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Chess Journalists of America /
Cramer Journalism Awards
Announcement of nominees for
Chess Journalist of the Year
Chess Journalist Lifetime Acheivement

Press Release
June 10, 2004

Below you will find the Chess Journalist of the Year and the Chess Journalist Lifetime Achievement Award nominees for the 2004 Chess Journalist of America and Cramer Committee annual awards program. The winner of the Journalist of the Year will receive the traditional marble obelisk from the Cramer Committee, a certificate from the CJA, and recognition in both The Chess Journalist and in Chess Life. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award will receive a plaque and certificate from the CJA as well as recognition in The Chess Journalist and Chess Life.

The nominees are listed in alphabetical order. The nominator has been kept anonymous (as much as possible). If there was more than one nominator, the supporting statements have been combined.

The actual ballot, reproduced below, will arrive with your next issue of The Chess Journalist towards the end of June. You may either mail or email your votes to the Chief Judge for the Cramer Committee, who will be responsible for tabulation:
Pete Tamburro, 22 Budd St., Morristown, NJ, 07960.
Email: ptamburro@aol.com. The deadline is July 24.

Regards,

Daniel Lucas
President, Chess Journalists of America

CHESS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR:

Volker Jeschonnek

Volker Jeschonnek has through his leadership and personal involvement improved the quality of the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) USA affiliate Correspondence Chess League of America (CCLA) and its magazine The Chess Correspondent. He was not long ago elected as President of CCLA. Besides improving chess journalism by his leadership, he also takes a hands-on approach by writing significant material for the magazine. E.g., in the March-April 2004 issue he contributed his normal column "Readers' Games" and published his interview with new CC World Champion GM Tunc Hamarat (Austria), where he involved the readers by collecting questions from them and then presenting them to GM Hamarat. He has also attracted other top talent for the magazine. The best example is GM Nigel Davies who is now a regular contributor. Having worked with him at the 2000 ICCF Congress in Daytona Beach, Florida I know first hand how helpful he is to chess journalists. He went way beyond the call of duty assisting me in the preparation of news releases and photographs of this major annual cc event.

A 1999 biography is available at http://www.correspondencechess.com/marconi/volker.htm (coverage of a man vs. machine match in which he participated). Photos of him are available at http://www.iccfus.com/congres2.htm taken at the 2000 ICCF Congress.

Peter Kurzdorfer

Kurzdorfer edited Chess Life, up until the October 2003 issue. It was amazing that he was able to put out a first class magazine under the budget and political constraints he operated under. Not only did Kurzdorfer edit Chess Life, with special editions for our scholastic readers, write some books --but with the able assistance of his Director of Publications, Jami Anson, he helped regional chess publications with their library of photos and other material. I note also that at the 2003 US Open that he and Anson were at committee meetings and all around doing the good work for chess. He went above and beyond the call of duty.

His exit from the editorship is missed. The days of robust funding and a truly great national chess magazine may be behind us. But Kurzdorfer gave us his best. To this observer he seemed to have three areas of focus:

  1. Give the adult USCF readers what will interest them.
  2. Give the scholastic/youth readers what will interest them - AND
  3. Try to keep some content and covers marketed to the main-stream casual chess players who are our potential new USCF members.-Like his covers on Sting, Ray Charles, and Policemen in uniform playing chess at the Harlem Chess Festival, right after the 9/11 terrorists attack, etc.

Daniel Lucas

As editor of Georgia Chess Dan Lucas does a highly professional job on all aspects of what a state publication should contain -- news reporting, coming events and special articles. The photography both in quality and coverage is superb.

As President of CJA Dan accepted the job not because he wanted it but because others asked him and he is doing a marvelous job.

Under Dan and thanks also to J. Franklin Campbell CJA has established its own website. Little things show up to make CJA look more professional such as email addresses ending with chessjournalism.org.

In the December 2003 Chess Journalist, one can see a very candid President Lucas message evaluating how CJA has been doing and a statement of direction.

In summary Dan is leading CJA down a well-planned path and reporting on the progress and difficulties in a professional way -- he sets a high standard and high example to follow.

He is revitalizing the CJA with a new sense of purpose and direction.

