As I’ve talked about elsewhere, we completed the Colorado Open Championship on Labor Day weekend, but had to respond to diverse problems, with variable success. We also elected a new board at the membership meeting, with each board member elected by unanimous vote of the members in attendance. The new board went straight to work to complete the work on the Colorado Open and to make improvements for the future. I called for a special meeting of the board on September 13 to identify and address all the open items from the tournament. All the officers were in attendance, as were the acting Colorado Open tournament directors, some former CSCA board members, and our new at-large representative. Everyone worked cooperatively to make future CSCA tournaments be the well-run and enjoyable successes players and organizers should rightfully expect. The tournament directors reported on the results of the games played. The board voted to submit these results for USCF ratings and to publish the results to you. Barring corrections from players, the results will be used to send out the remaining tournament prizes next week. Please check your results on the CSCA website and let me know if you have comments. I also assigned a number of committees and individuals to take specific actions to ensure that tournaments are adequately staffed, directors have and use the best tournament direction tools available, problems are identified and corrected in time to pair rounds correctly, and everyone -- organizers and players alike -- knows their rights and responsibilities. I will report on these efforts as they are completed. I know they will help make our future tournaments the best they can be, and the successes we’ve come to expect from CSCA tournaments. Watch this space, and thank you all for your hard-fought chess games and feedback. Brad
Letter from the CSCA President to CSCA members and our many new tournament players...
Calling all chess players that played in the Colorado Open
Hello Colorado Open chess participants. Despite the unique challenges we saw in this years state championship, many hard battles and interesting games were played in every section. If you had a game you'd like to share and have published in our quarterly Colorado Chess Informant online magazine then send it to me by September 20th. Your game submission can be the moves only PGN or your notes are welcome. If you can send to my email, I will approve and submit for publication in our October issue. If you have any questions about this or anything about Colorado chess you are welcome to call me at 970-415-3855.
Need these games by September 21st for our October Informant.
Send your games to me at email@example.com
I'm looking forward to seeing your best games!
Colorado State Chess Association - Special Board Meeting
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.
Colorado Open Prizes — need your corrections by September 24th for final prize payout…
During our CSCA Board meeting this evening it was agreed we would send both the Blitz and Colorado Open tournament final results in for ratings at US Chess tomorrow. Within three days the results should be viewable online at US Chess. Considering the number of adjustments made in the pairings there may be some errors. Let me know if you see anything that doesn't look right and with your feedback, we hope to see the tournament at full accuracy. We will extend now until Friday, September 24th then we will finally pay out the Colorado Open prizes. We had hoped to do it earlier but decided the importance of accuracy was most important even with the added delay... sorry. We selected two new special committees: tournament player conduct and tournament planning that will assist us in immediate improvement in how we handle tournaments with a large number of new players going forward. It's going to be a great year in Colorado Chess that we all look forward to!
Press Release for the Denver Post -- Griffin McConnell wins state 2021 Colorado Chess Open Blitz Chess Championship
Griffin McConnell wins state 2021 Colorado Chess Open Blitz Chess Championship
Press Release for the Denver Post
Earlier this year, Fox News, Channel 31 KDVR gave us some coverage and focused on the amazing story of Griffin McConnell who despite several recent brain surgeries played in the Colorado Chess State Scholastics and placed well.
Since then, Griffin has had another very serious and risky brain surgery. It went fantastic and Griffin is recovering well!
Over Labor Day weekend, we held the 2021 Colorado Chess Championship and the state Blitz Championship (fast chess five minutes each for the entire game) at the Embassy Suites North.
Griffin scored an astonishing 6-0 in the state blitz championship! He finished clear first and is our new Blitz state champion! And this despite several of Colorado's top adult masters playing in the tournament. In the final round he defeated his brother Sullivan who is a National Master and current Colorado Closed Invitational Champion. This marked the first time Griffin has beaten his brother in a state competition.
I am copying Griffin's father and his personal chess coach, Lior Lapid who is a major support system for Griffin and part of this unbelievable event. They have traveled and competed together internationally.
Feel free to call me as well.
Colorado Chess Association President
CSCA Board Meeting: Monday, September 13th at 7pm
There will be a special CSCA Board Meeting on Monday, September 13th at 7pm.
We will be discussing aol aspects of our recent Colorado Open and what we can take away to improve our tournaments going forward.
This meeting is open to all CSCA members.
2021 Colorado Open News and Update
Congratulations to our new Colorado State Co-Champions: Lior Lapid and Rhett Langseth!
And to our Colorado Blitz Champion: Griffin McConnell!
More news on our many prize winners soon. Over $5,000 will be paid out for the Open.
This was a record setting type event with over 155 players in the Open and 67 new Unrated players. The Blitz had 53 players.
The final results of the Blitz and Colorado Open Chess Tournaments are being reviewed and all the players communications to us are being taken care of before we submit to US Chess for rating,
Any of the Blitz tournament prizes still not received will be sent out tomorrow, Tuesday, Setember 7th.
The final detail for the Open and the check payout should be completed on next Monday, September 13th.
This tournament was a once in a lifetime chess mess with huge delays in round times Friday and Saturday. I know everyone is at a loss to understand how we could have had such a tough Blitz and Open tournaments this year,
The explanation is it was on me and my fault. I followed the same plan used for the last Colorado Open 2019 and it seemed to go very well then. We knew we had more unrated players coming in this time and then many more came in last minute. 67 new players was phenomenal and like a national event. Setting them up and explaining takes time and I should have had much more support there than regular for sure. If our registration is all accurate then after first round corrections it should be easy and smooth the rest of the way. Under huge pressure early mistakes compounded the later round issues. We worked in the tournament room until 1:30am Saturday night to get things in order enough to have close to a regular day Sunday. I must thank Buck Buchanan, Brian Walker, Shirley Herman, Paul Covington and DuWayne Langseth for stepping up to save a difficult situation. We learned a lot and rather that get discouraged and quit, I am going to redouble my efforts and utilize our excellent team to ensure we are on track starting next tournament. You elected me yesterday to do a job and I will do it much better going forward. I will not make the mistake of assuming things are the same ever again. This is a new year and a new chess enviroment and it's time to understand how to take advantage of the huge new upswing and interest in chess. I am here to make Colorado Chess great and I will not rest well until that happens, I can promise you that.
All of your feedback and advice is always respected and appreciated.
CSCA Annual Membership Meeting - September 5, 2021 - Meeting and Election Results
CSCA Annual Membership Meeting Agenda and Election Results
September 5, 2021
CSCA Presidents summary for 2021 and a look ahead this year by Brad Lundstrom
Treasurer’s report by Josh Samuel
Elected Officers for the next year --
-President: Brad Lundstrom
-Vice President: Jesse Cohen
-Secretary: Scott Lett
-Treasurer: Josh Samuel
-Member at Large: Andrew Starr
-Junior Representative: Andrew Roerty
Paul Covington - US Open delegate report presented. We now need a new Colorado delegate to attend the US Open and represent next year - let us know if you are interested.
Membership questions and suggestions
Look for a new Toothless section (for players rated under 1000) at the 2022 Colorado Open next year. More details to follow...
Our new CSCA Board is excited to work with all our Colorado chess partners and see many enjoyable chess tournaments this year. The dates for this years state championship tournaments should be determined and announced within the next few weeks.