The Metrowest Chess Club has been around for 25+ years now, and during its early years the club had its obligatory club champions. But the process was quite informal and in some cases the legitimacy of a club champion was questioned by the membership. There were no formal processes in place to govern an undisputed club championship event and eventually the club dropped the idea of having a club champion.
Move the clock ahead to 2003. The club had reinvented itself, designating various program positions within the organization. It was at this time, when the club’s Tournament Director, Jim Krycka, took it upon himself to put into motion a solid format to govern a Club Championship and thus bring legitimacy to the “crowning” of a Club Champion.
Since that time, the club has crowned three distinct Club Champions: GM Alexander Ivanov, IM Igor Foygel and NM Denys Shmelov.
I believe the club does a fantastic job of organizing and putting to affect a great championship event. They work hard to make the invitational event special and prestigious with little things like special name tags with the player's photo, money and a dedicated write up to the club's newsletter.
One idea that I would like to put forward on the table would be to provide some sort of means to help solidify the recognition that is due to a newly minted Club Champion. Something that is permanent and seals the recognition in a historical sense.
By providing something permanent, we enable our future club champions the ability to reflect upon and recall the glory of such an achievement. There could be the possibility of plaques or wall hangings at the club to honor our club champions. With a permenant designation on display, we bring about a little more vitality, a credible history and an ability to reflect. Both for the club and for the club champion.
For my part, I am still in the process of retrieving records of those games played from our most recent club championship event. I believe that the preservation and recording of these games into the club's archive directory is one of many key elements necessary in maintaining a historical perspective of club championships and adding an enduring legacy vital to the club's perseverance.
Going forward, I would like to persuade the membership in providing a “Certificate of Excellence” or achievement for our current and future club champions to be.
All just ideas right now; but in any case, for my part, in recognition of MCC Club Champions, past and present, I plan to present a 3 part series in honor of our champions in future blogs to come, so stay tuned.