Colorado State Chess Association

Trying to Schedule OTB events

I trust everyone is staying safe and enjoying the cooler weather... 

Tentatively planning to hold the

-- Closed on Oct 30, 31, & 1 Nov, 2020

-- Colorado Open: Nov 13, 14, & 15, 2020

Government allowing.

We will follow health guidelines at these events.

Provide your feedback/thoughts to

Updates -- tentative OTB schedule

This is a tenative schedule for making up the Closed and the Open events. Still working on the Class event.

Online meeting September 13 included Annual reports, shared comments, and no election--we just had a quorum but did not have members willing to serve on the board.

The election will need to be combined with a tournament.

I have been working on two makeup tournaments.

Closed: targeting Oct 30, 31 & Nov 1

Open: Nov 13, 14 & 15

This is all up to the Governor's lockdown rules.

If we can have the Open -- we will have the election on Nov 15th (Sunday) after round 4 (the morning round).

Still working on the Class makeup dates. Hope this helps! (Paul)

CSCA Board Reports

Members' Annual Meetings Sunday, Sep 13, 2020. 6 PM for open discussion/listening session, 7 PM for Business meeting and Elections

These are the reports I have received so far: 

President’s Report 2019-2020

                                                                                                                                        September 10, 2020

Annual Reports are summaries of the year. This year was one for the record books and was sharply cut in half, before pandemic and after pandemic. CSCA had many accomplishments this year.

First and most important, I thank our Board for a wonderful year. We came together in our first board meeting determined to make this a great year for Colorado Chess. All board members gave of their time, talent, and treasure (yes, this board has been marked by their giving in all three areas). Our brainstorming session produced many ideas, then we began the process of planning how to accomplish those ideas. We worked together sharing and being transparent and accountable to each other. This has been the best board I have served on!

Together, we faced many challenges, established goals, worked to fulfill our 501(c)3 charter, kept our eyes on the goals and shared many accomplishments. The pandemic cut short our chess year yet we still had a busy year. The minutes of our meetings are listed on the website.


Ann Davies attended Grant Writing classes and wrote several grants, one was approved! This was a first for the CSCA. Some write hundred of grant requests before getting an approval, so this is a tribute to Ann and to Kevin for his support aiding Ann. The American Association of University Women has granted us $5,700 dollars to teach chess classes to girls in Title 1 Elementary schools in the Denver area. This program has been delayed until Spring of 2021. This grant was made possible because Ann taught these classes as a volunteer before applying for a grant. This paves the way for future instructors to be paid. The grant also will provide chess sets for the students. These sets and boards have already been purchased.

Kevin McConnell worked to bring the FIDE World Championship for Disabled Youth to Denver. Sadly, this has been postponed to July 2021 but is still on track. This is a major get for our chess. Teams from all over the world are scheduled to play. I have been assured this is an amazing show of pageantry. It will be a lot of work, but puts Denver on the map for future events.

One major goal was to reunite the Scholastic program as an integral part of the CSCA. This led to bringing the checking accounts together under the elected CSCA Treasurer. The appointed Director of Scholastic chess still has check writing responsibilities but now has a backup should an emergency occur. This protects the CSCA. This also led to an expanded scholastic event planned by Lior Lapid (this years Director) and Kevin. Mike Klein of ChessKids brought a booth to our event and there were food trucks, t-shirt shop, a parents’ chess tournament, a hand and brain chess event, a blitz championship, and a great Awards Ceremony. Every volunteer was honored by applause and meal stipends. I presented a special thank you plaque to Todd Bardwick for his many years of service to both CSCA and Scholastic chess. Lior led the presentation of trophies to the children. This was one of the best CSCA events I have attended.

 CSCA did host the 2019 Class Championship and the 2020 Senior Championship, both at the Ranch in Loveland, before our tournaments were postponed due to the pandemic. It is our goal to host the Closed, Class, and Open this Fall or Spring if we are allowed.

While the Senior event was the last Championship event we were allowed to hold, it was not the end of our year. We still had to work through the difficulties as the results of the pandemic. One of these was Kevin’s decision to resign to dedicate all of his time to protecting his family. He worked tirelessly checking out playing sites, presenting plans and ideas to improve Colorado chess and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his amazing efforts. Thank you, Kevin!

