Skip Navigation Links
MACA Board Minutes
 MACA Board Meeting, July 31, 2016
 Panera Bread, 174 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02138



President N. Smolensky called the July Board Meeting to order at 2:03 PM at Panera Bread at Fresh Pond Mall in Cambridge.  Ten people were in attendance: President Nathan Smolensky, Vice-President John Sadoff (departed 3:21 PM), Treasurer Robert Messenger, Clerk Nicholas Sterling, and Directors Jeffrey Caruso, Paul Arond, Steven Frymer, Edward Chiu, Dmitry Barash, and Christopher Chase.


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


Treasurer: We were in between Quarterly Reports at this Meeting.


Membership: R. Messenger read the Membership numbers as follows: Adults: 211

(+4); Junior 421 (+8); Life 204 (=); Affiliate 9 (=); Complimentary 1 (=);

D. Library 4 (-1); D. Subscriber 15 (+1); Exchange 15 (=); Library 1 (=); Prison 371 (-1); Subscriber 9 (=).  Total change in Membership and Subscribers: +9.


Tournament: (a) The MA Senior Open is scheduled on 9/17-9/18/16, four Rounds over two days, at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.

                        (b) The Greater Boston Open is scheduled on 10/30/16 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.

                        (c) The Pillsbury Memorial is scheduled on 12/14/16 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.

                        (d) The 86th MA Open is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend 2017.   The location, which may again be the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, is currently TBD.

                        (e) The 2016 New England Open is scheduled for Labor Day weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn in Burlington.  This tournament will be run by Alex Relyea, who will settle profit/loss sharing with NECA after the tournament is finished.  There is concern that the tournament will lack Scholastic Sections and therefore may prove unprofitable.  The hotel should be examined as a possible future spot for other MACA Tournaments.



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

“The Spiegel Cup schedule is set through calendar 2017:

Q #1 on 2 October;

Q #2 on 20 November; and

Q #3 on 11 December.

Q #4 not yet contracted for March 2017 and

S.C. finals not yet contracted for March 2017.

The Hurvitz Cup is scheduled for 9 April [2017]. We are
working on a contract.

The G.G. Grade School Championship is scheduled for mid-January.

The Mass. Junior, formerly Fall Team, is scheduled for 18 September. [CLERK’S NOTE: this date will be revised in future Minutes.]

The Winter Team is scheduled for late January.”


                        (b) D. Barash reported that the Mass. Junior, which needs to be moved to a different date from the reported so as not to conflict with the Senior Open, will feature either a Blitz or a Bughouse tournament, and surveys will be circulated in advance to find out which kids will prefer.  There may also be a Ladder-format tournament.

                        (c) C. Chase raised the concern that there are very few MA kids playing in National Tournaments in contrast to other highly competitive states such as TX and VA.  Only four MA kids attended the last National Tournament that had over 2000 players in attendance.  C. Chase hopes MACA will work to promote these National Tournaments more actively among the MA Scholastic players.


Education:     (a) N. Sterling reported that he plans to convene an Education Committee Meeting to discuss, among other subjects, putting MEETTI in operation at last.

                        (b) The Giant Chess Set has finally been located in a new home with AP Chinese School in Sharon, which also plans to revamp its previous Chess program.

                        (c) Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton may soon set up a weekly chess club that will include an educational element.

Promotions:   (a) E. Chiu reported that this is the time of the 2nd Annual Summer Photo Campaign.   Photos came in from the Denker Tournament and from the Sharon Chess Tournament held on 6/30.

                        (b). D. Barash said he has published on his own site a full list of MACA Affiliates on a map.

Publications: (a) N. Smolensky reported that the next Chess Horizons is about to be released, and includes articles by David Vigorito and Jacob Chudnovsky, and interviews with Mika Brattain and Siddharth Arun who are both departing for college this fall.

                        (b) The following issue is targeted to be published in early October.

                        (c) N. Smolensky has submitted an application for the Chess Journalists of America award (CJA).


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

                                    “As of 30 July 2016 we have mailed 12,500 chess magazines to prisons

since the spring of 2015.”


LMCF: none


Old Business:            (a) There was further discussion about MOTION 416-4 from the April Board Meeting, moved to authorize $100/month to be spent to store potentially useful materials from Stephen Dann’s warehouse, such as ­Chess Horizons back issues and old tournament scores, in a new location by the end of June so that they do not get discarded.  Because that deadline had passed as of this meeting, and because no resolution with Stephen Dann had been reached (S. Frymer & N. Sterling), the matter was allowed to drop.

                                    (b) (i) N. Smolensky brought up the project of the Scholastic League.  There will be a Trial Run period set up, and the Memberships can be purchased at $9/month, or $40-$50/year, or (if purchased in bulk) less than $10/year.   The hope is to feed online tournaments into the Scholastic Tournaments and to provide active MA coaches an online medium for access to larger MA Scholastic events.

J. Sadoff also pointed out the educational potential of the site.

                                         (ii) C. Chase reiterated his concerns from the last Meeting that there could be other deals cheaper and/or better than the one, and that MACA needs to be careful not to sponsor a for-profit organization to no direct benefit to MACA.  N. Sterling also reiterated that his past effort to set up a League in 2015 was unsuccessful; therefore, the site needs careful beta testing.


                                    (c) J. Caruso, on an inquiry from C. Chase, said that he is in ongoing conversation with Tiffany Wang about finding an assistant Webmaster, a position J. Caruso himself may take.

                                    (d) There was an offshoot discussion about the places to publish MA-related non-MACA chess news, which include: (i) the Chess News site on, (ii) the blog set up by E. Chiu (and which should be linked on, (iii) the Facebook Group set up by N. Sterling currently named Friends Who Like Massachusetts Chess Association (a name he will likely change in the future), which should be promoted to MA Chess organizers so that we will increase the Group’s Membership and draw in far more posts.


New Business:          (a) * * MOTION (716-1) made by R. Messenger and seconded by J. Caruso to reimburse the parents of Joy Cao up to $500 toward travel expenses to attend the World Youth Competition.  The VOTE was taken; the MOTION passed UNANIMOUSLY. * *
                                    (b) * * MOTION (716-2) made by N. Smolensky and seconded by R. Messenger  to grant to the Scholastic Committee authority to distribute funds budgeted for player travel to players invited to attend major tournaments.   C. Chase objected that this much looser system of awarding stipends will make it more difficult to set deadlines for parents to apply. The VOTE was taken; with six votes in favor versus 1 against and 2 abstentions, the MOTION passed. * *  


President N. Smolensky adjourned the July Board Meeting at 4:04 PM.   The date of the September Board Meeting was set at 9/11/16, with place and time TBD.  [CLERK’S Note: The date was subsequently changed to 11/6/16 at 2:00 PM at Panera Bread on Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge.]


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,




                                                                        Nicholas Sterling, Clerk