26 April 2012

CJA in Transition

I normally write a couple of posts per year about the Chess Journalists of America (CJA) and last year I did three:-

April is the month when my internal clock reminds me to check the CJA awards page for the current year's announcement. This year there is not yet an awards announcement -- see below for the reason -- but there are several announcements on the CJA's home page and in the latest issue of the CJA publication, The Chess Journalist.

  • President: 'The CJA search committee, led by Daniel Lucas, has secured the services of Al Lawrence as the association’s interim president. Al will serve in this capacity until the next formal meeting, this August 2012 at the Vancouver, Washington, U.S. Open.' • The group's former president was GM Alexandra Kosteniuk

  • Webmaster: 'In the near future CJA will be welcoming a new webmaster. Daniel Freeman, webmaster and co-founder of Chessgames.com, has agreed to take over as webmaster for CJA replacing the current webmaster J. Franklin Campbell, who created the original CJA web site in 1999 and has served as webmaster since then.'

  • Awards: '[Ramon] Hernandez has resigned as chair of the CJA Awards Committee and Chief Awards Judge. [...] Stay tuned to this website for additional information on the Annual CJA Award competitions.'

  • Editor's Note: 'I’m pleased to announce a new column beginning with this issue of The Chess Journalist. Hank Anzis will take on a practicum for chess bloggers and would-be bloggers. [...] Hank’s own blog, Broken Pawn, won the 2011 CJA Best Blog award.'

The first column of 'The Blogger Within' appears in the same issue as the announcement. Editor Mark N. Taylor introduced the blog topic with

The challenges are, first, getting started, which requires the motivation all non-professional writers need but also a certain amount of technical savvy; second, there is the challenge of getting your blog to stand out and get noticed from the many.

Taylor also mentioned, 'I am looking for someone willing to take on a parallel column devoted to a practicum for state chess association and private chess websites.' Are the CJA's dark days finally coming to an end?

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