Brad Lundstrom was selected by the Board to complete the year as VP in early April. In a brainstorming session, Brad presented the idea to hold a fundraiser event to support Colorado families needing food. We selected the Salvation Army to administer this program. Brad’s vision and hard work resulted in an online tournament (he’ll tell you more about this) that raised over three thousand dollars for families. WOW!!! Everyone on the Board was amazed by the generosity of our Colorado chess family! Congratulations to Brad for the vision, Alayne Wilinsky for directing the event, and to all who contributed!


This year Colorado chess has been honored by our volunteers receiving recognition for their efforts. While all volunteers deserve recognition from CSCA members and we do thank each volunteer, we are highlighting these.

Fred Spell: His work producing the Colorado Chess Informant has won numerous awards as the best online State Magazine/Newsletter. However; this year the Chess Journalists of America recognized Fred’s work on the CCI was awarded the Cramer Award: Best State Magazine - Online! Fred’s win beating Northwest Chess is a major accomplishment for Fred and Colorado chess. Congratulations Fred!

John Brezina: is a behind the camera kind of guy but he was the lead in a report featuring his photos of the U.S. Chess Championship. The report from St. Louis earned a Cramer Award for the Best Personal Narrative. John report included colorful stories by Brian Wall and JC McNeil’s comments. This is the first time CSCA submitted John’s work for an award. We are happy he won! Thanks John for all of your work over the years. Sorry it has taken us so long to honor your efforts.

Paul Covington: earned the US Chess Federation Award for Meritorious Service to US Chess. This award was for his work with the Clubs Committee rewriting the Guide to a Successful Chess Club as part of the Committee’s work and his service to chess over the years in Colorado, South Dakota, and Florida. It was special to be honored for my work. Thank you Colorado Chess for allowing me to serve you.

CSCA has received numerous donations this year. Thanks to all who donated to the online tournament fundraiser! All of the Board members made significant contributions this year. We have two other fundraisers this year: Shirley Herman raised over five hundred dollars and George Mikhailavich raised $360 dollars. Both have earmarks: one for inviting titled players to Denver Open; the other to host a scholastic tournament in Colorado Springs. The CSCA is honored to have such dedicated support.

Other thoughts:

CSCA has established relationships with other non-profits to establish our reputation and rating as a nonprofit organization. Facebook required some of these affiliations before they could pay us the fundraiser’s funds. These include Network for Good,, PayPal account, GuideStar by Candid, Charity Navigator and some others.

Looking forward: We have some challenges ahead of us. Pulling together the events we missed this year, preparing the 2021 Scholastic Championship, the upcoming FIDE World Championship for Disabled Youth, and our regular tournaments. The Board will need your support to achieve these goals. How can you support? Please pay your membership dues early. We are in good financial shape now and want to remain that way.

In Summary: This has been a busy year, filled with challenges, but this Board has worked hard to meet these challenges. Now, to the other reports. It has been an honor to serve with each of you.

From Brad Lundstrom - VP

After our elected VP Kevin  McConnell resigned from the CSCA board last April, Paul Covington contacted me on behalf of the board and asked me if I would be willing to serve out Kevin’s term. I accepted the invitation and upon attending the first few board meetings saw that due to the pandemic we were on shutdown mode and canceling everything up to and then later including our Colorado Open. 

Seeing the success the Denver Chess Club was having with Alayne Wilinsky directing online tournaments through Lichess was encouraging. My idea was for the CSCA to do an outreach to all Colorado Chess players and do a fundraising online tournament to benefit families suffering from the economic aftermath of the Covid-19 shutdown. Alayne directed and many volunteered as we put together a Saturday, June 20th event. I was able to enlist Grandmasters Alex Fishbein, Timur Gareyev and IM Keaton Kiewra to join us and we had one open section with all donations going to the Salvation Army food pantry. With 121 players and Colorado chess friends we raised $3,410.  Never before has Colorado Chess done an event like this to benefit society outside the chess world. I contacted many newspapers, TV, radio and magazines to share our story but did not make progress. However I learned a lot and it may yet serve us well in future public relation efforts. The director of the United States Chess Federation Carol Meyer did recognize our efforts and sent her thanks to all Colorado chess players. 

