Braunschweig VI 2016

In conclusion a short maiden speech of our new chairman, Bob outlined the most important issues for the KWA’s future.

Via Göttingen to Braunschweig

I practically felt obliged to attend this year’s annual KWA meeting in Braunschweig on the eve of the Klittich-Pfankuch auction, as on the one hand  after the retirement of our long-time chairman Guy Van Habberney − the course had to be newly set for the future of our association; on the other hand chess friend Godehard Murkisch had invited me to come already two days earlier to Göttingen which I had willingly accepted, all the more as it would be my first visit to the famous university town in Lower Saxony.

Godehard Murkisch will be only superficially known to most members from my former birthday greetings (2005 / 2010); let me just add that he is a man of kind modesty and wide erudition, and it is always pleasing and inspiring to meet him in person. At this point I will give only three photographs of my visit to his "own world":

Apart from his main collecting field, Godehard still owns countless other books on chess as well as on (natural) sciences and humanities, especially he has intensely dealt with philosophy (Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer). Another passion is directed at music, Godehard is a fan of Rhythm & Blues of the fifties /sixties and he also plays the piano, as is proved by the following photo.

I have to thank both a lot, Godehard and his wife Irmtraud Hartwig for their generous hospitality and for the entertaining guided tours of the city, thus getting acquainted with some beautiful sites of Göttingen (certainly not all, due to the shortness of time and the unsettled weather).

Godehard has also agreed to eventually arrange a future KWA meeting in Göttingen, we should keep this kind offer in mind.

Let’s now move on to the official annual meeting of the KWA on Friday evening: The Klittich-Pfankuch family had not only provided the auction hall for this purpose, but also cared for the physical well-being of the attendees with excellent wine and tasty snacks  once again sincere thanks for that!

You may look up the agenda here, subsequently I will mention the most relevant issues:

US membership outreach: the succession of Andy Ansel as country representative is still vacant.

'Teaser' memberships: Only 4 out of 20 (i.e. 20%) have decided to join our group. In my view not overwhelming.

Guy was good-humored that day
Guy was good-humored that day

Our treasurer presented the Financial reports for 2015 and 2016 (draft), moreover a Membership analysis listing the members who have paid their fee as well as the free memberships, with an additional regional analysis. The budget for 2016 shows a deficit of €800 for this year.
These 3 pages are linked in our member section.

The annual membership fees will remain unchanged, as given on our website − page Memberships/Members.

Defaulters among the members: they will be contacted / asked if they are willing to pay their fee or prefer to leave the KWA, so that we will get an updated member list. According to Guy Van Habberney most US members have renewed their memberships.

Another suggestion by Michael Clapham applies to the BoC database which has caused the biggest expense in the last two years. Efforts should be made to capitalize on this asset and to recover some of the costs (offering the use of the database by non-members for money), this will be one of the future tasks of the KWA. Karl Klittich has already offered his assistance.

The only currently supported book project is  the Paul Schmidt biography by Tony Gillam and Michael Negele which is expected to be published in a few months, in any case still in this year.

CSQ newsletter: we have sufficient contributions to fill the coming August and November issues. For 2017 further articles by committed authors are still searched for!
Bob van de Velde will provide an editorial text for each issue.

Per Skjoldager reports on the BoC database.
Per Skjoldager reports on the BoC database.

At the moment 60 active BoC users are registered, naturally the individual activities have not been observed. (Certainly the most active user is Bernd Schneider!)
The advantages and benefit of the BoC have to be made known to a wider public in order to facilitate the a.m. capitalization.

A part of the audience − all well-known faces.
A part of the audience − all well-known faces.

KWA Board

Guy Van Habberney had already announced in 2015 that he would retire on the occasion of this meeting, as he has been three times a KWA board member for three years, which is the maximum according to our statutes. This May Bert Corneth (not present in Braunschweig) informed us that he would like to retire, after having been a long-time board member or 'officer'. Finally Andreas Saremba disclosed shortly before our meeting that he would prefer to leave the board and to continue as an 'officer' for special tasks after the meeting.

As there was no proposal for a successor of the chairman and therefore the danger that a functioning board would not be existent after the meeting, the honorary members Michael Negele and Jurgen Stigter have asked Bob van de Velde to take the chair. As the latter agreed, they proposed the attendant members to appoint Bob van de Velde to the chair, as well as Karl Klittich (who had also agreed to join the board) to a member of the board. This proposal was accepted by acclamation. The nominated chairman (chairman-to-be) will − in the name of the former board − request the Council of Representatives (which has officially the competence to nominate new board members) to approve the proposal.

After that approval the new board will be constituted by:

  • Drs. Bob van de Velde: Chairman
  • John Donaldson: Deputy chairman
  • Michael Clapham: Treasurer
  • Dr. Karl Klittich: Focus on German members

The retirement of Bert Corneth requires to reduce the KWA book 'overstock' (the books are currently in Bert’s care). It was proposed to sell the books without a price limit.
Bert Corneth will remain the contact person between KWA/treasurer and the ING Bank Amsterdam.

Michael Negele delivered a laudation to our outgoing chairman and presented him − in the name of the KWA − with a rare Italian chess book which had been autographed before by most of the attendees.

Particularly the communication to and between our members seems to have much room for improvement. Andreas Saremba has proposed to lay the technical foundations for web conferences and online lectures, this could bring together members of different countries and continents. We should wait and see if the technical realization is possible with justifiable efforts, and how the acceptance of our members will turn out.

In the run-up to the meeting our US member Eswara Kosaraju has submitted a remarkable list of suggestions and ideas for improvement, but these seem feasible only by considerable co-operations and commitments of our members. Therefore the appeal to the members persists to campaign a good deal more for our aims and projects.

For a convivial conclusion of the evening most of us met in the Italian Ristorante Katané which has to be praised for its excellent cuisine. Below I give some photos.

The chess auction on the following Saturday was already finished shortly after 12 o’clock, so there was still a lot of time for conversations and chats afterwards. Again I offer a selection of photos:

The result list ("Ergebnisliste") of the 70th auction was already online the same day, see
The next Klittich-Pfankuch auction will take place on 17th and 19th November 2016. The auctioneers will be pleased to welcome you again!

Photographs ©
Göttingen: Ralf Binnewirtz (Meerbusch)
Braunschweig: Michael Negele (Wuppertal)

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