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Past News  8/15/2000
The Board has been busy!

The newly elected Board of Directors was quite busy during the months of July and August debating many issues and voting on proposals. The Board will now focus during the latter part of August and early September on entering the new changes and reformatting the Bylaws for easier understanding. An updated set of Bylaws will be made available here at the website in September.

In July two proposals were passed. One rescinded the past unconstitutional attempt to re-define the definition of legal resident as per the State of Montana. The other proposal officially established a website for the Montana Chess Association.

In August, several important issues were heavily debated by the Board members and two proposals were put up for vote. The two proposals passed and will require modification of some existing Bylaws.

One important proposal re-establishes the situation regarding Grand Prix events that was present many years ago. It used to be that there was never a restriction per year as to how many MCA sanctioned tournaments with Grand Prix status a city/town or affiliate could host. However, abuse by some previous members began to surface -- running Grand Prix events in the same month as the usual traditional events in order to prevent having to travel to the traditional event and, at the same time, stacking the odds their favor to score Grand Prix points.

This led a previous Board of Directors to attempt to solve the problem by restricting the affiliates/towns to only one Grand Prix event per MCA calendar year. The solution was counterproductive and has contributed to a decline in attendance at many events. A better solution would have been to have the Board approve all Grand Prix events. Fortunately, the newly elected Board has voted into effect a Bylaw modification that should fix the problem and make the machine run smoother. (See voting records below).

The second important proposal passed adds another alternative for members to qualify for the State Closed Championship. The proposal establishes a new tournament, called The Montana Invitational, to determine one of the State Closed qualifiers (This replaces the second Grand Prix finisher). At first, the proposal restricted the playing group to those with a rating of 1800 or higher. However, it was later changed to a rating of 1700 or higher because of the fact that many good Montana players are in the 1700 rating range and not many are over 2000.

This event effectively raises the bar for competitive Montana chessplayers, providing an incentive for many to strive for higher level of chess play. The reality of the matter is that the way to the State Championship should not be a lackadaisical, free-for-all, "on-any-Sunday" process (as some have suggested), but rather a deservedly tough and consistent test of skill. If you want to be the best, then you have to play like the best. The Montana Open already provides the lower-rated players a three-shot chance of getting into the Closed. The top Grand Prix finisher and The Montana Invitational winner will most likely insure that some of the best players are competing for the Championship. (See voting records below).

The final proposal passed in August was actually a special consideration regarding helping to finance the affiliation fee for a new chess club starting up in Bozeman. Tha Board decided to contribute $20.00 to the $40.00 fee required for USCF affiliation status.

The Vote

July 2000

  Proposal #1
  • Eliminate the legal resident definition as stated in Bylaw #15
Result:   PASSED Count:   3 Yes   1 No

  Proposal #2
  • Approve the web site at as the official MCA site
Result:   PASSED Count:   4 Yes   0 No

August 2000

  Proposal #1
  • Modification of Bylaw #21 - "A maximum of one Grand Prix event per month is allowed, with no limit for a sponsoring USCF affiliate organization. Preference for scheduling of Grand Prix events is be based on tradition and bidding, with final approval by the Board."
Result:   PASSED Count:   3 Yes   1 No

  Proposal #2
  • Establishes a new tournament, called The Montana Invitational, to determine one of the State Closed qualifiers (This would replace the second Grand Prix finisher). Only Montana players (MCA members) rated 1700 and above at the time of the event are invited to participate. Winner gets to play in the State Closed. Location to be determined by the Board, but must be held in location different than the Open and the Closed. Entry Fee: $25.00. All fees to go towards prizes. 4-round event with late starts. Tiebreak system used in case of a 1st place tie.
Result:   PASSED Count:   3 Yes   1 No

  Special Consideration
  • The Board was asked to consider contributing money to help finance the affiliation fee for a Bozeman chess club. Full fee is $40.00.

Result:  The Board voted to contribute $20.00