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MACA Board Minutes
 MACA Board Meeting, January 19, 2014
 Whole Foods Market, Fresh Pond Mall, Cambridge, MA



President N. Smolensky called the January Board Meeting to order at approximately 2:10 PM at the Whole Foods Market at Fresh Pond Mall in Cambridge.  Ten people were in attendance: President Nathan Smolensky, Vice-President John Sadoff, Treasurer Robert Messenger, Clerk Nicholas Sterling, and Directors Walter Driscoll, Marc Turgeon, Robert E. King, George Mirijanian, Stephen Dann (arrived 2:29 PM) and Richard Kinne (arrived 2:31 PM).


Minutes of the November Board Meeting were distributed by N. Sterling, and one amendment requested.  * * MOTION made by N. Smolensky and seconded by

R. Messenger to approve the November Board Meeting Minutes as amended; with 5 abstentions, the MOTION passed. * *


Treasurer’s report for November-December 2013 was read by R. Messenger:

  (i) (1) Net income of the General Fund this period: $1562.55.  (2) Net income of the General Fund year-to-date: $2520.83.  (ii) (1) Special Fund income this period: $1699.37, with $141.25 dividends. (2) Special Fund income year-to-date: $2010.42, with $416.19 dividends. (iii) (1) Special Fund expenses this period: $5499.40. (2) Special Fund expenses year-to-date: $8371.74. (iv) (1) Special Fund net income this period: $3800.03 net loss. (2) Special Fund net income year-to-date: $6361.32 net loss.

(v) (1) November-December 2013 Changes in Fund Balances this period: $2237.48 net loss. (2) November-December 2013 Changes in Fund Balances year-to-date: $3840.49 net loss. (vi) Total Assets as of December 2013: $67411.05. (vii) Reserve for Chess Horizons: $4650.00. (viii) Unearned Tournament Revenue: $554.00.


Membership: R. Messenger read the 1/18/14 Membership numbers as follows: Adults: 235 (-2); Junior 501 (+6); Life 211 (-2); Affiliate 8 (=); Complimentary 4 (=);

D. Library 6 (=); D. Subscriber 29 (+2); Exchange 16 (=); Library 2 (=); Prison 286 (+1); Subscriber 18 (+1).  Total change in Membership and Subscribers: +6.


Tournament: R. Messenger reported: (a) the Pillsbury Memorial was held on 12/15/2013 in Marlborough.  Because a snowstorm hit that weekend, the tournament took in a loss of $800.45 and drew in only 31 players, as opposed to 62 last year.

(b) The MA G/60 Championship will be held on 4/27/14, and the MA Open on Memorial Day weekend, both in Marlboro. (c) * * MOTION (114-1) made by S. Dann and seconded by G. Mirijanian authorizing MACA to organize the 2014 NE Open, provided it is awarded the winning bid by NECA.  The VOTE was taken; the MOTION passed unanimously. * *


Scholastic:     (a) R. Messenger reported: (i) The Fall Team Tournament was held on 11/10/13 and took in a loss of $222.75.  48 players forming 12 Teams attended. (ii) The 3rd Spiegel Cup Qualifier was held on 12/8/13 and took in a profit of $149.85.  67 players attended, a drop from 92 players last year.  (iii) The 4th Spiegel Cup Qualifier was held on 1/4/14 and took in a profit of $360.50.  71 players attended, a drop from 91 players last year.  R. Messenger summarized the trend of players attending as going down, and suggested that concentrating on too narrow a geographic area may be a factor. (iv) The Winter Team Challenge will be held on 2/1/14, the Spiegel Cup Championship on 2/9/14, and the Gus Gosselin Grade Championship on 3/9/14.  All will be held in Marlboro.

(v) The Hurvitz Cup Championship will be held on 4/13/14 in Boxboro.

                        (b) N. Sterling and N. Smolensky reported that NESA and BCC held their Spiegel Cup Series tournaments on the weekend of 11/23/13 and 11/24/13 respectively.  From their success and that of the other Spiegel Cup Series tournaments, there is general consensus that this Series was an excellent idea and should be taken up again next year.


Education:     (a) N. Sterling reported that at the Education Expo held on 1/11-1/12/14 at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel in East Boston, we had a room down the hall from the CCA tournament Boston Chess Congress.  N. Sterling and N. Smolensky were there on Saturday, and S. Dann and G. Mirijanian were there on Sunday.  N. Sterling thanked everyone who came to help man the Expo.  (b) (i) There were twelve exhibitions on display on Saturday.  (ii) On Sunday Sharon Ellen Burtman, a long-time Women’s Champion in MA and chess educator, delivered an inspiration piece about educating kids in chess such as to inspire them for life.  The lecture was videotaped and has been posted online.  (iii) Additionally on Sunday G. Mirijanian went over four players’ games, and we showed a video.  Unfortunately we lacked an appropriate video player and projector to shoot the picture on a screen and make it more visually appealing.

(iv) Overall the Education Expo was considered a success, but N. Sterling said that the Education Committee will be reviewing it to determine what can be done to improve it.