Andrew Soltis

His outstanding column has entertained, educated and enlightened chess players for over 20 years. (Believe it or not, an old friend brought a copy of a 1980 Chess Life to our chess club tonight. We went over a game in Soltis's column that featured an extremely long Pawn Chain for both sides. The game - naturally! - was from Soltis's column.)

His many books are outstanding, his recent work - The 100 Best, has yet to be fully appreciated by the general chess-playing public.

I even -- occasionally -- pick up a NY newspaper with his column in it. I do not believe there is a better or more popular chess columnist in the whole of America.

In closing, it is my hope that the CJA will see fit to honor Andy as the outstanding journalist for the past year. I found his recent (April, 2004) column, "Ode to a World Championship," to be both informative and very enjoyable. I think a writer who can touch all classes of players - like GM A. Soltis is able to - is very rare.


CHESS JOURNALIST LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:

Robert Byrne

Robert Byrne needs no introduction to anyone who has been in the world of chess journalism. He is a regular columnist for Chess Life and for the New York Times, and has covered major chess events for years, including the Fischer-Spassky match which he developed into a book. His work is characterized by an insight into the nature of every game he writes about, written in a pithy style, often heightened by a sense of drama that a game inherently has. To ignore this man's achievement would be to deny his importance to chess journalism generally, and an injustice to him personally.

Bob Dudley

I would like to nominate Bob Dudley in this category, whose work clearly demonstrates a lifetime record of achievement in the area of chess journalism.

Bob has truly devoted a lifetime to editing a number of quality chess journals, the most obvious mention and the last one that Bob was actively involved in, is the journal of the Pittsburgh Chess Club, En Passant. Bob first assumed the position of Editor of En Passant with the July issue in 1977. When the author of this nomination assumed that position for the September issue in 2003, Bob had devoted a full quarter of a century to this one newsletter. Not only was Bob an active and hard working Editor but for the most part he turned out the newsletter at his own expense, which literally saved the Club thousands of dollars and is in part responsible for the viability of the current budget which fortunately has remained in the black.

For a number of years prior to editing En Passant, Bob was actively involved in editing a number of other chess newsletters, including the journal of the Texas Chess Federation, Kings File, for the Washington D.C. area interclub matches and finally the Pennswoodpusher for the Pennsylvania State Chess Federation.

Bob's interest in chess and chess journalism was also instrumental in bringing about "Chess Enterprises," a book publishing company that has been responsible for producing 189 chess books (at the time of Bob's resigning his editorship of En Passant, in July 2003).

Probably the outstanding quality with which Bob tackled these various enterprises was his unselfish devotion to the promotion of good chess journalism and hence of chess in general.

A.J. Goldsby I

I have been asked to type a short and concise letter to highlight some of the achievements of Mr. A.J. Goldsby for the CJA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Some of his more notable achievements are:

  • He wrote his first chess article when he was ten years old.
  • He has been writing steadily ­ for various chess publications ­ since the mid-1970’s. Many of his articles have been popular and well received.
  • His writings for the Internet could only be described as vast. (Dozens of web sites, literally thousands of pages.)
  • He has been nominated for several awards before, to include “Honorable Mention” by the “Chess Journalists of America.”

I have taken the liberty of choosing just five web sites and/or pages, and summarizing them briefly below.

  1. His main web site: http://www.geocities.com/lifemasteraj/index.html is self-described by Mr. Goldsby as being the world’s best and largest web site. There are literally hundreds of pages, more content than the average person could read in a month ­ on a variety of different subjects.
  2. His personal domain: http://www.lifemasteraj.com may not contain many pages, but is neat and is well-organized. The games that I found there were of the absolute highest quality. (There is also a concise list there of a few of his better web sites and many interesting links.)
  3. His web page, (http://www.geocities.com/lifemasteraj/kasp-topa1.html); on the game Kasparov ­ Topalov; Wijk aan Zee, 1999 is one of the better pure game analyses on the web. (I am made to understand that this work involved almost two full years of nearly continuous effort. Many works were consulted and documented. The page speaks for itself.)
  4. His web page, (http://www.angelfire.com/games3/AJs01Downloads/html_stuff/brons-ljubo_ts.html); and analysis of the famous game: David Bronstein ­ L. Ljubojevic; (Petropolis Interzonal, 1973); is well done, nicely formatted, and appears to be done to a considerable depth.
  5. The analysis of many of the classic games of chess, such as Pillsbury ­ Tarrasch; Hastings, 1895, (http://www.angelfire.com/games3/AJs01Downloads/html_stuff/gcg_pills-tarra1_rpg0.html); or Em. Lasker ­ W.E. Napier; Cambridge Springs, 1904, (http://www.angelfire.com/games3/AJs01Downloads/html_stuff/lasker-napier_cs1904.html); are in some depth, and to be found no other place on the web. They show a deep commitment to chess … that has spanned over three decades.

