28 July 2020

2020 CJA Award Entries

Two months ago we had the 2020 CJA Awards Announcement (May 2020) and now we have the award nominations. To sum them up in a word -- it looks like a 'botch'.

First, and probably least important, the nominations are on a page of the Chess Journalism (chessjournalism.org) titled 'CJA 2020 Awards'. Second, and more important, the page is split into two sections:-

  • Chess Submissions
  • US Chess Nominations

The second section is everything under the umbrella of USchess.org, a total of 43 entries. The first section is everything else, 40 entries.

Third, and most important, the USchess.org entries are laid out neatly according to the categories in the awards announcement. The other entries don't even mention to which category they apply.

Fourth, and probably important only to me, the USchess.org entries are weighted in favor of USchess.org staff. Daniel Lucas, Senior Director of Strategic Communication [US Chess], received six nominations including one for a cartoon 'idea'. John Hartmann, the Chess Life/CLO Editor since a few months ago, received seven, two of which are shared. The most prestigious is 'Chess Journalist of the Year', for which he is (apparently) the only nominee. Chess.com, which has had its fair share of awards in recent years, had less than a handful of nominations, all from the same writer.

In last year's post on the CJA (which stands for 'Chess Journalists of America'), 2019 CJA Award Entries (July 2019), I wrote,

For the past few years I've concentrated on my two favorite categories, 'Best Chess Blog' and 'Best Chess Art', so I'll continue the tradition this year.

Since I don't know which non-USchess.org entries are for which categories, I can't do the same this year. The word 'blog' appears in two entries -- Devachess Chess Blog *and* San Gabriel Valley Chess Club Website & Blog -- so those are perhaps this year's entries for 'Best Chess Blog'. As for chess art, three Chess Life covers are nominated in three different categories, but I can't differentiate their competition.

I'm not sure how to explain all of this. A breakdown in communication somewhere? A hijack? Let's blame it on the coronavirus.

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