                        (b) (i) N. Smolensky reported that the steps needed to launch the MA Early Education Teacher Training Initiative include the following: (1) writing the brochure, a mockup of which was circulated during the Expo; (2) mounting the website link online with Tiffany’s help; this has been done; (3) choosing the manual, which has been agreed to be Murray Chandler’s Chess for Kids; (4) contacting schools about the Initiative, a process scheduled to get under way during the spring and to be fully underway by the summer. (ii) M. Turgeon objected to the presence of the brochure out in public at the Expo.  N. Sterling said that the Committee will re-examine the content and usage of the brochure to make sure that it presents MACA and its Initiative in the most professional light.


Election: (i) S. Dann reported that, because of the unreliability of e-mail addresses, the process of notifying Members about the deadline of 2/15/14 for the submission of Nominations has been more complicated and cumbrous than it should be.  One problem, as R. Messenger pointed out, is that Chess Horizons used to be the primary means of communication because all the Members used to receive it; now, with that no longer the case, to disseminate word about deadlines is far more difficult.  S. Dann proposed that the deadline be posted on the website under MACA News. (ii) * * MOTION (114-2) made by M. Turgeon and seconded by S. Dann that voting Members be notified by mail of their eligibility to run for MACA office and that the deadline for the submission of Nominations is 2/15/14.  G. Mirijanian pointed out that a hard-copy mailing of this nature is likely to cost close to $500.  The VOTE was taken; with two votes in favor versus seven against and one abstention, the MOTION was defeated. * * (iii) S. Dann asked all those running for Re-election to be sure to submit their names to him, and to receive acknowledgement from him when they have.


Chess Horizons:       (a) (i) R. Kinne stated that, after having made no further progress on the publication of the next issue of Chess Horizons, he is stepping down as Editor, and he now raises the questions of whether MACA should continue to publish the hard-copy magazine. (ii) * * MOTION (114-3) made by R. Messenger and seconded by

S. Dann to thank D. Kinne for his service as Editor and his success in publishing the previous issue.  The VOTE was taken; with one abstention, the MOTION passed. * *

(b) * * MOTION (114-4) made by R. Messenger and seconded by S. Dann to reinstate the Publications Committee that was disbanded when R. Kinne took up the position of Editor, with the authority that it possessed previously, and with its main goal to publish Chess Horizons. The VOTE was taken; with one abstention, the MOTION passed. * *

(c) (i) An ELECTION for the position of Chair of the Publications Committee was held among four Directors: R. King, G. Mirijanian, S. Dann, M. Turgeon.   N. Smolensky said that the Chair must be open-minded about the future of Chess Horizons, including the possible termination of its hard-copy form.   (ii) After nominations were initially closed sooner than turned out to be warranted, * * MOTION (114-5a) made by W. Driscoll and seconded by R. Kinne to reopen Nominations.  The Motion carried by popular assent. * *  (iii) Because of the plurality of candidates and the possible lack of majority among the votes, * * MOTION (114-5b) made by R. Kinne and seconded by

R. Messenger that in the event of a lack of majority for one candidate, there would be a run-off Election among the top two candidates, or among the top three candidates should there be a tie between second and third place. The VOTE was taken; the MOTION passed unanimously. * * (iv) * * The VOTE on the ELECTION was taken by SECRET BALLOT, with Clerk N. Sterling serving as Teller.  With six votes for

G. Mirijanian vs. two for R. King and two for M. Turgeon, George Mirijanian was declared the Chair of the Publications Committee by majority vote. * * The other candidates will likely be appointed as Members of the Committee.


Bylaws: (i) * * ADVANCE MOTION (114-6) made by R. King: “To amend the Bylaws such that terms of elected MACA directors would be extended to two (2) years beginning with 2014-2016.”  R. Messenger pointed out that MOTION 1113-1a, which was referred to the Bylaws Committee but never discussed by them after, was substantially the same in content to the current one, and therefore the current Motion was out of order on the basis that the Bylaws Committee should have taken it up first before it came before the Board.  After further discussion it was decided to refer the Motion back to the Bylaws Committee in order to settle questions about the wording of the changes to be made.

(ii) * * A STRAW VOTE was taken in determine the Board’s current leaning on the Motion; the VOTE was five votes in favor versus five votes against. * *


Old Business:           


[Clerk’s NOTE: A MOTION (114-7a) discussed under Executive Session was postponed indefinitely by MOTION (114-7b) made by W. Driscoll and seconded by

G. Mirijanian; the Motion to Postpone Indefinitely passed with seven votes in favor versus two against and one abstention.  For this reason, the contents of the original Motion are excluded from these Minutes.]


New Business: R. Messenger agreed to research the state-specific 3-month Membership under discussion by USCF to take the place of the universal 3-month Membership currently in place that USCF plans to revoke.  State Affiliates may choose whether or not to participate in this new Membership program.


President N. Smolensky adjourned the January Board Meeting at 5:49 PM.  The date, time, and place of the February Board Meeting were set at Sunday 2/23/14 at 6:00 PM, at Boylston Chess Club in Somerville. 


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,




                                                                        Nicholas Sterling, Clerk