This post is about chess organization's constitutions, and the need for them. These documents help the club's officers and members know what is expected of them as well as providing the club's membership with the knowledge of proper procedure of any needed form of action. These out-of-date constitutions are presented here for historical purposes, but they may also serve as blueprints for anyone wishing to form their own. Below you will find two Memphis Chess Club constitutions and one from the Tennessee Chess Association.
Constitution and By-Laws of the Memphis Chess Club, Inc.
Name. The name of this organization shall be the “Memphis Chess club, Inc.”
Purpose: the purposes of the club are:
(A) To enable its members of play the game of chess;
(B) To conduct tournaments and inter-club matches;
(C) To play matches with other clubs;
(D) To promote the popularity of the game of chess.
Membership: Any person may become a member of the club upon payment of the annual dues. U.S. Chess Federation and Tennessee Chess Association memberships are encouraged; however, they are required for all tournaments held by the club.
(A) The officers of the club shall be a President, vice President/ Sergeant-at-Arms, Secretary, Statistician, Treasurer, and Tournament director, to be elected for a term of one year by majority approval of the members present at the first regular meeting of the club during the month of December.
(B) The President, Vice President/Sergeant-at-Arms, Secretary and the past five presidents of the club shall be the members of the Board of Directors.
(C) Should a vacancy occur between elections, it shall be filled by majority vote of the members present at a meeting held within one month after the vacancy has occurred.
(D) The club shall be affiliated with the UNITED STATES CHESS FEDERATION in accordance with the conditions specified by the said federation.
Duties of Officers and Directors.
(A) The President shall:
(1) Preside at all meetings of the club;
(2) Preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors;
(3) Appoint any other administrative officers the Board of Directors may deem necessary:
(4) Appoint all committees.
(B) The Vice President/Sergeant-at-Arms shall:
(1) Assist the President;
(2) Preside at all meetings in the absence of the President;
(3) Be responsible for maintaining reasonable conduct of the membership of the club.
(4) President over a committee to set up the club before each meeting and make sure the meeting place is cleaned up after the meeting.
(C) The Secretary shall:
(1) Keep all minutes of all meetings;
(2) Send notices of special meetings to members;
(3) Assist the Tournament Director on all Tournaments
(D) The Statistician shall keep an up-to-date ladder of the active members of the club.
(E) The Treasurer shall:
(1) Collect all authorized dues;
(2) Deposit all funds received by him with a bank designated by the Board of Directors:
(3) Make disbursements as authorized by the Board of Directors if such disbursements are more than $50.00;
(4) Furnish a financial statement to the Board of Directors when requested by the said Board;
(5) Prepare a financial statements for the first regular meeting during the month of January;
(6) Take charge of ordering supplies or materials for either the club’s use or for resale.
(F) The Tournament Director shall:
(1) Be a certified USCF Tournament Director;
(2) Arrange and direct tournaments conducted by the club.
(3) Appoint other certified directors to direct tournaments in his behalf;
(4) Report the results of tournaments to the United States Chess Federation.
(G) The Board of Directors shall:
(1) Formulate a program of activities for the club;
(2) Supervise the work of all committees.
Dues. The annual dues of the club shall be $__.00 per person, of which $__.00 will go to the (owner(s) of the club location.)
Meetings. Regular meetings of the members shall be held throughout each year on such day(s) and at such place as shall be decided upon by the membership. Meetings may be adjourned immediately upon call to order if there is no business of importance.
The Board of Directors may meet at any time and any place upon call of the President.
Amendments. This Constitution may be changed or amended by a majority vote of the entire membership.
I. Penalties for Unethical Conduct
A. Destruction of theft of property shall not be tolerated. Any person violating this rule shall be expelled immediately from the club and forfeit all membership dues. He shall be held responsible for replacing such items immediately. [The club shall not be held responsible for any legal action taken due to destruction or theft.]
B. There shall be no wandering or gathering other than in the club room
C. There shall be no unnecessary conversation or noise in the club room
Any person or persons violating any of the above rules
(1) Shall be given a verbal warning by the Sergeant-at-Arms or his assistance.
(2) If said person or persons continue to violate these rules after the first warning, he shall be asked to leave for the remainder of the evening.
(3) If said person or persons refuse to leave, he shall automatically be expelled from the club and shall forfeit his membership.
(4) If a person who has violated the above rules and has been expelled from the club wishes to appeal his expulsion, he shall seek a ruling by the majority of the Board of Directors. If the Board agrees to allow the person to re-enter the club, said person shall be admitted upon payment of the current club dues.
II. Absentee Ballot
Absentee ballots shall be mailed out two weeks in advance of the meeting to all members stating any changes or amendments to be made to the Constitution. Any member unable to attend the meeting shall mail his vote to the person designed on the ballot. Anyone failing to return the ballot or not attending the meeting shall be counted as an abstention when the vote is taken.
