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MACA Board Minutes
 MACA Annual Membership Meeting Minutes, May 25, 2020
 Zoom Meeting

Massachusetts Chess Association

Annual Membership Meeting, held via Zoom

Monday, May 25, 2020


Minutes written by Bob Messenger, assisted by Robb Stewart.


President Oleg Poliannikov called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Present were Vice President Steve Winer, Treasurer and Assistant Clerk Bob Messenger, Directors Jeff Caruso, Nicholas Sterling,  Yi Wang, and Robb Stewart, Directors-elect Paul Arond and Latanya Sweeney, and members Bernardo Iglesias, Alonzo Ross, Michael Carey, George Mirijanian, Milt Evans, Stephen Dann, Kaustubh Kislay, and Robert E. King.


1.     Election Results

·       The results were reviewed, validated and read into the record.

·       Latanya Sweeney was acknowledged as new board member.

·       Paul Arond was recognized as a returning member after an absence.

·       The remaining officials were re-elected.

·       The extensive efforts that Nathan Smolensky put into MACA over the years in which he was the president and Chess Horizons editor was recognized.


2.     Treasurer’s Report

o   It was reported that a net income surplus of $13,671.44 was received for FY 2020, despite the loss of revenue from tournaments that were canceled in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The surplus was due mainly to greatly reduced Chess Horizons expenses and increased net income from tournaments that were held before the cancellations. The treasurer report is available on request by sending email to 


3.     Tournaments

·       Mass Open: the format for this tournament is open for debate. Anticipated date for the rescheduled event is later in the fall of 2020. Several scenarios are being considered, including a 5 round event, similar to the CCA, which has 1 game on Friday evening, and two games on each of the weekend days.

·       On-line Tournaments: It was agreed that this will be discussed in committee and include Yi Wang and Prathiba Yuvarajan. The focus will be on scholastic potential.

·       MACA Scholastic Grand Prix: Transition to the grand prix system was successful in 2020. Winners will be announced soon. Expectations are that once the pandemic subsides, a modified system with most events falling in 2021 will be instituted. This will be discussed further in committee.

·       Spiegel Cup: There was discussion about possibly changing to grade-based sections instead of age-based in order to align better with US Chess’s Denker, Barber, and Rockefeller tournaments.

·       Girls Tournaments: A qualifier for the Susan Polgar event was discussed, as well as a qualifier for the girls championship. It was requested and agreed that rules will be added onto the website that are specific to girls events.


4.     Player Development Program

·       Yi Wang spoke to the matter for girls. This year was difficult to get going due to COVID-19. It is recognized that Massachusetts has a several stronger girls (1700+). He discussed the success of the on-line camp run by Nadia Kosentseva, in which 4 Saturday sessions each consisting of 4 ½ hours was scheduled and run. The camp was well organized and beneficial for the girls that participated. 

·       It was also recognized that for scholastic players rated above 2000, there is not a sustained program for development (as there is in other parts of the country). Further discussion will be relegated to committee.


5.     Membership

o   Bob Messenger provided total membership counts and changes from last year. It was noted that MACA membership dropped by 139 members to a total membership count of 733. The primary reason for the membership drop is due to the cancellation of events (such as the Mass Open and Hurvitz Cup) that historically have had a large number of membership applications and renewals.

o   Prison Chess was discussed. Concern was raised that there is no more Chess Horizons, which has traditionally been a major benefit for prison members. Ideas were discussed including:

§  Receive donations of back-issues for distribution

§  Continue to support all prison members (532) which are distributed across the country, or support only those in MA prisons

§  Understand the cost of postage if distributing materials

§  Will prison chess continue to be wholly funded by donations (including donated TD Fees)

§  There is currently $4,376 in the prison chess fund.

§  Would we be able to align to the US Chess prison program?

o   It is recommended that these topics be discussed further in committee.


6.     Other Topics

·       Chess in Schools was brought up, which is a program that Nathan Smolensky was originally spearheading. Nick Sterling is familiar with this program and can share more information.

·       There is on-line chess instruction that is happening in Bridgeport CT that is being provided for free by the local chess club. This model is of interest to MACA and more information will be brought to the board.

·       Another program for consideration is to enable advanced scholastic players to teach to emerging players in schools. This initiative could be started as an on-line program, given the current situation with COVID-19. The motivation is to get the program into schools now to institute a potential longer-term relationship with school system. Latanya Sweeney will follow up.

·       Alternate channels for publishing newsletters was discussed, and a medium to replace Chess Horizons. This will need further discussion.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.