2004 Award Winners

Congratulations to this year’s CJA Award Winners!

Fred Cramer Awards Committee for Excellence in Chess Journalism
Joint Announcement

The Chess Journalists of America and the Cramer Awards Committee are pleased to announce the results from the 2004 awards for chess journalism. The two organizations continue their partnership for recognizing deserving chess journalists.

The most distinctive award is Chess Journalist of the Year, won by longtime author and Chess Life columnist, GM Andrew Soltis. This category is decided by a vote of the CJA membership and is endorsed by the Cramer Committee.

The other Cramer categories winners, decided at their July meeting in New York City, are Best Book: Pal Benko: My Life, Games, and Compositions by GM Pal Benko and IM Jeremy Silman; Best Chess Column, Any Media: “Chess” by Jack Peters in the Los Angeles Times; and Best State Magazine: Georgia Chess, Daniel Lucas, Editor. All of these individuals will be awarded a CJA certificate and a marble obelisk, funded this year by GM Arnold Denker’s generous donation.

A number of new categories were added this year, most of them in recognition of the explosion of web-based chess journalism and the advantage web journalists have over print journalists (specifically, not being constrained by length). A new category that proved especially popular was the catchall Category 40, Best General Chess Article, added to replace the confusing Best Chess Promotion category that seemed to receive all entries not fitting neatly into one of the other categories.

A Lifetime Achievement award was also added this year. CJA members were able to nominate and vote. A tie occurred this first year between New York Times and Chess Lifecolumnist GM Robert Byrne and former CJA President and current editor of American Postal Chess Tournaments News Bulletin Helen Warren.

Another exciting development recognizing long-time chess journalists has been announced by Don Schultz of the Cramer Awards Committee: the formation of a Gallery of Distinguished Chess Journalists. The names will be displayed on a large plaque that will be updated annually as new names are added. The intent is to have the plaque on display at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City. If funding is available, duplicate plaques will be produced and placed on display at additional sites in the USA. The initial journalists honored are: Hermann Helms, Burt Hochberg, Frank Brady, GM Larry Evans, Israel Albert Horowitz and Harold Dondis.

Congratulations to all of this year’s hard-working journalists. For links to the Internet winners and all Internet nominees, please see, and for more information on the Cramer Awards, please see

Respectfully submitted,
Daniel Lucas
Chief Judge, President, CJA

CJA Judging Results for June 1, 2003 through June 1, 2004
Daniel Lucas, Chief Judge

Cramer Award Categories

Category 1
Chess Journalist of the Year
  (by CJA vote)

GM Andrew Soltis

Category 2
Best Book

1st Pal Benko: My Life, Games, and Compositions by GM Pal Benko and IM Jeremy Silman

Category 3
Best Chess Column, Any Media

1st “Chess” by IM Jack Peters, Los Angeles Times.

Category 4
Best State Magazine/Editor, Open Division

1st Georgia Chess, Daniel Lucas, Editor

Magazine Editor Categories

Category 5
Best State Magazine, Under 1000 Circulation

1st Georgia Chess, Daniel Lucas, Editor

Category 6
Best Club Bulletin

1st En Passant, Dr. William Hoppmann, Editor

Category 7
Best Correspondence Chess Magazine

1st The Chess Correspondent, Joseph Ganem, Editor
HM APCT News Bulletin, Helen Warren, Editor

Category 8
Best New Magazine

1st The Chess Scholar, Matt Guthrie, Editor

Category 9
Most Improved Magazine

1st Empire Chess Magazine, Cathi Belcher, Editor
HM Chess In Indiana, Kenneth Hamilton, Editor

Category 10
Best Cover

1st En Passant, November 2003, Dr. William Hoppmann, Editor

Category 11
Best Layout

1st Chess Horizons, October/December 2003. Mark Donlan, Editor

Magazine Author Categories

Category 12
Best Regular Magazine Column

1st “Evans On Chess” by GM Larry Evans, Chess Life
HM “Chess in the Breakdown Lane” by Tim Hanke, Chess Horizons

