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2018 Meeting Minutes

Updated: Aug 9, 2018

My meeting notes were stuck to very closely this year and will double as meeting minutes, but I will add a few additional comments at the end.

Thank you all for coming to the annual CJA meeting. As you can see in front of me, there are some things to give out and we will do that momentarily, but first a couple of thank yous, then some awards both old and current, then some reports on other activities, board issues, etc.

1) First, I want to thank all the judges who help make these awards possible as well as those who entered the awards. Two people, Jennifer Vallens and Bethany Carson, deserve a special thank you. They did two very different things, with Bethany constantly improving our website and how it helps the awards go more smoothly. It isn’t a perfect system, and it will continue to improve over time, but it is far than it was. Jennifer asked to help this year after last year I asked her to consider taking over the awards. In spite of the fact, that I often mishandled how to use an assistant, she has kindly agreed to take over for me.

2) At this point I usually talked about the awards, what sort of improvements, etc., we will be making. This year, however, since I am not running the awards next year, I can’t tell you what changes to expect, etc., but I can tell you that working with Jennifer is a pleasure and those of you who have so kindly helped me over the last seven years, will likely enjoy working with her. There will undoubtedly be some differences, and hopefully some similarities with the program, but I have faith that she will do a wonderful job and expect that she will find the many judges as much fun to work with as I have.

3) As for the winners this year, in the past we used to read through them all and I would briefly mention something about them. Last year, I believe we skipped over much of the reading, and I think we can do that this year, but I will make a few general comments:

A) This year we had by far the largest number of awards, categories, and judges. I use an excel file to keep track of all the scoring, basically set up as judges v categories. The number of squares in the chart has increased about 5 fold, with about double the number of judges from when we started and at least 50% more entries.

B) The number of parties entering has slowly increased as well, though there is still much room for growth in this area. However, I suspect the Outreach Coordinator, who is the new Coordinating Judge, will likely have more success than I did.

C) The award winners are given in Appendix I.

4) These awards you see before you were chosen by me, with some guidance from the awards committee – Al Lawrence, Pete Tamburro, Mike Klein, and Mike Ciammara, and I would like to thank them for their help. This group we have is wonderful, but the committee doesn’t meet often an if anyone is interested in joining, please contact me. Since everyone is probably tired of hearing me talk, lets take a minute and give out the ones we can. The list for the awards is given in Appendix II.

5) The Oral History Project – This project is being put together in cooperation with US Chess Trust. The specifics are not all concluded, but we are much further along than we were at this time last year. So far, we have designed a set of questions and documents regarding the interview process, questions to be asked, etc. A set of questions related to players and a set related to organizers are being developed though not completed yet. Much thanks to Al Lawrence and Pete Tamburro for their help on this matter. The basic design is to collect oral histories from chess “people” such as Frank Brady, Allen Kaufman, Andy Soltis, Asa Hoffman, and many others. What all is finally done with these interviews is not finalized, but at the very least we expect them to be made available on the U. S. Chess Trust and CJA websites. These oral histories will be gathered by journalists and historians who are interested in the project. No one has to participate, but certainly we encourage any one interested to do so. While some of these interviews will have to be done by phone, such as Jimmy Sherwin who lives in England, others cn be done with a little travel. U. S. Chess Trust has set aside funds in the amount of $2000 to help compensate for incurred travel expenses. This would work as follows – interviewer asks for x amount of dollars to interview persons A, B, and C. The amount is okayed, the interviewer would be compensated after he submits his interview materials and his receipts. Time is not compensated for, but full credit for the work will be given. While interviewing people of a local interest is strongly encouraged, compensation should not be expected and their interviews may not be included in projects such as Chess Hall of Fame Exhibit or book, though certainly would be placed on the CJA website at the very least.

6) Our webmaster would like me to mention that the website does have a forum and news section, both of which are lightly used and we would like to encourage our users to use them more.

7) Treasurer Mark Capron will now present a report. … Thank you Mark. (See note after 10.)

8) Editor – John Hartmann has stepped down do to a lack of time to commit to the project. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to speak to Jennifer Vallens about the position until after these reports were made. This is what we talked about a couple of hours ago. (See note after 10.)

9) New Business (See note after 10.)

10) In conclusion, I again want to thank you all for participating in the awards this year and I look forward to seeing you all next year in Orlando! Can I have a motion to end the meeting?

Additional Note:

7) Mark’s Treasurer report highlighted our various expenses and earned income.

8) Jennifer Vallens was kind enough to take on the editor position, despite her very busy schedule. We will be looking to put something out in blast format near the end of the month or in September and are looking for material. We will also print an end of the year piece as the White Collection doesn’t save emails, that will highlight the award results and submitted blast articles.

9) There was no new business.



Photos courtesy of Mark Taylor and Bethany Carson.

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