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MACA Board Minutes
 MACA Board Meeting, April 17, 2016
 Papa Gino's, 291 Worcester Road, Natick, MA 01760



President N. Smolensky called the April Board Meeting to order at 1:01 PM at Papa Gino’s in Natick.  Seven people were in attendance: President Nathan Smolensky, Vice-President John Sadoff (arrived 1:09 PM), Treasurer Robert Messenger, Clerk Nicholas Sterling (departed 3:11 PM), and Directors Jeffrey Caruso, Paul Arond, and Stephen Dann.   The Minutes were taken by Assistant Clerk R. Messenger after Clerk N. Sterling departed, starting with Publications below.


Minutes of the February Board Meeting were distributed by N. Sterling, who added one correction, together with one other correction made from the table.  * * MOTION made by R. Messenger and seconded by N. Smolensky to approve the February Board Meeting Minutes as amended; with 1 abstention, the MOTION passed. * *


Budget: (a) The Budget Committee comprises R. Messenger as Chair together with

N. Smolensky, Steven Frymer, and Edward Chiu. (b) * * MOTION (416-1) made by

R. Messenger to accept the Budget detailed at the end of these Minutes; the following comments were made:


(i) The figure of Total Revenue and Total Expenses is $14500.

(ii) US Chess League is no longer included in the Budget because we must discontinue supporting them as we have in the past: we are non-profit, but they are for-profit.

(iii) The support for player travel includes MA representatives at the Denker and Barber Tournaments and the National Girls’ Championship.  It is capped at $3000, with $500 awarded to each player to help cover travel expenses.  Last year we spent $2500 to assist five players.

(iv) Special Projects has been removed as a line item.

(v) Given that PayPal fees seem high, MACA may look for an alternative credit card processing vendor to handle advance entries paid by credit card.  However, PayPal does appear to offer the best overall service for the money.

(vi) The Education Committee did not spend its money from last year.  It may do so this year on the MEETTI booklet publication.

(vii) Annuity interest is not included in the Budget because it is calculated as unrealized gain, not income, until the Annuity’s maturity in 5 years.

(c) * * The VOTE was taken on the MOTION to pass the Budget; the MOTION passed UNANIMOUSLY. * *


Membership: (a) R. Messenger read the Membership numbers as follows: Adults: 207

(+3); Junior 495 (+47); Life 204 (=); Affiliate 9 (+1); Complimentary 1 (=);

D. Library 5 (=); D. Subscriber 12 (+3); Exchange 15 (=); Library 1 (=); Prison 371 (+4); Subscriber 7 (=).  Total change in Membership and Subscribers: +58. (b) S. Dann said that it may be helpful for MACA to use the database of Members to track down whether any have, unbeknownst to MACA, died or otherwise become inactive.


Tournament: (a) R. Messenger reported about the MA G/60 Championship held on 4/10/16 in Marlborough: (i) The Tournament realized a profit of $312.33, up from $303.83 last year. (ii) There were 152 players, including 1 forfeit, up from 119 last year.  One possible explanation is that kids were attracted to the prospects of extra trophies, because some leftover trophies from one tournament last fall had been given away at another later tournament. (iii) The large number of additional players, and especially those at the door, choked the onsite registration process.  R. Messenger was doing the work by himself because no replacement was available for an assistant TD who ended up backing out. (iv) The site rental was higher due to there being an extra room. (v) The USCF dues collected were especially high. (vi) New scoresheets were purchased.

(vii) Due to the increase in TD fees, MACA Tournaments may see reduced profits in the future. (viii) In the future, the G/60 may have a full hour between advance registration and Round 1 start time.  Furthermore, the onsite fee may be increased to $50 (as against $34 for advance registration).

                        (b) The MA Open will be held on Memorial Day Weekend in Marlborough.  There may in the future be a need for a new site because the Royal Plaza hotel is increasing the block room rate by $10/room every year.

                        (c) The GBO Championship will be held in October, date and location TBD.

* * MOTION made by R. Messenger and seconded by S. Dann to enter Executive Session. The VOTE was taken; the MOTION passed UNANIMOUSLY. * * MACA voted to enter Executive Session at 1:54 PM and emerged from it at 2:10 PM.