Going forward I am willing to continue to serve as VP if you want me. Our primary goal is to hope and pray these pandemic times pass and we get chess back to normal. In everything we do safety is our top priority. In the meantime lots of communication, zoom meetings and  online chess will be our norm. I understand cheating on online chess is a huge concern and we will continue to follow USCF advice.

In the meantime I am running two scholastic clubs, directing local seniors tournaments, provide private lessons and am working with Zach Bekkedahl of Chessmates to add some multi- school chess classes ... everything online.

When we are able to restore regular chess activity in Colorado, I’d like to help get us back to all our regular tournaments and in facilitating that effort.

Beyond that I am interested in serving Colorado Chess and have many exciting ideas that I will not go into now. One step at a time. 

Paul Covington has done a remarkable job as our CSCA President and the current board; Lior, Ann, Dean, Gracie, Griffin and Sullivan have been simply outstanding. Many thanks to Kevin McConnell  who worked so hard and accomplished so much during his time this year as well. Looking forward to doing our best for Colorado chess this next year under any circumstances we face.

Ann Davies

Colorado State Chess Association

Secretary's Annual Report 2019-2020

Membership Activities and Objectives:
The 2019-2020 year began with a review of the membership records both current and expired.   This was an important task to take on since the funds CSCA uses throughout the year are primarily derived from membership dues.

Upon review of these records, it was noted that there were quite a few players, who participated in CSCA sponsored tournaments, whose membership had expired.   Immediate steps were taken to remedy that situation by updating membership lists as well as revising membership application forms for clarity.   In addition, the Board decided to eliminate players signing up for a single tournament membership instead of a yearly membership.  The annual Scholastic tournament remained an exception to that rule.   Costs for individuals and family members remained the same throughout this year.

A majority of our memberships typically renew during the time of the Colorado Open.  As of September 14, 2019, there were 141 current CSCA memberships.   Dean Brown collected 44 CSCA membership forms at last year's Colorado Open (19 of those were new, 21 were renewals and 4 unknown).  Out of those memberships renewals, 20 were junior memberships and 5 were senior memberships.

The Board had an overarching objective this year of increasing memberships.   Partnering with the Denver Chess Club, a CSCA representative, Vice President Kevin McConnell, attended DCC tournaments with the objective of signing up members - both new and renewal.

As of this September 8, 2020, there are 151 current CSCA members.   This represents a slight increase even though the CSCA was unable to hold many state tournaments, especially the Colorado Open, due to the covid 19 pandemic.  The Board had discussed many ideas and plans with the hope of surpassing the number of 2019 Colorado Open participants (118 players) for 2020 and make it a truly spectacular event.  Unfortunately, the Colorado Open was cancelled.  As a result, our current membership is reflective of these facts.

Due to the pandemic, the CSCA Board voted to extend membership dates by six months.   The 151 total membership on September 8, 2020 does not reflect this addition.

The CSCA hit the ground running with Kevin McConnell's and Lior Lapid's goal to increase the number of girls who play chess in Colorado.   Their plan was to bring free chess instruction to girls in Title 1 schools.   Ann Davies volunteered to teach these classes at no cost to the schools or the CSCA.   Through the CSCA's endeavors, a total of three Title 1 schools and approximately fifty girls received nine weeks of chess instruction at each school, once a week, along with free chess sets to take home and keep.  These chess sets were paid for through specially earmarked donations.  In addition, Lior encouraged these girls to participate in his monthly PALS tournaments at no cost.

During the fall semester of 2019, two schools were selected:  Kullerstrand Elementary and Eiber Elementary.   The enrollment at Kullerstrand was 14 girls  and 18 girls at Eiber.   These classes ran for approximately nine weeks.   During the spring semester of 2020, chess classes were also taught by Ann at Wilmore Davis for nine weeks.  The enrollment at Wilmore Davis was approximately 18 students.

Continuing with Kevin McConnell's vision, the CSCA applied for a few grants in the fall of 2019 to help raise funds to continue and expand this program.

