Team Donations

For more details click here

Invitation from László Nagy

We would like to invite a GM-candidate player with 2400 … 2500 ELO to our GM-IM closed tournaments, Budapest 1st – 11th October. 9..11 games, min 2381, max 2450 ELO average. Entry fee 150€ (instead of the normal 300€). Also for the IM section we are looking for a player with 2300+ ELO, entry fee 100€ (instead of the normal 200€).
Accommodation is in the tournament venue, the hotel BERLIN, single room for 39€ per night, incl. breakfast, or 15€ per night private room, 20-30 min to travel to the tournament hall. Day of arrival is 30th September, departure day is 12th October.

Direct members’ representatives for 2016/17

At the closing date for nominations, there were no more than two candidates for each of the categories of direct members’ representatives.  There is consequently no need for an election, and the following have been appointed for 2016/17:

HLVPs etc – Stewart Reuben and John Wickham
Platinum – Francis Bowers and David Fryer
Gold and Junior Gold – Mark Jordan and Robert Thompson
Silver and Junior Silver – Michael Farthing and John Reyes
Bronze and Junior Bronze – Angus French

There is again a vacancy for one of the Bronze representatives: the Board has the power to fill this, and would be delighted to hear from any Bronze member interested in taking on this position.

These appointments take effect from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting on 15 October: the 2015/16 representatives will remain in post for the duration of the meeting.

Rainham Rapidplay

— supported by The National Trust

rainham_house_nt_print-14small0-nt-sophia-schorr-konThe beautiful and historic Rainham Hall in the London Borough of Havering is playing host to a one-day rapidplay tournament on Saturday 1st October. Rainham Hall has recently opened following a £2.5 million conservation project.

This charming house is one of the country’s finest examples of an early 18th century merchant’s home. It is just two minutes’ walk from Rainham Station, in the heart of the village.

This is the first time a chess event has been held at Rainham Hall but it is hoped it will set a precedent. The ECF-graded and FIDE-rated tournament will take place in the Hayloft function room above the Old
Stables, a setting reminiscent of the coffeehouse origins of competitive chess in Britain.

Refreshments are available throughout the day from the National Trust Stables Café in the space below. The organiser, Nigel Blades, is delighted to be running the tournament in collaboration with the National Trust at Rainham, who are pleased to include the tournament as one of their more unusual offers in the events programme.  There is still time to enter although, with capacity set at 32, it’s better to make your decision sooner rather than later! Further details and the entry form can be found at

— from Mark Jordan Email:

Chess Master @ the Local, Stroud

This free event is being held between 12.00 -5.00pm on Saturday 24 September, and the star turn is International Master, Chris Beaumont, who is based in Bristol. It is being sponsored by ECF as part of a series of events across the country and, in this case, is being organised in collaboration with Stroud Chess Club.
The event is taking place at The Curio Lounge, 9-11 Kings Street, Stroud GL5 3BX

Chris will be performing a simultaneous display throughout the afternoon in which he will play all-comers. As games finish, the board will become available for a new opponent. Prizes will be awarded to anyone who manages to beat the Master, and for the game that Chris judges to be best of the afternoon.

This very informal event is aimed at the general public and all standards of player: beginner, experienced occasional player, club players, and budding masters! Equipment will be available for anyone who fancies a game and members of Stroud CC and Mark Jordan (ECF Publicity Manager) will be there to offer advice and information.

chris-beaumont-2CHRIS BEAUMONT received his International Master title in 1996. He has won numerous prizes in tournaments, and recently came 1st in the Cotswold Congress ahead of Grandmaster Keith Arkell, who he defeated along the way. A distinguished chess coach, he has trained and accompanied England Junior squads to important events on a number of occasions, and he is well known for his blindfold displays in which he takes on up to 5 opponents simultaneously.

— from Mark Jordan Email:

Club / Association Insurance

Click here to download the application form for renewing your Club/Association Insurance from 1st October 2016.  The policy document is the same as last year, though if anyone needs a copy prior to purchase, one can be sent by request for consideration.