                        (d) R. Messenger raised the issue of players’ contesting credit card charges for advance Tournament entries, resulting in $20 chargeback fees from PayPal.  (i) * * MOTION (416-2) made by R. Messenger and seconded by P. Arond to authorize the chief TD at any MACA Tournaments to bar players from entering future Tournaments until they have paid money they owe to MACA.  N. Smolensky said that this authority will include the implementation of passing the PayPal service fees on to customers in the Tournament fees. The VOTE was taken; with 1 vote against, the MOTION passed. * *

(ii) With this authorization, the Tournament Committee may now decide its policy of how to deal with customers responsible for PayPal chargeback fees.  This may include notification on the website that MACA will hold players financially responsible for chargeback fees, and a notification in e-mail entry confirmations that players must contact TDs to cancel attendance at Tournaments and NOT dispute charges made on credit cards with their card companies.


Scholastic: (a) S. Frymer submitted the following report by e-mail in advance:


“Scholastic Committee

Spiegel Cup final on 20 March
Hurvitz Cup on 3 April

Neither event drew the increased attendance we were looking for
w/ increased class prizes.

Next year we'll address the 'too many SCS events' complaint by limiting
the total number of events that would count for any individual's results.

Steve Frymer
scholastic chair”


                        (b) R. Messenger reported on the following Scholastic Tournaments:

                        (i) The 4th Spiegel Cup Qualifier was held on 3/6/16 in Marlborough.  It drew 98 players (down from 102 last year) and made a profit of $352.32 (down from $694.66 last year).

                        (ii) The Spiegel Cup Final was held on 3/20/16 in Marlborough.  It drew by invitation 41 players (down from 42 last year) and took a loss of $1260.99 (virtually identical to $1261.00 last year).  This tournament routinely loses money since there are only very limited entry fee collections.  The site rental was less expensive this year.

                        (iii) The Hurvitz Cup was held on 4/3/2016 in Boxborough.  It drew 129 players (down precipitously from 182 last year) and made a profit of $71.06 (down precipitously from $518.62 last year).

                        (c) The Scholastics Committee is about to discuss new rules about qualification toward the Spiegel Cup to be gained from SCS Tournaments run by Affiliates.  Two ideas are: (i) to limit the number of SCS events played in whose points count toward qualification; (ii) to count double the points earned from the 4 Qualifiers.


Promotions: (a) E.Chiu submitted the following report by e-mail in advance:


1. We had another successful placement in Sampan, the Chinatown newspaper. In the print edition, Carissa Yip was profiled on the front page in the lead up to her participation in the US Women's Championship. Nathan spoke about Carissa's meteoric rise and Tony's picture of the trophy presentation with Bob was used. The article in English can be found here; and in Chinese here.


Sampan's editor sent along some reader feedback: "flabbergasted that the youngest US female master was from Mass. And he was so glad she was on the front page to ????? (bring honor to the Chinese community)!"


We're definitely looking to place more positive stories like Carissa's and Eric's (in January). If there are any suggestions, please send them my way.


2. With the US Championship under way, our social media accounts are having some fun rooting for Carissa and Brandeis alum Sam Shankland, with semi-frequent updates as schedule allows.


3. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Look out for new interactive content (pictures and videos) for upcoming MACA tournamets before my term ends.


                        (b) N. Smolensky reported that he will stay in touch with the Boston Red Sox this year to arrange for a Blitz Tournament to be held at Fenway Park on the afternoon of a game night.

                        (c) N. Sterling reported that S. Frymer had complained recently about the failure to keep the Banner Ads on the MACA website updated with current events being shown (so that past events do not remain shown and give obsolete information).  It was decided that N. Sterling, in his role as Web Coordinator, will coordinate with Tiffany Wang, the Webmaster: he will draw up an itinerary of what events should be shown on the Banners in what order and for what date ranges.


Elections Commission: (a) J. Caruso submitted the following report by e-mail in advance:


                                                Report of the Elections Commission

April 17, 2016




As of the close of nominations on February 15, a total of 14 nominations were received: one for each of the Officer positions and 10 for Director.  In addition, a late nomination for officer and director was allowed based on the claim that it was delayed by network problems. 


Since that time one candidate for an officer position and one for Director have withdrawn.  The final slate contains one candidate for each officer position and 10 candidates for Director.  These are:



NATHAN SMOLENSKY Brookline, MA (incumbent) 



JOHN SADOFF Somerville, MA (incumbent)



ROBERT MESSENGER Nashua, NH (incumbent) 



NICHOLAS STERLING Needham, MA (incumbent) 


DIRECTOR   (8 positions)

PAUL AROND Lexington, MA (incumbent) 

DMITRY BARASH Brighton, MA (incumbent) 

JEFFREY CARUSO Carlisle, MA (incumbent) 

CHRISTOPHER CHASE Somerville, MA (incumbent) 

EDWARD CHIU Brighton, MA (incumbent) 

STEPHEN DANN Worcester, MA (incumbent) 

STEVEN FRYMER Lexington, MA (incumbent) 

TIFFANY WANG Boston, MA (incumbent) 

ROBERT E. KING Plymouth, MA 



As in previous years, candidates for a given office are listed incumbents first in alphabetical order, followed by the challengers in alphabetical order.