The CSCA successfully obtained a grant in the amount of $5,700 from the American Association of University Women to expand this instructional program to ten Title 1 schools in the metropolitan Denver area.   The funds would be used to hire chess teachers and pay for chess sets.   The initial time period for the grant was the 2020-2021 school year.   However, due to the pandemic, the beginning date of this grant has been extended to the beginning of January 2021.

This has been an exciting and productive year for chess in Colorado due to the vision, hard work and dedication of this year's Board members.   Thanks to President, Paul Covington, we have had many scheduled Board meetings throughout the year designed to review issues and plan for future events.   The goal of these meetings has always been to be inclusive and transparent.   I believe this Board's accomplishments would have been even greater had it not been cut short by the pandemic.   That said, in spite of the shortened chess calendar year, this CSCA Board has done an outstanding job.

I would like to thank the 2019-2020 Board members for their passion and love of chess and encourage new members to volunteer.   This has been a truly rewarding experience on my part.

Dean Brown: 
(Note: All CSCA accounts were brought under the elected Treasurer this year. The three accounts are with US Bank in three separate checking accounts. Dean has managed the difficult tack of bringing all this together -- Thank you!) PC

Main: $12,178.83 | Scholastic: $19721.99 | Scholarship: $838.19

Per Paul's request, I'm reporting some finer detail of this fiscal year's Main Account financials:
STRIPES Deposits: $12,602.96 (an amalgamation of entry fees, donations, memberships, reimbursements; specifics of which I have no direct access. Paul Covington and Dean Clow have the permissions to interrogate individual STRIPES transactions):

The following are Main Account checkbook transactions:

  • Tournament Deposits: $1,276.00
  • Tournament Prizes Paid: $2,265.00
  • Tournament Sites: $2,310.00
  • Tournament Site Reimbursement: $500.00
  • Tournament Reimbursements: $2,304.44
  • Donations Received: $1,145.00
  • Donations Paid Out: $3,930.00
  • Equipment Purchased: $1,856.33
  • Insurance (Annual): $584.00
  • Memberships: $390.00
  • Instructor: $300
  • Domain Name Fees: $30

Dean W Brown, Treasurer (for 2 more days)

