S. Open Championship. Following are the minutes of that meeting, held on August 2, 2014.

Chess Journalists of America Minutes of the Annual Workshop and Business Meeting Orlando, Florida -- August 2, 2014

1. Call to Order

President Frank Niro (KY) called the meeting to order. Officers present were Randy Hough (CA), Al Lawrence (TX) and Dan Lucas (GA). Approximately 25 additional CJA members were in the audience. The sign-up sheet of members present was given to Secretary-Treasurer, Randy Hough, for his files.

Prior to the start of the CJA business meeting, the Publications Committee workshop was hosted by Ramon Antonio Hernandez, chairman of the USCF Publications Committee; Randy Bauer, Executive Board Liaison to the Publications Committee; Daniel Lucas, Chess Life Editor; and Jennifer Shahade, Chess Life Online Editor.

2. Treasurer’s Report

Randall Hough reported that the current balance, including membership payments received at today’s meeting is approximately $4,400.

3. President’s Report

Frank Niro gave an update on the proposed joint oral history project with the U.S. Chess Trust. Frank Niro and Al Lawrence will work with Harold Winston and Tim Redman of the Chess Trust on this project. Harold Winston answered questions concerning the project.

Frank Niro described a new initiative to create a Journal of Chess Research that will collect research articles among various academic disciplines (Education, cognitive development, psychology, mathematics, artificial intelligence, business, etc) and collect them in one place. Also, articles previously not available in English will be translated.

An outline of a 5-year strategic plan was presented that included major emphasis on recruiting young journalists to become members of CJA, upgrading the website to be more responsive to member needs (as described more fully in the website report below), converting the magazine to three issues per year published electronically plus one printed annual issue, and generally working to make CJA more relevant and beneficial to its members.

4. Committee Reports

The Ethics Committee, chaired by Russell Miller (WA), has requested ad hoc status since, thankfully, there haven’t been any ethical issues to discuss in several years.

The Awards Committee is chaired by Joshua Anderson. He has agreed to serve again for the 2014 Awards. The process needs to be updated, especially as it relates to electronic judging, who can nominate whom, fee structure, as well as the Book of the Year and Chess Journalist of the Year awards.

The Elections Committee does not need to meet until 2015 and will be chaired by the CJA President.

The Outreach Committee was converted in 2013, by vote of the members, to an officer position.

The Historical Archives Committee. Committee members, including those nominated from the floor, are Hal Terrie (NH), Stephen Dann (MA), Rob Roy (CT), Russell Miller (WA), Glenn Peterson (NJ), J. Franklin Campbell (MI) and Myron Lieberman (AZ). This committee didn’t meet in 2014-15 but is expected to be active in the upcoming year in support of the web site expansion.

5. Web Site (

Franklin Campbell resigned after many years as CJA Webmaster but has agreed to serve until a replacement is found. We are in the process of recruiting a new webmaster who will have the time modernize the web site in order to expand content and take advantage of new tools. In particular, electronic publication of  The Chess Journalist, interactive educational tools, additional links, archives, examples of good chess writing, past award winning articles and, eventually, training tools leading to professional certification are possibilities given current web building software. The site can potentially be used to collect memberships and submission of CJA award nominations at some point in the future.

6. The Chess Journalist

Mark Taylor reported that, as in recent years, it has been difficult getting enough submissions of worthwhile material to fill the magazine. The Editor has agreed to produce one more annual issue while a new editor is recruited. It was the consensus of those present that a target of three electronic issues per year plus one printed annual issue is feasible.

7. USCF Library project

Bill Hall and Pat Smith had previously requested assistance reorganizing the library in the USCF office in Crossville, TN, with the goal of making the library more accessible to USCF members by digitizing the catalogue of books and magazines and ultimately scanning many of the more important volumes to make them available online. Frank met with the USCF Executive Board during the past year, as well as new USCF Executive Director Jean Hoffman. All are still supportive of the project.

6. Awards

Joshua Anderson, CJA Awards Committee Chairman & Chief Judge, provided the following list of awards for the 2013 competition for best chess journalism:

Top Five Chess Journalist of the Year -- Brian Jerauld Best Story of the Year -- Sinquefield Cup by FM Mike Klein -- Submitted by USCF Best Chess Column -- Chess to Enjoy by GM Andy Soltis -- Submitted by USCF Best State Magazine / Newsletter -- Northwest Chess -- Submitted by Eric Holcomb Best Book -- Mikhail Botvinnik: The Life and Games of a World Chess Champion by Andy Soltis -- Submitted by McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers

Visual Arts Best Chess Magazine / Newsletter Layout -- August, 2013 -- Submitted by USCF Best Chess Photojournalism -- Little Girl Blundering -- Submitted by USCF Honorable Mention: Awonder Liang by Mary Sweeney -- Submitted by USCF Best Chess Art -- Endgame by Zena Fairwether -- Submitted by USCF

Newspaper Media Best Regular Newspaper Column - Peter Henner in Altamont Enterprises Best Regular Newspaper Article of Local Interest -- Strong Inmate Players Play for Stamps by Peter Henner

News or Features Best Tournament Report Article -- This is Why We Play Chess: The 2013 Louisiana State Championship by Adam Caveny -- Louisiana Chess Best Features Article -- A Level Playing Board (Disabilities) by Christen McCurdy -- Submitted by USCF Best Instructive Lesson -- The Fischer Ending by IM Danny Kopec and Daniel Kostove -- Submitted by USCF Honorable Mention: Filters and Masks by Dan Heisman -- Submitted by Dan Heisman Best Review - "Dinos to the Slav: Silman on Apple Apps" by IM Jeremy Silman from USChess Online Best Humorous Contribution -- Posing -- USCF Honorable Mention: Philly Predicts the World Chess Championships from the US Chess Scoop -- USChess Online Best Historical Article -- A Rocky-like Chess Bout from the Romantic Era -- David Sands Best Interview -- Don’t Doubt Danya by Brian Jerauld, Submitted by Saint Louis Chess Club Best Analysis -- Hilby Game by Craig Hilby, Submitted by Rank and File

Electronic Media Best [USCF] State Chapter Website -- -- Submitted by Daniel DeLuca Best General Chess Website -- -- Saint Louis Chess Club Honorable Mention: - USCF Best Chess Blog -- Michael Goeller -- Honorable Mention: - John Hartmann --

7. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Friday, August 2, 2015, following the annual Publications workshop at the U.S. Open in Phoenix, Arizona

8. Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, /s/ Frank Frank A. Niro, President