|The following was published in The Chess Journalist, Vol. XXXII, No. 3, Consecutive No. 109, September 2003. Copyright 2003 by the Chess Journalists of America.|
During the 1992 election season, William Stockdale famously asked in a Vice-Presidential candidates' debate, "Who am I? Why am I here?" I'm sure many of you must be wondering the same about me.
I have been the editor of Georgia Chess since 1998. In that time, I took a publication that was promised six times a year but was rarely delivered and had poor production values and turned it into one that has the respect of the chess community. The most rewarding aspect of this is that in this time membership in the Georgia Chess Association went from about 75 members to around 400, with most stating that the magazine is their main reason for joining.
Georgia Chess is my "hobby." My profession is freelance writer. I quit my job in retail management eight years ago to be a stay-at-home dad and part-time freelancer. Now that my youngest is in kindergarten, I am freelancing full time. One sample of my work available to most of you is my report on the National K-12 on page 44 of the May 2003 Chess Life.
As a chess player, well, I am a class-C fish. My father taught me the game when I was seven-years-old during (surprise) the Fischer-Spassky match. I started playing in tournaments in 1993. Recently, I have been closing in on class-B, but knight forks will likely keep me from cracking 1600. I have always spent more time reading about chess than actually playing it, and since I could never contribute anything to this wonderful game over the board, I decided to try and contribute to chess literature over the keyboard.
I seem to be have been elected CJA president as the result of lunch. Last year I had lunch with Pete Tamburro during the U.S. Open in New Jersey. We got along well - we seemed to see eye-to-eye on many issues, and many of my beliefs about chess journalism that were only fuzzy ideas in my head I found that Pete, with his long experience, could state with clear precision.
Then at this year's Georgia State Championship in May, Don Schultz came up from Florida to play and he and I also had lunch and talked about a broad spectrum of issues. A few months later, it was from Don that I first heard about me as a possibility for CJA President.
I told Pete that I didn't think I was the man for the job, but I left it with him at, "If no one else steps up to the plate, talk to me again." So I was surprised when the next I heard was that I was elected at the Los Angeles meeting. Let this serve as a warning to those of you who don't attend the meetings of organizations you are a member of.
However, the challenge of the position intrigues me, so I will give it the ol' college try. I am enthused about meeting many of the CJA membership, even if it is only through email. I have some ideas about moving the CJA forward that I will work on and present in the next issue of The Chess Journalist. I look forward to hearing your ideas about the same - for this position to be meaningful, I must learn from the CJA membership. Even a casual glance at our member lits reveals a wealth of experience. Thank you to those of you who have already written me, and please always feel free to contact me.