The membership of the Memphis Chess Club approved this amended charter and bylaws on Nov. 20, 1992.
ARTICLE I -- Name
The name of the organization shall be the Memphis Chess Club Inc. (MCC).
ARTICLE II-- Purposes
The Memphis Chess Club Inc. is a public benefit corporation and is non-profit. The purposes of the MCC shall be:
• To promote the educational and literary benefits from the game of chess.
• To conduct club tournaments, matches with other clubs and regional tournaments open to all chess players.
• To enable its members to play chess.
• To promote the popularity of the game of chess.
The club shall be affiliated with the U.S. Chess Federation in accordance with the conditions specified by the said federation.
The corporation's initial registered office is located at (address of President of the club). The registered agent is (President of club). The names and addresses of each incorporator are: (President and Vice-President's names including addresses.)
ARTICLE III -- Members
Section 1. Any person shall be eligible for membership in the MCC and shall become a member upon payment of the annual club dues in advance. There is no initiation fee. Individual membership in the U.S. Chess Federation is required to play both open and club tournaments or matches. Membership in the Tennessee Chess Association (or Arkansas or Mississippi state chess organizations) is encouraged and required for all open tournaments, namely those which open to those outside the club, but state membership is not required for club-only tournaments.
Section 2. The annual dues shall be _____ dollars ($__) for adults and _____ dollars ($__) for those under age 18. Annual dues are due on January 1 of each year. After July 1, dues for the remaining six months are half-price ($__ and $__), and after October 1, dues for the remaining three months are one-fourth ($___ and $___). Family memberships (at least one adult and one under-18) are available at a 25 percent discount when paid as a group. (For example, one adult at $___ and two teenagers at $___ each would be $___ minus $___ discount for a total of $___. However, the fees must be paid as a group and at the same time.) Delinquent members will have no rights or privileges if annual dues are not paid prior to be first tournament of 1 he new year. When dues are paid, delinquent members will be reinstated. Any club officer who his not paid his dues by the first tournament of the new year is automatically suspended as an officer and a member, and a new election shall be called by the Board of Directors within one month to replace that officer.
Section 3. Any non-member who plays chess at the club three times in a calendar year shall be informed by an officer that guests are limited to two chess-playing visits a year without being a paying member.
ARTICLE IV -- Officers
Section 1. The seven officers of the MCC shall be a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, tournament director, historian, and public relations director. These officers also will automatically be members of the seven-member Board of Directors.
Section 2. The officers shall perform the duties described in this document.
Section 3. The officers will be elected at the MCC annual meeting.
Section 4. No person shall hold office who is not a member, and no member shall hold more than one office at a time.
Section 5. The Board of Directors has final authority on all matters not submitted to the membership for a vote. No member of the Board of Directors has more authority than another member, except in the individual areas of responsibilities outlined in this document. Any disputes will be settled by a vote of the Board of Directors.
Section 6. To pass any issue, the Board must have a quorum of four Board members present and a majority of those present voting approval.
ARTICLE V -- Elections
Section 1. The annual meeting and election be on the second club meeting in December. Terms of office shall be for one year and begin upon adjournment of the annual meeting.
Section 2. The annual election will be supervised by the secretary. To be on the printed ballot, a member must be nominated in writing to the secretary one week prior to the annual meeting. Ballots will be printed in advance and distributed at the annual meeting. Voting will be by secret ballot. A blank line will be printed to allow for write-ins.
Section 3. A majority is required for election. If more than two run for office and no one gets a majority of voting members on the first ballot, the top two will immediately have a runoff.
Section 4. The actual count of votes for each office will be available by request from the secretary and will be incorporated into the club's minutes by the secretary.
ARTICLE VI-- Officers' Duties
The officers should perform the following duties:
Section 1 -- The president shall preside over all meetings of the club and the Board of Directors, will serve as the representative of the club to the general public and news media, and may call any Board meetings necessary.
Section 2 -- The vice president shall replace the president in his duties when the president is unable to attend a meeting. If the president vacates the office, the vice president will serve as acting president until a successor is elected by the membership.
Section 3 -- The secretary shall keep all minutes of all meetings, assist the tournament director in preparing reports to USCF, and supervise the annual election.
Section 4-- The treasurer shall collect all authorized dues and monies, deposit all funds with a bank designated by the Board of Directors, sign checks for disbursements, furnish a financial statement to the Board of Directors quarterly, present a financial statement to the membership at the annual meeting, and order supplies or materials needed by the club.
Section 5 -- The tournament director shall be a certified USCF Tournament Director, arrange and direct tournaments conducted by the club, appoint other certified directors to direct tournaments in his/her behalf; report the results of tournaments to the U.S. Chess Federation, submit a tournament calendar for the approval of the Board of Directors in December (after checking with the state tournament coordinator about possible conflicting dates).
