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September 2015
« Aug    

Nominations for the 2015 elections

Nominations are invited for the positions detailed below which will be the subject of elections to be held at the Annual General Meeting on 17 October 2015.  In each case the intentions of the present incumbents of the positions are also listed, where known (updated on 18 August in respect of Malcolm Pein and 19 August in respect of David Thomas).

Read on — Nominations for the 2015 elections

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Motions for the 2015 Annual General Meeting

The 2015 Annual General Meeting will take place on 17 October 2015 at the Euston Square Hotel, London, starting at 1.30 p.m.  In addition to the prescribed business (including the election of directors, the FIDE delegate and the standing committees which will be the subject of a separate post), motions to appear on the agenda must either be proposed by or on behalf of the Board or be proposed by “the requisitionists”. The deadline for motions to be received by the ECF Office if these are to be included on the AGM agenda is 1.30 pm on Wednesday 9 September, the same deadline as for nominations of candidates for the elections.

Read on — Motions for the 2015 Annual General Meeting

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Direct Members’ representatives for 2015/16

Nominations are invited for Direct Members’ Representatives to take office for a period of one year from the end of the Annual General Meeting to be held on 17 October 2015.

For the purpose of the election of Representatives, Direct Members are grouped into the following five categories:

(a) Honorary Life Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Corporate Vice Presidents, Honorary Life Members and Life Members.
(b) Gold Members and Gold Concessionary Members.
(c) Silver Members and Silver Concessionary Members.
(d) Bronze Members and Bronze Concessionary Members.
(e) Platinum Members

Read on — Direct Members’ representatives for 2015/16

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Jorvik Chess Congress

This event was held at Holiday Inn York from 1st to 3rd September. A 6 round Swiss with 90 minutes each. Results in 2 sections as follows —

Section A – 22 entries
1st Chris Ross, Braille 5/6
2nd= Daniel Staples, York; John Gallagher, Leeds; Eric Gardiner, Hull; Brian Coop, Harrogate 4/6
6th=  Arron Barker, York; Steve Benn, Carlisle; Brendan O’Gorman, DHSS; Stephen Pride, Cambridge; Tim Turner, York 3.5/6
11th= Alex Billings, York; Eric Key, York; Steven Potter, St Helens; Joel Wagg, York; Mark Whitehead, Rochdale 3/6
16th= Adam Ismail, York; John Cawston, York 2.5/6
18th= Alexander Combie, Newark; Siegrun MacGilchrist, Glasgow; Rich Wiltshir, Walsall 2/6
21st= Colin Robers, Bury St Edmunds and David Tate, Sheffield 1.5/6

Read on — Jorvik Chess Congress

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Book of the Year 2015 – shortlist

The four books this year have individual identities, all of which feature different aspects of the game. Despite the difficulty of writing something original on the endgame, Benjamin has achieved just that. Two of the books complement each other very well – Rios has written an excellent middle game text book, while Gelfand reveals the difficulty even a world title challenger has in putting a text book into practise. Lastly, Kasparov’s third and final volume of his best games brings to an end a series of chess books which have set a new standard for chess writing.

Chess Structures – A Grandmaster Guide
Mauricio Flores Rios | Quality Chess pp464 £21.95

The book was ‘born out of my desire to guide players who, like me, struggle to apply their strategic knowledge to a practical game’. Rios shows exceptional clarity of organisation and selection of (nearly all contemporary) illustrative games. Each of the 140 games starts with ‘Learning Objective’ and concludes with ’Final Remarks’. In all, ‘28’ chess structures are covered and the book finishes with 50 exercises. It is hard to imagine any student not learning from this book; but the problems of using this knowledge over the board, even for a world-class player, are discussed in the Gelfand book below.

Garry Kasparov Part III: 1993 – 2000
Garry Kasparov | Everyman pp501 £30.00

This volume, the third and last in Kasparov’s best game series, brings to an end a sequence of books which started with My Great Predecessors, covered the matches with Karpov and concludes with Kasparov’s best games. This volume contains, like all its predecessors, great games with outstanding annotations, even though in the narrative parts of this volume, Kasparov comes over as somewhat disenchanted with the chess world. This series of books set new standards in chess writing and publishing for which Book of the Year seems inadequate; a Lifetime Achievement Award seems more appropriate.

Liquidation on the Chess Board
Joel Benjamin | New in Chess pp254 £16.95

The subtitle ‘Mastering the Transition into the Pawn Ending’ explains the subject matter of this attractive and entertaining book. As far as I know this is the first book covering the subject specifically (though it has been mentioned en passant in end game text books). Benjamin’s writing is entertaining and lively and shows his understanding of the practical issues of King and Pawn endings. Any one wondering about the merits of this volume should read the Prologue – The ABCs of Chess – which recounts Benjamin’s experiences in an ending with Viktor Korchnoi.

Positional Decision Making in Chess
Boris Gelfand | Quality Chess pp284 £23.99

This remarkable book, written in collaboration with Jacob Aagaard, is an attempt to show how a world-class player (there are few with Gelfand’s extensive top-level experience) thinks during the course of a game. As the title suggests, the games selected concentrate on aspects of positional play such as space advantage or the squeeze. Very interestingly, Gelfand admits to being strongly influenced by Akiba Rubinstein, a great player in the first half of the 20th century; a number of Rubinstein’s games are included. Throughout, Gelfand is very honest about his thoughts and recollections during the games presented. As a result the book is a fascinating insight into the mind of a great chess player at work.

Ray Edwards, Julian Farrand, Sean Marsh – 31st August 2015

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Temporary suspension from duty

Director of Home Chess Alex Holowczak was given a two week suspension from duty effective 25 August 2015 following a complaint made in accordance with the ECF Complaints Procedure.  The investigation found that Mr Holowczak breached the Standards of Conduct for ECF Officials, specifically Regulation 4 paragraphs 2.1 and 2.6.  Mr Holowczak is appealing.

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English success at Dieppe

– from Trefor Thynne

I am pleased to report two English Senior successes at the Chess Festival run by the Echiquier Dieppois in France between 22nd and 29th August. In the 1st Dieppe Seniors Tournament (50+) —
1st – Trefor F Thynne (Newton Abbot Club, Devon) 7 1/2 /9 (ELO 1930)
3rd – Paul R Selby (Brighton Chess Club, Sussex) 6 1/2/9 (ELO 1861)
56 players took part, and the full table of results can be seen at or on the website of the Echiquier Dieppois. A first-class congress which other English players would enjoy …

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Joseph McPhillips – IM Norm

Congratulations to Bolton Chess Club junior player Joseph McPhillips, who made an IM Norm in the Chess in Kecskemet IM Aug 2015 tournament in Hungary from 15th-24th August …

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C & DCCC – entry for the 2015/16 Season

– from Neil Limbert

I hope your players enjoyed their chess in the 2014/5 season and that you will all enter teams again for next season.

Division 1 (Ward-Higgs) was won by Essex A narrowly, on tie-break from Yorkshire A. Relegated are Hertfordshire & West Wales. See:

Division 2 (Sinclair) has been won by Essex C with Yorkshire C in 2nd place. Both these teams have declined promotion, so promotion is offered to the teams finishing 3rd & 4th. There are still two games ongoing which may need adjudicating. However, Suffolk & Staffordshire will finish 3rd & 4th & both have been offered promotion. Relegated are Durham & Merseyside. See:

Read on — C & DCCC – entry for the 2015/16 Season

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Steve Boniface Memorial / Bristol Summer Congress

For a short report and full results – click here

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10 Reasons Why Chess is a Sport – John Foley

Follow this link to John’s article —

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