Colorado State Chess Association
Special Board Meeting
A special board meeting was called by CSCA President Brad Lundstrom, and held online 13 September 2021. The meeting began at 7 PM MDT with Brad Lundstrom, CSCA President, presiding and Scott Lett, Secretary reporting minutes.
1. In attendance:
Voting Board Members:
a. Brad Lundstrom, President
b. Jesse Cohen, Vice-President
c. Scott Lett, Secretary
d. Josh Samuel, Treasurer
e. Andrew Starr, At-large Representative
f. Paul Covington - President Emeritus
g. Earle Wilke
h. Shirley Herman
i. Rhett Langseth
j. DuWayne Langseth
k. Richard Shtivelband
l. Tom Nelson
m. Brian Walker
2. Purpose of meeting
The purpose of the special meeting was
a. to report to the board on problems encountered at the 2021 Colorado Open Chess Championship, to receive from Brian and Earle the tabulated results of games played, to vote on specific actions, to provide an opportunity for feedback from other attendees, and to assign other actions deemed appropriate by the President. These aims were accomplished, as summarized here.
Brad provided a summary of the 2021 Colorado Open and special problems encountered.
The tournament enjoyed an unexpectedly large turnout with many unrated players, which created a burden on data entry. The tournament director suffered a medical crisis, and was ultimately unable to continue as TD. Brian Walker (Open) and Earle Wickle (Blitz) stepped in, with lots of help from DuWayne Langseth, Shirley Herman and others, but data entry problems resulted in errors in results and pairings. Brad stepped in to
make and broker changes to the overall running of the tournaments, ultimately shortening both the blitz and classical open tournaments due to delays and other problems.
4. Actions taken:
a. Board Votes
The CSCA Board voted to take the following actions.
i. Based upon the level of confidence expressed by the TDs, accept the results for Colorado Open Blitz (Earle) and Colorado Open (Brian).
Publish results on CSCA site and submit for ratings. Submit corrections to USCF if any players bring corrections to CSCA attention. Delay sending out of as-yet unpaid prizes until the players have a chance to appeal the results. (votes: 5 for and 0 against)
ii. Accept the onsite decision to eschew the standard tiebreaks and award Colorado Co-championship to Rhett Langeth and Lior Lapid. (votes: 4 for and 1 against(Jesse))
b. Discussions, Followup Assignments from the President:
i. State Championship Title
Todd advocated for following the USCF rules of chess, which give explicit rules and recommendations for tiebreaks, and appealed to the 70-year history of awarding a single Colorado Champion title. Shirley and Andy also provided some clarifications of the USCF rules. DuWayne argued that the “decision was made,” despite the fact that a board vote was to be taken and had yet to be cast.
Brad described the special conditions of the 2021 tournament, including force majeure of Buck’s medical crisis and the problems encountered by the replacement tournament directors and volunteers, the cancellation of one round of the tournament, resulting in two perfect scores at the end of
the remaining rounds. Based upon agreement between Lior, Rhett, Brad, DuWayne and others, it was decided at the tournament to award
co-champion titles to Rhett and Lior. The second board vote decided
4-to-1 to ratify Brad’s onsite decision.
After the vote, Scott echoed the preference expressed by Jesse and Todd to follow the sporting rules of chess and use tiebreaks or a playoff to
select a single champion, rather than an ad hoc agreement between
players and organizers, but ultimately decided not to overrule promises made onsite. Scott recommended establishing and publicizing policies for such force majeure events (e.g. tornadoes, earthquakes, medical
emergencies, active shooters), but no action is taken at this time.
ii. Decorum at the Tournament
Josh expressed considerable frustration that the tournament conditions were chaotic and noisy, and not up to standards he expects of the Colorado Open championship, that the tournament directors did not enforce quiet conditions, and that some senior players and board members were part of the problem. He pointed to the Colorado Chess By-laws to illustrate the importance of providing conditions conducive to good play.
Scott pointed to Chapter 5 of the USCF rules of chess, which give rights of players to expect conditions to be conducive of good chess and the exceptions to standard rules, tiebreaks, etc, be announced and posted in advance. Brad appointed a committee of Tom, Josh and Scott to form a committee to make recommendations for future events.
Jesse pointed out that this was an extreme exception to how Colorado Chess tournaments are run, that we should apologize and explain this to the unrated participants, lest they think this is how we run events. Brad pointed to the letter he posted on the CSCA website that he asserted should suffice for an apology. DuWayne recommended refunding fees to all unrateds. Richard suggested CSCA reach out to DCC tournament directors for advice and assistance. No specific board action was taken on these ideas.
iii. Financial Reporting, Prizes and Expenses
Josh requested that a more organized and transparent approach be taken to making requests of the treasurer to send out prize and other payments. Brad agreed to send a summary to Josh to help him organize these requests.
Earle pointed out that the financial report generated by CaissaChess is automated and more than suffices for treasurer records. Andy also highly recommended standardizing on CaissaChess to avoid onsite problems with data entry errors, publishing pairings and results, and calculating tiebreaks. No specific board action was taken on these recommendations.
iv. Updating CSCA Membership Roster, Tournament Director List Josh will update the USCF affiliate director list, in particular adding Brian Walker to the list of Colorado tournament directors. Scott will follow up with Brad to gain access to the source data for the official membership list.