Section 6-- Club historian will keep historical records of MCC activities, any trophies not on display and assist the public relations director by providing background on the club's history.
Section 7 -- The public relations director will issue news releases to the media, encourage favorable publicity, publish the club's newsletter, The Mid-South Chess Advocate, supervise the mailing, and make all decisions on the newsletter's content unless the Board directs otherwise.
Section 8 -- The Board of Directors may assign the following duties: opening and closing of the club facilities on meeting nights, who can legally sign checks, checking the post office box to pick up mail, maintaining the club's database, mailing special notices, maintaining clean club facilities, publishing of this document, and any other duties that it deems necessary.
ARTICLE VII-- Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall govern all major activities and decisions.
Section 2. The Board has the right to invoke disciplinary action for unethical conduct and to revoke anyone's membership for such conduct.
Section 3. If five members of the current Board of Directors deem another Board member is guilty of unethical conduct, they may revoke that Board member's status on the Board.
Section 4. If 10 percent of the members of the club challenge any decision of the Board of Directors, they may sign a petition and call for a vote of the membership. If two-thirds of the membership vote against the Board's action, the Board's decision is revoked.
Section 5. The Board of Directors must approve any purchase of more than $50, the annual tournament schedule, all policies or changes in policies, changes in assignment of officer duties, and selection of sites for open tournaments.
Section 6. The Board of Directors may meet at any time and any place upon call of the President or three other Board members with notice to board members at least 24 hours in advance.
Section 7. The Board of Directors will appoint any committees it deems necessary.
Section 8. The Board of Directors shall not take any actions that conflict with what the membership has voted as to policy. The Board does have full authority to take all actions that are not reserved by the membership as outlined in this document.
ARTICLES VIII-- Meetings
Section 1. Club meetings of the members shall be held throughout each year on the day and at such place as shall be decided upon by the membership.
Section 2. The club currently meets at 7:45 p.m. on Friday nights at (Club Location,) Memphis, Tennessee.
Section 3. The Board of Directors may change the regular meeting time and/or place with eight days notice to the membership.
Section 4. The annual meeting shall be held on the second club meeting in December at the club's regular meeting place (which is currently ____________________________). The annual meeting shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving annual reports, and conducting any other business that may arise. Ten percent of the current membership shall constitute a quorum. The Board may change the meeting site but not the date of the annual meeting. Only the membership may change the date of the annual meeting.
Section 5. A special meeting may be called by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or on the written request of any 10 percent of the members given to the Board of Directors. Notice of a special meeting shall be given at least eight days in advance. Purpose of the meeting shall be set forth in the notice. Ten percent of the club members shall constitute a quorum at any club meeting.
ARTICLE IX -- Conduct of Members
Section 1. Destruction or theft of property shall not be tolerated. Any person violating this rule shall be expelled immediately from the club by the Board and forfeit all membership dues. The offender shall be held responsible for replacing such items immediately. The individual and not the MCC shall be held responsible for any legal action taken due to destruction or theft.
Section 2. There shall be no wandering or gathering in areas outside the normal club room.
Section 3. There shall be no loud conversation or noise in the clubroom during
tournaments. The tournament director and/or any other Board member should enforce this rule.
Section 4. No smoking is permitted inside club facilities.
Section 5. Any person violating any of the above rules shall be given a verbal warning by the tournament director and/or a club officer. If said person or persons continue to violate these rules after the first warning, he/she will be asked to leave for the remainder of the evening. If said person refuses to leave, the board has the right to cancel membership without any refund. If a person has been expelled from the club, he/she may appeal the expulsion at the next board meeting
ARTICLE X -- Club Tournament Rules
Section 1. All players must be a member of the club to play in a club tournament.
Section 2. All games will be finished and two score-sheets turned in to the Tournament Director by 8 a.m. the following Wednesday.
Section 3. When one player cannot play on the normal tournament night (Friday), the other player has the option of where and when an alternate time and site will be. If the postponing player cannot play at the alternate time and place suggested, the postponing player loses by forfeit. If both players are unavailable for a Friday night game and don't make arrangements by 8 a.m. the following Thursday, both players forfeit.
Section 4. Players with "won games" will be responsible for calling in the results of the adjourned or rescheduled games. If club tourney results are not reported to the tournament director by 8 a.m. the following Thursday, both players will receive forfeits. Opponents must agree on a time and date of resuming an adjourned game. The Tournament Director will not be responsible for scheduling the resumption of an adjourned game.
Section 5. Both players will be responsible for turning in an accurate score-sheet. If either fails to do so, the tournament director may rule a forfeit for that person.
Section 6. All games will be played in accordance with the USCF rules and regulations.
