23 June 2009

Entries for 2009 CJA Awards

The Chess Journalists of America (CJA) have announced Entries Received for Chess Journalist Awards 2009, where the deadline for submitting entries was extended to 15 June 2009. Since several entries are marked as having been received on that date -- and a few after that date, where the Chief Judge submitted his own work -- it appears the list of entries is complete. Unlike previous years, when most entries were represented only by a reference to a paper copy, all but a handful of the 2009 entries are represented by a PDF file, meaning they can be read online by one and all.

Last year, blogs had their own category (see 2008 Awards Announcement), but this year the Call for Entries explains that blogs have been combined with two other categories: '9. Best Chess Website: Open to news sites, “blogs”, state websites, and so on. Special award given to the best example of each type of website.' [Why the “” around the word 'blogs'?].

The CJA's home page mentions Nominations Received for 2009 Chess Journalist of the Year ('Note that the Award is for work done during the last year, not for their career'), where the nominees are Alexandra Kosteniuk, Dan Heisman, and Mark Donlan.

The awards have a checkered reputation. The 2006 Awards gave the Chess Journalist of the Year award to that year's Chief Judge and it's indisputable that many of the writers are amateurs writing about chess for the fun of it. The upside is that no one appears to take the awards too seriously although there is definitely some prestige attached to them. Expect to see the winners announced around mid-August.

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