TCA President Tom Crane playing chess

The US Chess Executive Board Election is now here with ballots being distributed June 8th.  Our Texas candidate in this year’s election is Lakshmana Viswanath, more commonly known as Vish.  He has served chess in our state for the past 20 years and has previous service time on the US Chess Executive Board.  He understands the issues facing our federation and will provide a balanced and fair approach to decisions that must be made going forward.  Having Vish on the Board also ensures our voices in Texas are heard.  You can find his candidate statement on the TCA Web Site and Facebook pages.  After you vote for Vish another candidate you might want to consider is David Hater.  I spoke with David about why he wanted to serve on the EB.  His response was it’s time to give back and he actually has to earn less money to sit on the board if elected.  A third option is Sean Manross, he is lightning rod to be sure but you can’t ignore his passion to do the right things for our game.  This above all else comes shining through when you talk to him.  We have more votes than any other state in the country.  Let’s use them and get Vish elected.  Please consider all the other candidates fairly as you cast your ballot.

In my last column I mentioned playing in my first online tournament.  Little did I know this would become the new normal for me as well as many others.  I am quite anxious for the over the board (OTB) events to resume and they will.  For the shorter time controls such G/5 or G/10 on-line certainly fills the need for competitive chess, but it does not replace the longer time control over the board tournament.

Every major event since State South was run has been cancelled so I ask every chess organizer to schedule and run an event as soon as your local and/or state municipality deems it safe.  When you do this, you will need to consider the social distancing and other paradigms that the post COVID-19 era will mandate.  An excellent reference for those policies can be found in the 2020 National Open in Las Vegas FAQ (

Lastly, same message every issue, and this is one I take very seriously.  TCA has a HUGE perception problem and it’s because people don’t know or understand what we do.  Tens of thousands, that’s right tens of thousands of players show up and play our events that YOU make happen.  The players and scholastic parents know somebody did something to make it happen, but there’s not much thought past that.  “We”, the Texas Chess Association provide the organizational and execution 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.