Skip Navigation Links
MACA Board Minutes
 MACA Board Meeting, August 17, 2014
 Boylston Chess Club, 240 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144



President N. Smolensky called the August Board Meeting to order at 3:20 PM at Boylston Chess Club in Somerville.  Seven people were in attendance: President Nathan Smolensky, Treasurer Robert Messenger, Clerk Nicholas Sterling, and Directors George Mirijanian, Steven Frymer, Edward Chiu, and Christopher Chase (arrived 4:15 PM).


Minutes of the June Board Meeting were distributed by N. Sterling, and two amendments requested.  * * MOTION made by R. Messenger and seconded by

G. Mirijanian to approve the June Board Meeting Minutes; with 2 abstentions, the MOTION passed. * *


Treasurer’s report for May-July 2014 was read by R. Messenger:

  (a) (i) (1) Net income of the General Fund this period: $3008.75.  (2) Net income of the General Fund last year: $7325.55. (ii) (1) Special Fund income this period: $229.96, with $121.01 dividends. (2) Special Fund income last year: $7119.63, with $195.35 dividends. (iii) (1) Special Fund expenses this period: $153.19. (2) Special Fund expenses last year: $260.10 net gain. (iv) (1) Special Fund net income this period: $76.77. (2) Special Fund net income last year: $7379.73. (v) July 2014 Changes in Fund Balances $3085.52. (vi) Total Assets as of 7/31/14: $70795.47. (vii) Reserve for Chess Horizons: $3100.00. (viii) Reserve for Tournament Expenses: $1000.00. (ix) Unearned Tournament Revenue: $180.00. (x) Long-Term Investment Market Value: $20249.92.

   (b) In response to a question from G. Mirijanian, R. Messenger said that the Insurance has elapsed and needs to be renewed, and therefore no Insurance expense is listed for this period.

   (c) The large negative expense for ­Chess Horizons is due to there having been no publication of the magazine for a year’s time.

   (d) The $299 Internet expense from last year is due to the domain name’s having elapsed; the $299 was needed to ransom the domain name and renew the website.

  (e) There was discussion about moving some of the funds currently in the Citizens Bank Money Market Fund to other accounts with a higher rate of return (the current account’s rate is 0.05%).  Two options are: (i) a 12-month CD at 0.4%, and (ii) a 5-year annuity at 2.8%.  MACA has to decide, if it pursues this option, how much of its money it wants to lock away into an inaccessible account like this.


Membership: (a) R. Messenger read the 8/15/14 Membership numbers as follows: Adults: 196 (-9); Junior 405 (+2); Life 209 (=); Affiliate 5 (=); Complimentary 11 (+10);

D. Library 6 (+1); D. Subscriber 25 (+3); Exchange 16 (=); Library 2 (=); Prison 300 (+2); Subscriber 13 (=).  Total change in Membership and Subscribers: +9.


Tournament: (a) (i) R. Messenger reported that the New England Open will be held on Labor Day weekend at the Doubletree Hotel in Leominster.  S. Frymer will order plates for the trophies for K-12, and R. Messenger will order the plates for K-3 and K-6. (ii) The dates of the Greater Boston Open and the Pillsbury Memorial are 10/26 and 12/14, and both will be held at the Best Western Royal Plaza in Marlboro. (iii) The MA G/60 may be held in March this year in order to avoid conflicting with the Eastern Class Championship in Sturbridge held by CCA in April.  S. Frymer recommended contacting hotels very soon to establish availability on the different March weekends at different locales.

                        (b) There was discussion about holding: (i) a MA Senior Open at a location not shared with other concurrent tournaments, and (ii) a Masters tournament held with FIDE rules that will allow Norm qualification; for this the tournament directors must be registered with FIDE and must understand FIDE rules.


Scholastic:     (a) S. Frymer reported that the 2014 dates are set, and the 2015 dates are tentatively set but not official.  The first Spiegel Cup Qualifier will be held on 10/19.

