The sheer volume of chess in our state and the things we do year over year continues to astonish me.  One of the headliners is our state is well represented by three schools who are among the nation’s elite collegiate chess programs.  Texas Tech, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) compete annually for spots in the Final Four of Chess.  Over the Christmas break the Pan-Am Intercollegiate Championship was held in Charlotte, NC. Texas Tech and the University of Texas at Dallas both advanced to the Final Four of Chess by finishing first and fourth respectively.   I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the past two championships were won by UTRGV. Here are a few other notable accomplishments for the Calendar Year 2019. Grades – 446 players, Combined State – 1255 players, By-Laws updates, Southwest Open – Norms event, Texas State and Amateur, Specialty Events:  Texas Women’s, Red River Shoot Out, Brazos, Texas Armed Forces and Veterans (At the Texas Women’s we had a live stream of the games online….and people were watching them!!!!!), TCA Web Site – one of two recognized at USCF Delegates meeting, Facebook page, Twitter feed, TCA finances were audited, Over 1200 USCF rated events, Four new FIDE Arbiters coming.  Lastly and most importantly – Our people – I fundamentally believe that if I cut any one of you a chess piece would pop out. You are what make these things possible and I sincerely Thank You for your efforts!

In my candidates statement I suggested we needed some metrics.  I revise that statement, instead of metrics we need some priorities that TCA members can rally around and support.

2020 Priorities

Get Vish elected to the USCF Executive Board.

Many of us know Lakshmana Viswanath, more commonly known as Vish.  The USCF will elect new members to the Executive Board in Summer of 2020.  Texas has over 10,000 USCF members, more than any State in the USCF yet has no presence on the EB.  Our State can swing this election – WE can do this by doing the following things:

  1. Actively encourage our members to register to vote.  Just because you’re a member doesn’t mean your registered, you must be a US Chess member in good standing, be at least 16 years old by June 30th and you must register online by May 1st.  It takes about 3,000 votes to get elected. We have over 2,000 members that are eligible to vote.  That’s two thirds of the number right here in our home state. But they can’t vote if they’re not registered.  You can use the link below to register. Then simply ask them to vote when the election ballots are distributed. —
  2. Social Media – We are going to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to get the message out.

Vish is aligning with another candidate – Shawn Manross.  He is the current President of the Southern California Chess Association.  Talk to Shawn for one minute and one message comes across clearly, he cares.  Both show a sincere passion for our game and will make great EB members

Keep our balance over $10,000.

TCA has historically had a very conservative fiscal strategy and we have maintained a number greater than this for as long as I have been affiliated with TCA.

Get Texas Knights back on line.

Louis Reed with assistance from Chris Wood got the first online edition out in June 2019, the next in September 2019 and this is the third.  We are going to four online editions a year and are looking forward to a new schema where contributors can input content directly.  If you want to contribute contact Louis Reed and he can facilitate a workspace for you to add content. Of course, we will reserve the right to edit it but the lifeblood of the magazine is contributors from across the State.  Please consider submitting when you have events or other special chess related items.

Support 2021 Armed Forces Event in any way we can.

Jim Hollingsworth has been awarded the bid for this and fund raising will be necessary to ensure adequate revenue is available to support this. There will be additional information as the event gets closer.  Please support this generously when the time comes.

Get our TCA membership online.

Renate Garcia will be evaluating online membership services so we can have a more streamlined fashion of keeping up with our members.  This will allow us to more frequently engage and provide information about tournaments and happenings across the State.

Continue to update the By Laws.

Our By-Laws hadn’t been updated in four years.  We made tangible progress at the SW Open Business Meeting but the process is still not complete.  Additional updates will be addressed at the State North and South Scholastic Tournaments.

We need to get younger across the board, TCA, TD’s, organizers.

The same old problem still prevails, we have an aging cadre of people coordinating and orchestrating our big events.  We need new and younger members to step forward and start running these events. We need to get Club Level TD’s to Local Level, Local to Senior and Senior to ANTD and eventually NTD.  The Local and Senior aren’t too difficult but going from Senior to ANTD and NTD are. I had Luis Salinas make four separate sections at State South so we can put Senior TDs in those Chief TD spots so they can get credits for working larger events necessary to qualify to take the exams for those higher level certifications.

Educate People on What TCA Actually Does.

I have heard way too many times the TCA doesn’t do anything except.  Totally erroneous – We have members across this state that volunteer a staggering amount of hours.  What exactly do we do – from a high level “We” provide the organizational infrastructure for chess across the State.  When you support TCA by buying a membership or playing in one of our events, you’re supporting chess across the state.  Please focus on the talking points when you get engaged on the value proposition of TCA.

Lastly, go play in or run an event, it’s the number one thing you can do to support chess.