Category 13
Best Magazine Tournament Report

1st “The Little Sweden Chess Festival” by Irwin W. Fisk, Chess Life, May 2004

Newspaper Author Categories

Category 14
Best Regular Newspaper Column

1st “Chess” by David Sands, The Washington Times

Category 15
Best Regular Newspaper Column of Local Interest

1st “Chess: A Knight’s Tour” by Bill Cornwall. Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Category 16
Best Newspaper Tournament Report

1st “Sherzer, Smetankin Shine: 30th Annual Eastern Open” by David R. Sands.
The Washington Times, January 3, 2004

Web-Based Categories

Category 17
Best State Website

1st Bill Noyes, Webmaster

Category 18
Best Internet Chess News Site

No entries Special Chief Judge’s Award:, Dr. Daaim Shabazz, Webmaster

Category 19
Best General Chess Web Site

1st, A.J. Goldsby I, Webmaster

Category 20
Best Web-Based Review (tie)

1st “First Anglo-Pacific Invitational Chess Championship” by Volker Jeschonnek, at
1st “Survivor: 64 Squares” by NM Dan Heisman, at

Category 21
Best Web-Based Analysis

1st “Janowsky-Marshall; Cambridge Springs 1904” by A.J. Goldsby I, at

Category 22
Best Web-Based Instruction

1st “Learning From Dr. de Groot” by NM Dan Heisman, at

Category 23
Best Correspondence Chess Website

1st The Campbell Report, J. Franklin Campbell, Webmaster.

Category 24
Best Web-Based Interview

1st “Ian Wilkinson” by Dr. Daaim Shabazz. at

General Author/Artist Categories

Category 25
Best Press Release

  No Entries.

Category 26
Best Human Interest Story (TIE)

1st “Family Chess: How to Foster Competitive Play Without Creating Sibling Rivalry” by Cathi Belcher, Empire Chess, Winter 2004
1st “How the Development of the Queen Led to Women not Playing Chess” by Kalev Pehme, Chess Life, May 2004

Category 27
Best Historical Article

1st “The Champion of the North: James Jellett’s Adventures in American Chess” by Neil Brennen. At

Category 28
Best Interview

1st “Kramnik Reflects on Draws, Kasparov, and the State of Chess Today,” by Vladmir Barsky, Chess Life, June 2004

Category 29
Best Editorial

1st “Reflections on the Dilemma of Professional Chess” by GM Larry Evans, Chess Life, April 2004

Category 30
Best Humorous Contribution

1st “Measure Your Chess Aggressiveness” by Robert Morrell and Daren Dillinger. California Chess Journal, April/May 2004

Category 31
Best Review

1st “Chess Strategy In Action” by Chris Chambers. Georgia Chess, November/December 2003

Category 32
Best Analysis, Openings

1st “Cheapo Chess Openings” by Daren L. Dillenger. Squares, Winter 2003

Category 33
Best Analysis, Endings

1st “The Beauty of the Endgame” by GM Susan Polgar and FM Paul Truong. Chess Horizons, April/June 2004

Category 34
Best Analysis, Other

1st “There is Time to Look Back to the Human Truth” by GM Jaan Ehlvest, Chess Life, May 2004

Category 35
Best Instruction

1st “Understanding the Sacrifice” by IM Angus Dunnington. Chess Horizons, July-September 2003

Category 36
Best Cartoon

1st “Try a Transfusion of Empire Chess” by Jovan Prokopljevic. Empire Chess Summer 2003

Category 37
Best Chess Art

No Entries Special Chief Judge’s Award:
“Garry Goes Deeper into the Matrix” by Kathleen Merz and Claudia Bonforte. Chess Life, February 2004

Category 38
Best Chess Photograph (TIE)

1st “John Curdo” by Tony Cortizas, Jr., Chess Horizons
1st “Frank Johnson, Chess Photographer” by Frank Johnson, Georgia Chess

Category 39
Chess Journalist Lifetime Achievement Award (TIE)
   (by CJA vote)

1st GM Robert Byrne
1st Helen Warren

Category 40
Best General Chess Article

1st “The Challenges of Online chess Journalism” by Dr. Daaim Shabazz.