Chess Club Constitution

Submitted and unanimously approved by Jimmy Bartha (Treasurer), Sean Lei (Fundraiser), Tanner McNamara (External Events Coordinator), and Alyssa Rusonik (President/Secretary) in October 2020.

1.         Purpose.

The purpose of the Hart House Chess Club is:

a) To provide a suitable environment for Hart House members to enjoy chess-related activity, casual or serious, including open play, analysis, discussion, and relevant social interaction;

b) To provide an opportunity for Club members to improve their chess ability and to compete informally or formally in both internal and external events.

2.         Definitions.

The Hart House Chess Club (hereafter “the Club”) is an official club of Hart House. It is financially supported by Hart House, and is subject to its rules, including the “Clubs and Committees Guidelines”.

The University of Toronto Chess Team (hereafter “the Team”) is a team organized by the Club on occasions of external competition, such as the Pan-American Inter-Collegiate Chess Championship (hereafter “Pan-Ams”) and the Canadian Post-Secondary Chess Championship (hereafter “CPSCC”).

3.         Membership.

Any person who has purchased a Chess Club Membership from Hart House is a member of the Club. Members are automatically entitled to participate in all events organized by the Club (see “Club Events”, 5d, below).

4.         Executive.

The Club Executive is comprised of seven members: the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Fundraising Representative, two Communications Representatives, [the] Events Co-ordinator, and the Alumni Chair (non-voting).

All Executives are expected to actively participate in the weekly Club meetings (see “Club meetings”, 5a below) and help in the organization of the Club’s special events, orientation events and fundraising initiatives.

4a) Eligibility.

In order to run for all voting Executive positions, individuals must have had a valid club membership for at least one month prior to the election.

4b) Election.

All Executive positions, [except for the Alumni Chair], are filled through election at the annual General Assembly. Club members interested in Executive positions will announce their candidacy at or before the General Assembly, and if there are two or more candidates for a position, a vote will be held to determine the successful candidate. A person can be a candidate for more than one Executive position; however, if elected to more than one position, they must choose the one role in which they will serve. All voting at the General Assembly is done by secret ballot and all Club members [who have been members for a minimum of one month] are eligible to cast ballots.

A by-election may be called by the Board to fill vacancies on the Executive. Candidates interested in running for an open position and those who cast a vote must have been members for a minimum of one week prior to the by-election.

4c) Appointment of the Alumni Chair.

The position of Alumni Chair is filled by a person in the Hart House Chess Club community selected in the Fall by the Executive Board on the basis of their dedication to, enthusiasm for, and knowledge of the Club. An Alumni Chair is appointed for a three-year term with no limit on the number of terms. The appointee must be involved with the Club and have shown demonstrable commitment as judged by the Executive Board.

The Alumni Chair serves an advisory role and is a non-voting member of the Executive; he or she must make themselves available to attend Executive Board meetings upon request and is otherwise welcome, but not required, to attend. The Alumni Chair is tasked with administering annual elections and by-elections of the Executive as well as with upholding transparency in the electoral process.

4d) Duties of the Voting Executive

4d.1) The Secretary is responsible for calling meetings of the Executive, maintaining records (minutes) of all such meetings, refereeing all votes taken by the Executive, ensuring communication of all relevant Club information among Executive members, managing the schedule of weekly club meetings/events for rotations and ensuring executive commitment, maintaining an inventory of club equipment, organizing an annual General Assembly of the Club members, liaising with the Hart House staff via the Club’s Programme Advisor, and acting as the Club’s representative where necessary.

4d.2) The Treasurer is responsible for keeping an account of the Club’s revenues and expenditures, informing the Executive of any deviation from established budgets, and devising the annual budget with the input and approval of the Executive (see “Budget”, 8, below). The Treasurer is also responsible for keeping track of the chess materials borrowed by members as part of the Club’s lending library.

4d.3) The Fundraising Representative acts closely with the Treasurer to determine the extent and nature of the Club’s financial needs, and organizes corresponding fundraising initiatives with the assistance of other Executive members.

4d.4) The Communications Representatives maintain a directory of email addresses for all Club members and interested parties, inform Club members of upcoming events, promotes the Club to prospective members, advertise Club events when required, and maintain the Club’s website and social media accounts.

4d.5) The Events Coordinator is responsible for informing the Executive about the specifics of the Pan-Ams, the Pan-Ams Qualifier and the CPSCC, communicating with tournament organizers and all other relevant parties, overseeing the assembly of the Team, working with the Programme Advisor to organize accommodation, registration, and transportation for the Team, and dealing with all other concerns pertaining to these three events. The Events Co-ordinator is also charged with administering the special events hosted by the Club, such as the Master Lectures, the Casual Chess Tournaments, the Chess Lessons and the Simultaneous Chess Exhibitions.