Lior Lapid, Scholastic Director

• The total cost to rent Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and equipment for the weekend of February 14-16 was $4,925. We’ve reserved this site for the 2021 CO Scholastic State Championship over the weekend of February 12-14. The cost will probably remain the same, if the CSCA decides to rent the same number of rooms, but they haven’t yet requested a deposit or sent an invoice.
• We purchased four DGT boards and sets for $3500.64
• CSCA purchased 80 replacement sets, with 40 of them for scholastic tournaments, for $460
• USCF National scholastic tournaments were held online due to COVID, so no money was spent on stipends for Colorado’s top scholastic players this year
2020 CO Scholastic State Championship (February 14-16)
• 264 players in grades K-12 participated in the main tournament on Saturday and Sunday, and 53 of them competed in the blitz championship on Friday evening. 18 parents played in the Colorado Parents Championship on that Saturday.
• We are very grateful to chief tournament director Todd Bardwick, assistant tournament director Gunnar Andersen, Ken Cowin and Karthika Sakhtisaravanan (who directed the K-1 section), Paul Covington (who directed the Parents Championship and the “Hand and Brain” event), and all of the volunteers including Josh Bloomer, Penny and Pete Cannici, Jesse Cohen, Maria Figueroa, DuWayne Langseth, Brad Lundstrom, Kevin McConnell, Gracie Mukayess, Josh Romero and all of the parents who helped out with directing and/or live commentary throughout the event.
• The Colorado Scholastic Blitz Championship and Colorado Parents Championship were both new events that were well-received, as was the fun “Hand and Brain” event that Paul directed. We hope to repeat all of these side events in next year’s scholastic state championship.
• Four food trucks sold food at the event: Chuey Fu’s, Migration Taco, Piante Pizza and Stella Blue. All were popular and the owner’s told us that they’d love to come back next year.
• We doubled the stipend to $40 and a state championship t-shirt for each of the assistant TDs.
• Cayden Hetzel, Sullivan McConnell, and Akshat Jain (the winners of the K-5, K-8, and K-12 sections respectively) all had the honor of representing Colorado in the National Championships for their age groups (the Rockefeller, Barber and Denker respectively). Sarah Herman was the top scoring girl in the K-12 section and she was the Colorado representative in the Ruth Haring National Girls Tournament of Champions where she tied for 6th place. We are very proud of all of the CO scholastic champions who fought hard in these prestigious national championships.
• Overall, despite a few hiccups before the first round started, this was a fun tournament that ran smoothly and easily thanks to the generous help of so many volunteers. We hope it will continue to grow over time.
1st FIDE Confederation Cup for the Disabled in Ankara, Turkey
• Rising talent Griffin McConnell was invited to play in the 1st FIDE Confederation Cup for the Disabled in Ankara, Turkey from December 7-14. FIDE paid for the tickets and hotel expenses, as Griffin is one of the top players with disabilities in the world for his age. Griffin’s result was extraordinary: four wins out of four games (the only player in the entire tournament to achieve a perfect score), a Best Game Prize (selected by a panel of FIDE judges who reviewed all the games in the tournament!) for his win in round 2, an individual Gold Medal on board 5 and a bronze medal for Team Americas. Griffin became an overnight celebrity at the awards ceremony, with many people coming up for him asking for autographs and pictures with him.
• I had the honor of accompanying Griffin as his coach and, to my surprise, as captain of Team Americas. It was a magical week, and Griffin and I became friends with the other five players on our team as well as Israeli Grandmaster Artur Kogan and others who we socialized with throughout the week. On the trip back, it was clear that this experience enhanced Griffin’s love of chess and his motivation to continue improving.
• I will show some pictures from this event at the Zoom meeting
Chess Initiatives for Girls and Women
• We organized and began promoting the first Colorado Girls State Championship, which was scheduled for March 28, but unfortunately had to cancel this exciting event due to COVID. Phiona Mutesi (of “Queen of Katwe” fame) had agreed to be a special guest speaker and coach at this tournament and she expressed interest in coming next year.
• We set up a booth at a popular local STEM event called “Girls in Science Day” at the Museum of Nature and Science. We used this opportunity to promote the Colorado Girls State Championship, and local talent Sravyasri Lankipalle attended together with Kevin McConnell (who had the idea and did the work to make this happen), Ann Davies and myself. We all played games and taught chess to many girls who seemed genuinely interested in learning the game.
• Special thank you to Kevin McConnell for his leadership, vision and hard work organizing and promoting all of the chess for girls events, clubs and tournaments listed above, as well as co-writing the successful application for the AAUW Community Action Grant which awarded $5,700 from the American Association of University Women for us to run after-school all-girls chess clubs in local Title 1 schools.
• Special thank you to Ann Davies for her countless hours of volunteer coaching for two all-girls chess clubs at Eiber and Kullerstrand elementary schools, for co-writing the application for the AAUW Community Action Grant as well as numerous other grants (and for taking the time to go to grant writing workshops to master the craft before submitting the applications).
• Special thank you to Gracie for promoting and coaching the Chess & Wine group (she will give her own presentation on that) and for her help coaching numerous scholastic chess classes.
• Special thank you to Paul for his steady and selfless dedication, vision, leadership, and patience.

09/13/20 CSCA Report
Gracie Mukayess Member at Large
In August of 2019, Kevin McConnell and Lior
Lapid approached me about starting a
Woman’s Chess and Wine Club. Our goal
was to get more women involved in chess as
well as attend tournaments.
We decided to name it CWCWC Colorado
Women’s Chess and Wine Club.
Our first meeting was Friday, October 18,
2019 at Regal Bakery near Lowry. I coached
a lesson and the ladies played for an hour
while sipping wine and munching on hors
d’oeuvres. Turnout was great and I received a
lot of positive feedback while promoting The
We continued to meet every other week until
the end of the year.
Since The CWCWC was such a great
success, the board agreed that we should
start up again in April. Unfortunately, The
Regal Bakery closed their doors permanently.
I then went on the hunt to find a new spot for
our club. To my surprise, that was very easy
to do. I found a cute, new coffee shop in the
Taxi Campus in RINO. I met with the owner
and he informed me that they were about to
get their liquor license at the end of March
and we would be good to go by April 17th.
Sad to say, everything was cancelled due to
I am hoping to get The CWCWC up and
running again once it’s safe. I feel that the
program was a great success and had Covid
not hit, we’d be a force to reckon with.
I have also started a CSCA twitter page as
well as an instagram page. Although I have
not had much luck with Twitter, the Instagram
page is hot.
This last year is definitely a year I’ll never
forget. I am extremely proud to be an active
member at large and I have met some
amazing people through this experience. Im
excited for what the future holds for the
CSCA. Thank you for the opportunity of
serving on this board.