The annual premium from Aviva remains the same as last year, but has needed to be adjusted to reflect the change in Insurance Premium Tax from 6% to 10%.  The part year payments have been reduced significantly.

Completed applications (hard copy only) should be sent to the ECF Office, with a cheque payable for the full amount.  We will aim to process them within 48 hours of receipt, and issue your schedule to the email address on the application.

— Gary Willson, ECF Office Manager Tel: 01424 775222

Baku Olympiad – round-up

Jupiter Asset Management is the sponsor of the England Open Team for the Baku Olympiad

— from Mark Jordan Email:
Pictures by Maria Emelianova

china_maria-emelianovaSo the Baku Chess Olympiad 2016 has concluded with the United States taking the Open title and China taking the Women’s [left]. Despite being consistently seeded 1st in the Olympiad Open, Russia has not been able to capture the glories of the past and underperformed again, although they did win a Bronze as some recompense. They were just out of the medals in the Women’s but, given that they were 3rd seeds, this was not outside expectations. China, with a gradually increasing number of well-trained and talented players joining the 2700+ elite, were expected to do well here but ended far out of a medal position in the Open and will be very disappointed. It had seemed likely that they would take over as the most powerful chess nation in the world, having risen through the ranks from almost nowhere in a mere couple of decades. Perhaps their performance here brings those expectations into question. Given China’s high ambition, Gold in the Women’s event is probably not sufficient compensation but it is certainly a great achievement for a Chinese Women’s team that won through in a very competitive situation against some very determined and dangerous rivals.

usa_maria-emelianovaFor the United States [left], winning Gold in the Open is a huge achievement and one they have not experienced for 40 years. They have been criticised in some quarters for relying on imported talent but this seems unfair. Both Caruana and Nakamura have honed their skills in the USA and, whilst the former has transferred over from the Italian Chess Federation, he has spent much of his life in the USA and transferring between federations has been a feature of chess, and most other sports, for decades. Both Sam Shankland and Ray Robson are born and bred Americans which only leaves Wesley So who is certainly a gain for the USA and a loss to the Philippines. With growing sponsorship, a higher public profile and strong developments in junior chess and training for potential internationals, it is hoped that this win of the Olympiad will help to foster yet more growth and create an environment in which more talented players can realistically choose playing chess as a means of making a living.

The England Team in the Open did not win a medal but, with 9th on tie-break, achieved their best result in many years which has to be at least partly due to the fact that they had been able to get sponsorship which enabled better preparation and support and the fielding of our strongest available team. The highlight was, of course, the 3-1 drubbing of the fancied Chinese team and we can expect, with more consistency across all boards, the performance here to serve as a platform for future successes. Michael Adams achieved a +3 result with no losses on board 1 against consistently strong opposition and his tournament rating performance of 2794 has increased his rating in the live rankings by 7.2 points to 2745.2 which positions him back in the world top 20. Gawain Jones achieved excellent results on board 4, winning some crucial games, only losing once, and scoring a tournament rating of 2738 which yields a rating improvement of 11.8, pushing him back towards the 2650 mark. Nigel Short also performed very creditably, playing in 9 of the rounds despite being on the reserve board. David Howell and Luke McShane were not so successful on boards 2 and 3 and both lost quite a few rating points. They are both immensely talented players, however, and will no doubt use this experience to root out any short-comings in their manner of play and renew their efforts to firmly establish themselves in the top 100.

The women’s team were seeded 32 and were not therefore contenders for the team medals. They would have hoped to have at least justified their seeding and, preferably, achieved a higher than expected placing, but it was not to be. They ended 50 in the rankings with a 50% match point score and had a difficult time, particularly on board 4. One heartening performance was that of Akshaya Kalaiyalahan who scored 7.5/10 on board 3 with only one loss and regained some of the rating points she lost in her disappointing result at the British. She can be expected to push her rating back up towards the 2300 mark, as it was a couple of months back, and be challenging for 2nd board at the Olympiad the next time around.

Read on — Baku Olympiad – round-up