07 August 2014

2014 CJA Awards

The votes are in, the results are out, and the Chess Journalists of America have announced their Prize List for 2014 CJA Awards. As I mentioned in last year's post on the awards, 'Got to Find Me a Chess Blog!',

Besides the annual book award, I'm interested in the journalist award, the art award, and the blog award.

Here's that list for 2014:-

  • Best Book (paper-printed only) -- Winner: Mikhail Botvinnik: The Life and Games of a World Chess Champion by GM Andy Soltis
  • Chess Journalist of the Year -- Winner: Brian Jerauld
  • Best Chess Art -- Winner: Endgame by Zena Fairwether
  • Best Chess Blog -- Winner: The Kenilworthian by Michael Goeller

The prize list didn't mention where the 'Best Chess Art' had appeared, so I initiated a web query on the obvious keywords, including 'Fairwether', and was told 'Showing results for Endgame Zena Fairweather'. Hmmm, typical CJA sloppiness? Since the entry had been 'Submitted by USCF', I assumed that it had appeared somewhere in Chess Life, but which issue?

I browsed through the 12 issues of CL covered by the awards -- a pleasant task except for the constant temptation to read the unending stream of interesting articles -- and found the piece on p.7 of the September 2013 issue. It's shown on the left. The caption says,

'End Game' by Zena Fairweather • 18”x12” Graphite Portrait of Liam Fairweather.

Zena Fairweather is a renowned southern California portrait artist and in between commissions devotes her talents to personal projects such as this portrait of her son Liam. She captures the concentration, tension, drama, and, in some way, the loneliness of the chess player in the final moves of a game.

Contact: www.zenafairweather.com

'Fairweather' it is. I'll resist the temptation to make a quip about fair weather friends like the CJA and move on to the blog category.

The best blog award was the second for Michael Goeller's 'The Kenilworthian', which also won in 2008. The category was one of a handful to include an Honorable Mention, which was 'Chess Book Reviews' by John Hartmann, the overall winner in 2013. That these blogs were the only two entries is irrelevant. The competition was open to all and you only need two to make a fight of it. (The category 'Chess Journalist of the Year' had a single entry.)

Whether one entry, two entries, or many entries, the prize winners deserve a round of applause. Congratulations to all!

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