6 months membership

CSCA Board voted to add six months membership to all members accounts because of COVID-19 ....  

Check your membership dates to verify. 

The Membership meeting is scheduled online Sep 13, Sunday evening. Listening session at 6 PM--this is where anything you want to discuss with the board is open discussion. Business meeting starts at 7 PM: Reports, Motions, Appointments, and Voting. 

The link to join the Zoom meeting is:

Based on your computer/tablet/phone device, there is an icon you click to raise your hand to speak ....  Everyone will need to respect each other so the meeting goes smoothly. Please attend so we can do the business of the CSCA. 

Paul (speaking for the entire Board)

Happy Labor Day

I hope all of the Colorado Chess players and families had a wonderful weekend and celebrated with family and friends! 

Be sure to your agenda items in so I can list them for discussion on Sunday, Sep 13. 6 PM is a time for discussion. 7 PM the Business meeting will start. Elections will follow. 

The link is posted in an earlier post. 



Labor Day Chess online event Canceled

I am sorry, but have to cancel the planned Labor Day Online Chess Event. 

Please attend the Membership meeting on Sep 13, 6 PM for ideal exchange / Board listening session. 7 PM Business meetings and Elections

Paul Covington

Elections Sep 13

We need to hold elections for CSCA. 

Your current officers are listed in the dropdown menu item "CSCA > Board of Directors"

We will have an online "Members meeting" on Sunday, September 13. The Zoom link will open at 5:00 PM. The schedule is: 

5 PM Listening session -- this is where the board members listen to you. You share your concerns, what direction you want your CSCA to go, and in general, what our members are thinking. 

6 PM The Members' meeting will start: Reports, Schedules, Upcoming events, Agenda (send in items you want addressed), Appointment of Delegates and Alternatives to represent Colorado to US Chess, AND our Elections.

??? PM The newly elected Board will meet to get acquainted and discuss Board roles, goals, and tasks. 

All offices are Open as usual. Some of the present Board members have indicated they had looked at serving on the Board as a one year commitment and will not run this year. I commend all the Board members who have served this year--this has been the finest Board I have had the privilege to serve on.

If you are interested in serving on a 501 (c) 3 Board, throw your hat into the ring! You may email me or our Secretary (Ann Davies). 

Please mark your calendars for Sep 13th and get involved!

Stay Safe
Paul Covington

US Chess Delegates Meeting 8/15-16/2020 (Zoom & Slack)

Buck and I attended 11 plus hours over two days of video meetings. Isolation did not prevent lots of contested proposals and amendments with heated discussions and healthy compromises. Some of the meetings' highlights.

First and importantly, there was a moment of silence for those members who passed away during the past year. Two of Colorado's giants of past years, Imre Barlay and Mikhail Ponomarev went to their eternal reward. We miss them. 

Three important changes were enacted: 1. Future terms of Executive Board members with be 4 years but not to serve more than 8 consecutive years (I believe this is what was decided after several hours of arguing). 2. Creation of Nominations Committee to seek qualified candidates for the Executive board--another food fight on this one. Two year term of service.  3. Chapter of the Official Chess Rule Book had a total rewrite -- this is the section which regulates Online Chess. It will be listed on US Chess website soon and goes into effect in early September (the 3rd ?) 

I missed the online 2020 Awards Ceremony. My award was announced and a bunch of kind comments were said. The award in listed online and in the Yearbook. 

Financially, US Chess is in great shape even with a deficit budget of about 106 thousand dollars. 

I will answer your questions:
Paul Covington

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