Senior chess opportunities in 2015

If you wish to play in Dresden, please contact me as soon as possible. Please copy in Roger Scowen on who has kindly offered to act as my deputy.

Herewith a summary of the opportunities for English senior players, of an international nature, in 2015. To count as being eligible for an age group, you must have reached the relevant age by at the latest 31 December 2015. For various events, they are 50+, 60+ or 65+. There have been some changes since 2014, notably in the European Team and British Championships.

World 50+ and 65+ Team Championships 24 February to 4 March 2015
We are already assured of having a very strong 50+ team in this event: Arkell, Chapman, Nunn, Short, Speelman. 31 teams have entered so far, mostly German. James Plaskett GM has already signed on to play in another English 50+ team. The event takes place at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, Wilhelm-Franke St 90, 01219 Dresden. This is the same hotel that has hosted a large number of events, but is now under new ownership. It is approximately 4* and is in suburban Dresden. It is an easy bus ride to the centre of town. Culturally, Dresden is very interesting. The weather is colder than England at this time of year. Even so a number of cultural trips will be organised. Accompanying wives have enjoyed themselves.
Play starts at 2pm on Tuesday 24 February. I strongly advise players not to attempt to travel to arrive for the start of play, but to travel on Monday. All other rounds start at 9.30am. The rate of play is 40/90, all remaining in 30, + 30 seconds per move from the start. The default time is 30 minutes after the start of the round.
Teams are of 4 players, plus 1 optional reserve. Players 65+ can play in a 50+ team. All players in a team must be from the same federation, but the teams do not have to be national ones selected by the federation. e.g. they can be regional or clubs.

Scoring is by team match points. If teams tie, then ranking is by Sonneborn-Berger. That is, after eliminating the lowest scoring opponent, match points of opponents x the board points scored against that opponent. Thus winning a match 2.5-1.5 is nearly as good as 4-0 for a team hoping to win the event.
The ECF has agreed to pay the entry fee per player (€50) + the team entry fee (€100) for the members of a maximun of three extra teams, apart from that already selected. From 1 January 2015 the fee per player rises to €75 and the player will also be responsible for his fraction of the team fee. Thus the fee will come to €100 for anybody only making the decision next year to play. The ECF will send in the team entries.
Cost for each player is thus travel + hotel + meals
Accommodation – single room €59; double room €39 per person; superior room extra €10 per night. The charge includes breakfast. In the past players have not wanted to share, unless already partners. Optional evening meal: €19 per day. This has been buffet style in the past. There are about three restaurants in walking distance of the hotel, but not that near. It is also easy to take a bus into town. The hotel charges are paid when checking out.
Transfers – it is easy to share a taxi and thus not worthwhile organising a private bus.
Flights – there are several different routes and different airports. London ones include Stanstead via Stuttgart; Heathrow via Dusseldorf; and City direct.
By juggling teams it has always so far been possible to accommodate anybody who wished to play. It is difficult to state the required minimum playing strength to enjoy yourself, as the system changed only this year. Roger believes that players graded under 140 (rated under1750 FIDE) will mostly meet considerably stronger opposition.

European Senior Individual, Halkidiki, Greece, 30 April to 10 May
This will be a 9 round Swiss, but I have no other information, but it will probably be 50+ 65+

European Senior Team Championship, Vienna, 12-22 July
It was recently announced: Players have to be 60+ in this event. Thus it is reverting to the highly successful rules before 2014. The venue is in suburban Vienna. It is clear this will be highly popular, but England will not be able to field a very strong team

British Senior Chess Championships
The whole congress is 25 July to 8 August at the University of Warwick.
50+ 2-7.8. 65+ 27.7-1.8. 50+ U150 27-31.7. 65+ U150 3-7.8

Beacon Seniors, Exmouth, Devon, 2-6 November

World Senior Individual, Acqui Terme, Italy, 9-22 November
No information about the eligibility, or anything else.

To play you must be at least an ECF Gold member. Foreign events are only ECF graded if you opt in to do so. John Quinn – – has been kind enough to undertake the ECF grading of the foreign events in the past …

– Stewart Reuben, ECF Manager of Senior Chess