5.         Meetings.

All official Club activity takes place in one of four kinds of meeting: Club meetings, Executive meetings, General Assemblies, and Club Events.

5a) Club meetings are held weekly, and are overseen by the Club member responsible for signing out the equipment on the day of the meeting (preferably the Secretary or a designated member of the Executive). Club meetings are open to the general public.

5b) Executive meetings are held according to need, and are called by the Secretary of his/her own initiative or that of another member of the Executive. There must be a minimum of one Executive meeting per month. At least four members of the Executive are required for quorum at an official meeting, but a majority of the Executive is required for all votes (if only four votes are cast, the agreement must be unanimous). Minutes are kept by the Secretary, and all decisions affecting the Club are communicated to the Club members by the Communications Representatives. Executive meetings are restricted to members of the Executive, except in cases of special invitation. The Programme Advisor may be invited to Executive meetings.

5c) A General Assembly is held annually in the Spring Term, and is called by the Secretary. All elections to the Executive are held at the General Assembly, or are officially postponed at this time by a majority vote of the incumbent Executive.

5d) Club Events include in-house tournaments, lectures, simultaneous exhibitions, orientation events, chess lessons, and any other events organized for Club members or the chess community at large by the Executive or by a Club member acting with the sanction of the Executive, as well as any events in which the Team competes. Club Events may only be restricted to subsets of the membership if the restriction is made on the basis of playing strength (as with Team events), in which caseall members must be granted a reasonable opportunity to qualify, or on the basis of enrolment at the University of Toronto (as according to some tournament organizers).

6.         Pan-Ams.

The Club sends one or two Teams to the annual Pan-American Inter-Collegiate ChessChampionship. The aims of the Club’s participation are to provide an enjoyable and instructive experience to the members of the Team, and to place as high as possible in the final standings. Selection of up to 50% of the Team members may be done according to official ratings granted by the Chess Federation of Canada, FIDE, or any similar federation, but no Team member may be selected on the basis of a rating less than 2200 CFC or its equivalent. The remaining Team members must qualify in a special event organized by the Events Co-ordinator with the assistance of the Executive in either late September or early October. The Executive Board determines the process, by which the Team line-ups will be decided. Reasonable notice of Team selection procedures must be given to all Club members by the Communications Representatives.

7.         CPSCC.

Each year, the executive board determines the number of Teams that will represent the Club at the Canadian Post-Secondary Chess Championship. The aims of the Club’s participation are to provide an enjoyable and instructive experience to the members of the Team and to place as high as possible in the final standings. Selection of the members of Team A may be done according to official ratings granted by the Chess Federation of Canada, FIDE, or any similar federation. The remaining Team members are selected on a first-come first-served basis. The Executive Board determines the process, by which the Team line-ups will be decided. Reasonable notice of Team selection procedures must be given to all Club members by the Communications Representatives.

8.         Budget.

The annual budget is prepared by the Treasurer with the assistance of the Executive. It is presented to the Hart House Committee on Budgets by the Treasurer and additional executives as needed. The original budget and all significant amendments are made by the Treasurer or the Secretary and must be voted upon by the Executive.

9.         Equipment.

The Club’s equipment is stored at Hart House. All executives have the rights to sign out the equipment for the Club’s activities.

10.       Additions and Amendments.

All changes to this constitution must be approved either by full consensus of the Executive, or simple majorities in the Executive and the general membership. In the latter case, at least ten Club members or a third of the Club membership, whichever is less, must be present for a general vote to be valid for this purpose. Any vote held for the purpose of changing this constitution must be announced by the Secretary or Communications Representatives a minimum of two weeks in advance.

The Perfect Tournament

Below, please find Sahan Karunaratne‘s report on the tournaments which took place on September 25th that he organized!

We can be very happy to put this on page, as we had a wonderful blitz tournament this week. The stars aligned as a crop of players with a rating range from 1000-2300 took stage. Yet this group of people, who would usually huddle in different corners of the reading room, found themselves having a competition that everyone could enjoy.

Each player had at least a couple of players that posed a genuine threat to them. Jonathan Hay and Handknit, two people who typically can dominate a tournament like this, provided the other is not present, found themselves in one hair raising position after another. Both were put under significant pressure by Ethan M’s Berserking which brought him a clear win. Henry Vu, who I might remind you has won a number of tournaments was not only challenged by the 2000+ players, but also players at his own rating. He just about managed to snare fourth place, from what I see now is clearly his sworn enemy Daniel Glasroth. A shoutout is in order for Edmund Chan who managed to play their usual unfazed chess, this time with some results to be proud of! For the bullet tournament, there are two items of interest.

The winner: Ethan M. and the last comment Daniel wrote which is that chess is not necessarily restricted to Fridays. Perhaps our next report shall include challenges made right throughout the week!