All candidates were notified of the need to be registered MACA members for the term of office.  As of the March 7 deadline, all candidates have memberships valid through June 2017.


Candidate Statements


On February 22, candidate statements were solicited from all candidates for officer and Director.  Eight candidate statements have been received and were posted in the Chess News section of the MACA Website on April 7.  A link to this posting will be included in the online ballot e-mail and a hard copy will be mailed with the paper ballots.


Voter Registration


After the close of voter registrations on February 29, the Membership Secretary forwarded the lists of voters to the Elections Commission.  80 online voters and 8 postal voters are registered, compared to 78 online and 9 postal last year. This includes some turnover in the form of new registrations and some lapsed memberships.




Paper ballots and the online voting form have been designed with all candidates' names and approved by the Elections Commission.


Remaining events on the Election timeline:


April 25: mail out paper ballots


May 1: send out electronic ballots


May 25: voting deadline for online ballots


May 27: voting deadline for mailed paper ballots


May 28: voting deadline for hand-delivered paper ballots


May 28-30: publication of results



Respectfully submitted,

    Jeffrey Caruso, Chair of the Elections Commission


                        (b) J. Caruso also circulated the paper ballot.  It will be mailed to eight voters.   All other voters will vote electronically by Survey Monkey, which is programmed to provide an e-mail confirming the receipt of the vote.


Education: N. Sterling said that he may later convene an Education Committee Meeting once MACA has installed the new Board and confirms whether he will continue in his position of Education Chair.

Publications: N. Smolensky reported that he is planning to send the next Chess Horizons issue to the printer on the week of April 25th.


LMCF: S. Frymer submitted the following report by e-mail in advance:



Joe Linares continues his effort in western Massachusetts.
He is volunteer teaching at Agawam HS and an elementary school.
We have provided chess sets, chess magazines, a chess clock and some teaching books.

Steve Frymer
lmcf coordinator”


Prison Chess: S. Frymer submitted the following report by e-mail in advance:


“Prison Chess

On 3 April we reached our goal of mailing 10,000 chess magazines
to prisons nationwide. The program is on-going. Our now goal is

Howard Goldowsky and Joe Kelly made a prison visit in February.
Anyone interested in visiting a prison can be added to Howard's call list.

Steve Frymer
prison chess coordinator”


Club Coordinator: none


Old Business: none


New Business:          (a) * * ADVANCE MOTION (416-3) made by R. Messenger and seconded by S. Dann: “Moved to create the Franklin Fund, which will consist of the $5,000 donated by Marilyn Franklin in memory of her husband Rufus and any future additions. Earnings from money in the fund will be used to support chess education.” The VOTE was taken; the MOTION passed UNANIMOUSLY. * *
                                    (b) (i) S. Dann reported that he has about 25 boxes of back issues Chess Horizons and historical records which need to be stored by 6/30/16.

(ii) * * MOTION (416-4) made by R. Messenger and seconded by N. Smolensky to authorize the expenditure of $100/month through the end of 2016 to store back issues of Chess Horizons and historical material.  The VOTE was taken; with 1 abstention, the MOTION passed. * *


President N. Smolensky, after thanking the MACA Board for a successful year and particularly praising new Directors J. Caruso and P. Arond, adjourned the April Board Meeting at 3:56 PM. The next Meeting is the Annual Board Meeting on Monday 5/30 at 9:00 AM at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,




                                                                        Nicholas Sterling, Clerk













Massachusetts Chess Association

FY17 Budget

Approved at the 4/17/16 board meeting




Memberships and subscriptions




Transfer from Life Membership Fund




Transfer from Prison Chess Fund




Adult tournaments (net)




Scholastic tournaments (net)




Donations (not including tournaments)




Other revenue (interest, labels etc.)




Total revenue






Chess Horizons (1 double, 2 single issues)




Player travel












Election expenses




Administrative expenses




PayPal service fees








Miscellaneous expenses




Total expenses