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MACA Board Minutes
 MACA Board Meeting, January 15, 2018
 Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Chess Association

Board of Director Meeting Minutes

Monday, January 15, 2018, 7:00pm

Panera Bread, Cambridge, MA

ATTENDEES:  Nathan Smolensky (President), Bob Messenger (Treasurer), Andrew Hoy (Clerk),
Paul Arond, Dmitry Barash, Steve Frymer, Larry Gladding, Oleg Poliannikov, and Steven Winer.

NEXT BOARD MEETING:  TBA, week of February 26th at Panera Bread, Cambridge, MA

1.     Meeting Minutes

MOTION:  Approval of minutes from the August 14, 2017 board meeting (BM/NS).

VOTE:  Passed, 9-0

MOTION:  Approval of minutes from the October 19, 2017 board meeting (NS/OP).

VOTE:  Passed, 8-0-1


2.     Committee Reports


Specific financial data was distributed to the board and discussed.  Year over year, MACA is down $2600 total.  This mostly represents a change in the accounting method used to account for Chess Horizons.  The total prize fund for the MA Open was slightly smaller than last year.

Chess Horizon expenses will be reviewed and discussed at a future meeting as they are a large part of the overall MACA budget.

The breakdown of expenses was mailed to board members following the meeting:

·         Printing:                       $2,150

·         Mailing:                        $455

·         Postage:                       $312.66

·         Contributor fees:      $875


Total membership counts are roughly level. 

There was a brief discussion during the meeting about how to handle members that pay for a tournament and later file a charge back with Paypal or their credit card company. 


Other committee reports were distributed via email and are summarized below



The Chess for Early Educators program is going well.  Agreement to run a pilot program has been received.  Sets and demo boards were purchased for the pilot program and will service three classes.  The total cost of the sets and demo board was ~$600 which was more than the $300 budget. 

In addition to the Chess for Early Educators program, Nathan also visited several local schools to receive feedback on how best to drive new players to local tournaments. 

MOTION:  Move $500 from the special projects fund to the education fund to cover the education budget shortfall (NS/BM). 

VOTE:  Passed, 7-0-2



Grants have been sent to charter schools in Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Westhampton, and Lowell.  Another grant went to a homeless shelter in Haverhill. 


Prison Chess

Mail correspondence continues with various inmates nationwide and mailings of Chess Horizons to inmates continues to expand.


3.     Bylaws Change Proposal

Allow officers other than the President to serve on the election committee.  It is hard to find enough volunteers for the election committee when the officers are specifically excluded.  The full text of the change will be presented to the general membership as part of the upcoming election and they will have the opportunity to overturn the bylaws amendment. 

MOTION:  Amend Section 7.1, Paragraph 1.a. to change the last sentence to read “Members of the Election Commission shall not be candidates for President” (BM/NS).

VOTE:  Passed, 8-0

4.     Promotions

The promotions committee would like to make an effort to promote players as opposed to events going forward.  To this end, volunteers are needed to write articles and distribute press releases with supplementary images.


5.     Player Support

Nathan visited several schools as part of MACA’s overall outreach.  There was definite interest from the schools in receiving funding to travel to MACA tournaments in the state.  This money might cover van rental, etc.  Various ways to make participation in MACA tournaments more feasible were discussed, including hosting closer events, reduced (or free) entry fees for schools, and travel funds.  Additionally, new tournament formats were discussed that would specifically target new chess players.  The existing tournament formats are not necessarily interesting for all levels from beginners to advanced (1000+) scholastic players. 

The possibility of hosting scholastic tournaments, very possibly unrated tournaments, in specific schools was discussed.  An unrated tournament in Brookline is in the works, Dmitry and Oleg are pursuing that. 

MOTION:  Budget $1500 for travel ($500 each) for the winners of the three championship scholastic tournaments in 2018 (BM/OP). 

VOTE:  Passed, 9-0

6.     Next Meeting

Next meeting will be a weeknight during the week of February 26, 2018 at 7pm at Panera Bread. 


VOTE:  Passed by acclamation