Section 7. When registering for a tournament, every player must have in his possession a current USCF membership card. Membership expires on the last day of the month shown on the card. The player's membership must not expire before the last day of the tournament. Three substitute proofs of current membership are: a player's current Chess Life address label, the Rating Supplement, a receipt of recent dues payment, signed by an organizer know by the Tournament Director.
ARTICLE XI-- Changes to Charter/Bylaws
Section 1. This document supersedes all other Charters, Constitutions and/or Bylaws of the Memphis Chess Club. This document may be changed only by a two-thirds vote of the membership, provided that previous notice of the amendment was given to all members eight days in advance. These bylaws cannot be suspended except as specified herein.
ARTICLE XII-- Other Business
Section 1 -- Parliamentary authority to govern this organization is as outlined in this document. For any issues not clarified here, the organization will use the most recent edition of the "Modern Edition: Robert's Rules of Order" as revised by Dr. Darwin Patnode.
END OF DOCUMENT
Memphis Chess Club Charter and Bylaws
The name of this organization shall be the Tennessee Chess Association (TCA).
The purpose of the TCA shall be the promotion of chess in general and especially in Tennessee.
The TCA shall be affiliated with the United States States Chess Federation (USCF).
Any person, regardless of residence, citizenship, race, creed, or color may become a member of the TCA by representing dues for one year with his names and address to any officer of the TCA or
local member of the TCA Membership Committee. Those dues shall include a subscription to the Tennessee Chess News (TCN). Each additional person in a family may join for one—half of the
individual membership, but this shall not include a subscription to TCN. No one family shall be required to pay for more than four memberships.
Only residents of Tennessee may vote on TCA business or be eligible for the Chess Championships of Tennessee, unless non-resident players are extended those privileges on an honorary basis, by a majority of the voting membership present at a TCA business meeting.
Any other chess organization nay become affiliated with the TCA upon presentation to the TCA Secretary or Membership Director of one year's affiliate dues twice the individual membership dues by a duly authorized officer or agent of the organization.
The officers of the TCA shall be the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and six Directors, as follows: Membership Director, Postal Chess Director, Newsletter Director, Tournament Director, Tournament Arrangements Director, and a Director—at—Large.
No more than one less than a clear majority of the TCA officers may reside in one grand division of the state.
The officers shall be elected for three year terms. All Directors shall be elected in 1965 to serve until the time designated for their election to full three year terms Terms of officers which would otherwise end in 1966 shall end at that time. The Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected in 1966 to serve until the year designated for the election of these officers to full three year terms. The President, Membership Director, and Tournament Direction Director shall be elected to three year terms starting in 1966. The Vice-President, Treasurer, and Tournament Arrangements Director shall be elected to three year terms starting in 1967, The Secretary, Postal Chess Director, and Newsletter Director and Director-at-Large shall be elected to three year term starting in 1968.
No person may hold more then one TCA office at one time.
The TCA officers and any USCF Officers or Directors residing in Tennessee shall constitute the TCA Executive Committee. USCF Officers and Directors who are not otherwise members of the Executive Committee shall sit ex officio without voting power.
The Executive Committee shall conduct the business of the TCA between business meetings
and subject to the instructions of the membership. When sitting in person a quorum of the Executive
Committee shall be two-thirds of the voting membership. When voting or balloting by mail, a quorum
shall be the total membership of the Executive Committee, although abstentions shall be counted as
voted for the purposes of this section and officers not voting 15 days after the submission of a
question by mail shall be counted as abstaining.
The Executive Committee shall elect the USCF Directors for Tennessee.
In case of a vacancy in the Presidency the Vice—President shall succeed to the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency shall become vacant. In case of any other vacancy the Executive Committee shall fill the vacancy by mail Ballot election, run by the Vice--President, unless the office to be filled is the Vice-Presidency, in which case the Secretary shall run the election. Any vacancy filled in such a manor shall be filled only until the next business meeting at which time the membership shall elect a person to serve the remainder of the term.
The President, with the approval of the Executive Committee, shall in each calender year call a
business meeting and a tournament for determining the Tennessee Chess Championships. His call shall be a directive to the Tournament Arrangements Director to arrange the state championships. Any participant in the Tennessee Chess Championships shall be a member of the TCA.
This Constitution nay be amended by two-thirds vote of the members in attendance at any regularly
called business meeting provided that the proposed amendment(s) have been published in the "Tennessee Chess News" at least 30 days before the meeting or, the proposed amendments having failed to have been published, printed copies of the proposed amendments having been sent to all members of tho TCA at least 45 days prior to the meeting.
This Constitution my be ratified by two-thirds majority of the members present at a TCA business
meeting within three years after its submission. It shall be ratified as an amendment to the
present TCA Constitution. The ratification of this Constitution shall make the present Constitution
(ratified: 1949) inoperative and make this Constitution operative immediately.
Michael R. Coveyou,
June 28, 1965
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