I believe Mr. Goldsby is at least worthy of consideration of this prestigious award, and it is my hope that you will at least seriously consider him as a possible candidate. Thank you -- very much -- for your time and your patience.

Peter Kurzdorfer

Kurzdorfer edited books, Schoolmate magazine and Chess Life from Nov. 2000 up until the October 2003 issue. He did a great job in putting out a first class magazine under the budget and political constraints he operated under. Not only did Kurzdorfer edit Chess Life, with special editions for our scholastic readers, write some books --but with the able assistance of his Director of Publications, Jami Anson, he helped regional chess publications with their library of photos and other material. I note also that at the 2003 US Open that he and Anson were at committee meetings and all around doing the good work for chess. He went above and beyond the call of duty.

His exit from the editorship is missed. The days of robust funding and a truly great national chess magazine may be behind us. But Kurzdorfer gave us his best. To this observer he seemed to have three areas of focus

  1. Give the adult USCF readers what will interest them.
  2. Give the scholastic/youth readers what will interest them - AND
  3. Try to keep some content and covers marketed to the main-stream casual chess players who are our potential new USCF members.-Like his covers on Sting, Ray Charles, and Policemen in uniform playing chess at the Harlem Chess Festival, right after the 9/11 terrorists attack, etc.

Ira Lee Riddle

  • 22 years as editor of PennsWoodPusher, never missing a deadline or issue
  • 21 years as publisher of the PennsWoodPusher, printing collating, sorting and mailing
  • 6 years as president of the CJA-only three term president to date
  • Co-winner for Best Review in CJA Awards
  • Over 3 years as editor/publisher of The Chess Journalist
  • 20+ articles in Chess Life
  • 5 times CJA Chief Judge, many other times member of judging panel
  • Gave Alex Dunne his start in chess writing by publishing a colulmn by him in the PWP (Alex has won the CJA Journalist of the Year award and is still a regular columnist for Chess Life, PWP, and several other publications)
  • Book reviewer for Pennswoodpusher
  • Co-editor of the Official Rules of Chess, 4th edition
  • Author of "TD Corner" in the Ratings Supplement for about 5 years
  • Current editor of Delaware Chess Newsletter

Helen Warren

Helen Warren has been a giant among chess organizers/journalists for many years. She and her husband Jim Warren have been publishing the APCT News Bulletin for over 30 years, receiving the CJA award for top postal chess magazine on many occasions.

She has worked within USCF as an official, organized the US Masters Tournament in Illinois on many occasions, done a lot of local work in Illinois to promote chess, started chess journalists on their way by getting them involved (she started me as a chess columnist with her magazine over 15 years ago), and substantially (and permanently) raised the publishing standards of the CJA magazine The Chess Journalist. She also organized the team which won the National Team Championship of the USA (NTC-1) (see NTC-1 report at http://correspondencechess.com/campbell/ntc1.htm). She has served as chief judge for the annual CJA Awards. Her work in chess journalism affairs for over 30 years makes her an outstanding candidate for this lifetime achievement award.


CHESS JOURNALISTS OF
AMERICA

2004 Ballot

 

Chess Journalist of the Year

Circle one choice for Chess Journalist of the Year:

Volker Jeschonnek

Peter Kurzdorfer

Daniel Lucas

Andrew Soltis

Chess Journalist Lifetime Achievement Award

Circle one choice for Chess Journalist Lifetime Achievement Award:

Robert Byrne

Bob Dudley

A.J. Goldsby I

Peter Kurzdorfer

Ira Lee Riddle

Helen Warren

Please mail your completed ballot, postmarked by July 24, to:

Pete Tamburro
22 Budd St.
Morristown, NY 07960

Alternatively, you may email your two choices to: ptamburro@aol.com.

Supporting statements for the candidates can be found at www.chessjournalism.org.

This Page Last Updated on 2 July 2004
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