2022 Chess Journalists of America Awards

Writers, columnists, photographers, and analysts from US Chess had much to celebrate at the annual Chess Journalists of America (CJA) meeting on August 5 in Rancho Mirage. Chess Life was named Best Overall Magazine by the CJA for the first time in four years, and US Chess writers took home awards in all of the “Top Three” categories.

GM Elshan Moradiabadi was named the 2022 Chess Journalist of the Year. In his nomination text, John Hartmann wrote:

GM Elshan Moradiabadi is well-known to readers of US Chess publications for his high-quality analysis and educational content. His essay on “The Quasi-Outpost” gave readers a reason to study the classics, and his analysis of games from 2022 Tata Steel was of exceptional quality.

Moradiabadi has also contributed to Chess Life Online, with stories on the 2022 Spring Classic and an elegy of sorts for GM Evgeny Sveshnikov.

Moradiabadi has also tried his hand at online content, with a Twitch stream that was quite active earlier this year, along with serving as an online commentator for the 2021 US Chess K-12 Championship.

 Joe Posnanski’s “The Miracles on Maryland Ave.” (January 2022) won the Best Story of the Year, with IM John Donaldson’s “The Fischer Project” (July 2021) earning an honorable mention. That story was particularly popular with the CJA judges, taking home no less than four additional awards for Donaldson and photographer Ian Spanier.

And last but not least, GM Andy Soltis’s “Chess to Enjoy” column was named co-winner in the Best Column of the Year category.

Here is the full list awards won by US Chess. Congratulations to all!




Chess Journalist of the Year, Winner

Elshan Moradiabadi

GM Elshan Moradiabadi. Photo: SLCC/Crystal Fuller
Image Caption
GM Elshan Moradiabadi. Photo: SLCC/Crystal Fuller

Best Story of the Year, Winner

Joe Posnanski, “The Miracles on Maryland Ave.” (Chess Life, January 2022)


Best Story of the Year, Honorable Mention

John Donaldson, “The Fischer Project” (Chess Life, July 2021)


Best Column of the Year, Co-winner

Andy Soltis, “Chess to Enjoy”




Best Overall Magazine, Winner

Chess Life


Best Feature Article, Winner

John Donaldson, “The Fischer Project” (Chess Life, July 2021)

July 2021 Chess Life cover


Best Feature Article, Honorable Mention

Joe Posnanski, “The Miracles on Maryland Ave.” (Chess Life, January 2022)


Best Interview, Honorable Mention

John Hartmann, “All My Work... Had Finally Paid Off” (Chess Life, September 2021)


Best National / International Tournament Report, Co-winner

Alex Yermolinsky, “The 2021 World Championship” (Chess Life, February 2022)


Best State / Local Tournament Report, Winner

JJ Lang, “Viva Las Vegas!” (Chess Life, September 2021)


Best Instructive Lesson, Co-winner

Elshan Moradiabadi, “The Quasi-Outpost” (Chess Life, June 2021)


Best Analysis, Honorable Mention

Wesley So, “A Historic Game!” (Chess Life, February 2022)


Best Personal Narrative, Co-winner

Mike Klein, “Different Wavelengths” (Chess Life, December 2021)




Best Single Magazine Cover, Winner

Ian Spanier / Kory Kennedy (Chess Life, July 2021)

Best Photojournalism Article, Winner

John Donaldson / Ian Spanier, “The Fischer Project” (Chess Life, July 2021)

Best Single Chess Photo, Honorable Mention

Ian Spanier (Chess Life, July 2021)

Best Art

Chandler Ellison, “Resolutions” (Chess Life Kids, December 2021)

CLK December 2021 cover


Best Cartoon

Val Bockhov, “Chess Adventures with Wesley So” (Chess Life Kids, June 2021)




Best Interview, Co-winner

Sean Hennessy, “Coming to America: An Interview with GM Vladimir Belous”


Best Interview, Co-winner

Brian Jerauld, “Shankland Returns: Back on the Board, Back in the Club, Back in the Groove”


Best Podcast, Winner

Jennifer Shahade, “Ladies Knight”


Best Podcast, Honorable Mention

Pete Karagianis, “The Chess Underground”


Best Podcast, Honorable Mention

Dan Lucas, “One Move at a Time”


Best Single Podcast Interview, Winner

Jennifer Shahade, “Ladies Knight” #40 ft. Anastasiya Rakhmangulova


Best Online Review, Winner

John Watson, “Jones’ Coffeehouse Repertoire”


Best National / International Tournament Report, Honorable Mention

Various authors, “2021 FIDE World Championship”


Best Instructional Lesson, Winner

Jennifer Shahade / Carissa Yip, “IM Carissa Yip on the MEMORABLE MOVES behind her first U.S. Women’s Title!”


Jennifer Shahade/Carissa Yip, Memorable Moves


Best Analysis, Winner

Wesley So, “Carlsen Wins Sixth Game of World Championship”


Best Overall Chess Website, Winner

US Chess


Best Twitter Feed, Honorable Mention

US Chess (@uschess)