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MACA Board Minutes
 MACA Board Meeting, February 22, 2018
 Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Chess Association

Board of Director Meeting Minutes

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:00pm

Panera Bread, Cambridge, MA

ATTENDEES:  Nathan Smolensky (President), John Sadoff (Vice President), Bob Messenger (Treasurer), Andrew Hoy (Clerk), Paul Arond, Jeffrey Caruso, and Oleg Poliannikov.

NEXT BOARD MEETING:  TBA, between April 3 and April 12 at Panera Bread, Cambridge, MA

1.     Meeting Minutes

MOTION:  Approval of minutes from the January 15, 2018 board meeting (RM/OP).

VOTE:  Passed, 5-0


2.     Committee Reports


The overall finances of MACA are promising as the net YTD is $2,667.74 which is a large improvement from the last report.  Although MACA is not performing as well in 2018 as it did in 2017, the organization continues to add members and increase overall tournament attendance.  One negative note was that the blitz/bughouse tournament lost money (a net of ($918.90)) due to poor attendance and competing events. 

Total membership counts increased by 7 members.


Other committee reports were distributed via email and are summarized below



Teacher and parent response to our pilot programs at the West Somerville Neighborhood School has been very strong, and we now have potential pilots in Somerville's Kennedy School, Watertown's Stephens School, and possibly Hyde Park's Channing school. Though there is certainly a learning curve to overcome for teachers without prior chess experience, our focus on introducing the game to the youngest possible audience at a rudimentary level seems to help ease this process

The Kennedy School is intending to start its pilot this year, and we have enough boards and sets to support them from our initial purchases, though demo boards and supplemental materials cost should bring us to right around our budget allotment. The other pilots would not begin until the coming school year.



The RSM Brookline tournament will take place on May 6 around 1PM.  The exact time will be determined soon. This arrangement isn't ideal in many respects but it's the best RSM could do.  The Girls’ Championship will take place on a different date [later scheduled and completed on April 1].


As of now, there is zero content in for the next issue of Chess Horizons, barring the potential use of two annotated games by Alexander Ivanov, which combined would take up between two and three pages of space and cost $150 in contributor fees.  Outreach efforts have begun with regard to USATE coverage, which hopefully will result in at least one article of considerable length, as it has in past years.

Beyond that, there are several contributors who might write articles, although no drafts have been sent for review.  The lack of timeliness among all contributors hampers efforts to publish the magazine on a schedule.  The hope to get an issue out in Q1 of this year 2018 is slim.

Also, several Holidays issues mailed out have been returned to us due to a suspected failure by the printing company in processing our .csv address file, and MACA will request reimbursement in the coming weeks.


3.     Financial Accounts

MOTION:  Add Nathan Smolensky as a signer and remove Kenneth Ballou from the Citizens Bank accounts (RM/PA).

VOTE:  Passed, 7-0

The board discussed other options for accounts that would yield a higher return than the current CD’s and savings account.  A motion was submitted in advance of the meeting to open an account at the online Discover bank, however it was withdrawn and the Investment Committee (J. Caruso, B. Messenger, N. Smolensky) will discuss options for investing and prepare a recommendation for the next board meeting.


4.     Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

The budget for 2018 was proposed and there was discussion to amend it in various ways.  The board considered amending the budget to increase the Chess Horizons budget by $1000 (see additional discussion on Chess Horizons below) and offset this by reducing Player Travel by $500, and removing the Scholastic Player Support line (previously the Special Projects line in past years).  The motion was withdrawn. 

The board also discussed moving $500 from the Player Travel line to the Scholastic Player Support line.  As presented, the budget would allow $500 for each of the three scholastic champions and $500 for the senior champion.  This motion would eliminate the travel stipend for the senior champion in favor of using the funds for additional scholastic programs at the discretion of the Education Committee.

MOTION:  Amend the budget to move $500 from Player Travel to Scholastic Player Support.

VOTE:  Failed, 3-3-1

MOTION:  Approve the budget for FY 2019.

VOTE:  Passed, 5-0-2



5.     Chess Horizons

Preparing and editing Chess Horizons is a time-consuming task and Nathan has made it clear that he intends to step back from editing Chess Horizons this year.  To that end, there was discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of ending the printed magazine and instead publishing articles on the website.  The board did not have a clear direction on how to handle ending the printed magazine, and it was decided to wait until after the Board of Directors had a recommendation for the general membership before any surveys or ballot questions were sent to the full MACA membership. 

For reference, the editor receives approximately $600 per edition although Nathan has generously been donating his editor’s fee for the last several years.  The contributors receive approximately $400 per edition and the printing and postage costs in excess of $1900 per issue. 

One idea to offset the cost of Chess Horizons was to increase membership dues, which might be discussed in the future.


6.     Next Meeting

Next meeting will be between April 3 and April 12 at Panera Bread.


VOTE:  Passed by acclamation


Massachusetts Chess Association

FY19 Budget

Approved February 22, 2018









Memberships and subscriptions

 $   7,000.00



Transfer from Life Membership Fund

 $   1,140.00



Transfer from Prison Chess Fund

 $   3,600.00



Adult tournaments (net)

 $   3,500.00



Scholastic tournaments (net)

 $      500.00



Donations (not including tournaments)

 $      200.00



Other revenue (interest, labels etc.)

 $         45.00





Total revenue

 $ 15,985.00










Chess Horizons (1 double, 2 single issues)

 $   9,000.00



Player travel

 $   2,000.00



Scholastic player support

 $      500.00




 $      300.00




 $      800.00



Internet expenses

 $         50.00



Election expenses

 $         50.00



Administrative expenses

 $   1,000.00



Investment expenses

 $         75.00



PayPal service fees

 $   1,450.00




 $      600.00



Miscellaneous expenses

 $      160.00





Total expenses

 $ 15,985.00