(b) Maryanne Reilly was suggesting that a Scholastic Tournament be held at a locale closer to Boston (rather than Marlboro). 

(c) There was talk of holding a state Girls’ Championship to determine the qualifying player to send to the National Girls’ Championship.  R. Messenger previously directed an all-girls’ tournament that drew in 16 players.

(d) N. Smolensky suggested holding a Bughouse/Blitz Festival at which the Education Expo could be featured.  R. Messenger said that such an event should NOT be held over the summer because a previous such event he held in Marlboro drew only 12 players and lost a lot of money.

(e) The Spiegel Cup Series could be used to encourage other parts of the state, especially Cape Cod and the section west of Springfield, to host MACA tournaments.




Education: N. Sterling reported:

(a) NESA has developed a NESA Chess Team T-shirt (one of which he was wearing that day) and will start taking orders.

(b) (i) As was discussed under Scholastics, the next Education Expo may be held at some Scholastic event.  C. Chase suggested that a Team Challenge may be a good event because many new kids and parents will be there and may get attracted to a display of products.  (ii) R. Messenger asked whether we might hold the Expo again at the Boston Chess Congress.  N. Sterling expressed lack of enthusiasm for this location due to the distance of the Expo site from the tournament and due to the event’s being a CCA one rather than a MACA one.

(c) The Teachers’ Guide for the MA Early Education Teacher-Training Initiative (MEETTI) is nearly finished.  N. Smolensky reported that he has to work on increasing its length before it is ready for publication.  When schools open in the fall, we will start approaching some of them about the Initiative.

(d) N. Sterling has been in contact with Dave Schloss, author of Chess 101.  The book, which N. Sterling will review, may be featured at the Expo and may be listed as a resource in the MEETTI Guide.  It is also possible that MACA could work out a book sale deal with Mr. Schloss.

(e) G. Mirijanian asserted that for kids to go over their tournament games with expert players, as Danny Kopec offered to do at the Continental Open, is an important and much overlooked resource.  N. Sterling said that many of the members of the NESA Chess Team go over their games with coach Steve Winer, his colleague.


Publications: N. Smolensky reported:

(a) The Summer Issue of Chess Horizons is nearly ready for publication, and passed around a mockup copy.  The only parts that need completion are the front and back cover, the table of contents, the Letter of the Editor, and the Club List.  MA Open Games are included, as well as a section by David Vigorito and chess positions to be solved as exercises.

(b) The deadline for submission to the Fall Issue is 10/15/14.  It will be a single issue restricted to 24 pages.

(c) C. Chase suggested that MACA have an Advertisement Manager to recruit more advertisers. Currently there is only one paid advertisement listed in CH.

R. Messenger said that we have to be careful about listing for-profit advertisements because we could lose the non-profit publication rate we currently pay and have to pay the regular higher rate.

Promotions: E. Chiu reported:

                        (a) Daily birthday listings are now being posted on Facebook.

                        (b) Throwback Thursday is a new feature on Facebook that shows photos from past events.  This month’s photos are focused on New England Opens.

                        (c) E. Chiu is looking for photos from pre-2000 that can be digitalized and republished.

                        (d) C. Chase suggested offering locations free Master simuls, and hanging up the banner to advertise them onsite.  Promotions can do a lot to market them once they are organized. This raised the question of whether MACA had purchased the banner that had been discussed by last year’s Board (it has not).


Old Business: none


New Business: G. Mirijanian said for this year’s tournaments with parents and kids, the Tournament Directors should ensure, where possible, that parents are completely excluded from the playing halls, even during setup times before rounds start.  It will not always be easy to do this at the larger events where the tournament halls are quite spacious.


President N. Smolensky adjourned the August Board Meeting at 5:50 PM.  The date, time, and place of the September Board Meeting were set at Sunday 9/21/14, at 6:00 PM, at New England Sports Academy in Westwood.  [Clerk’s NOTE: A week before the Meeting, by general agreement the time was changed to 4:30 PM.]


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,




                                                                        Nicholas Sterling, Clerk