eNewsletter June 2017 – Issue 11

Welcome from the Interim Editor

Welcome to the ECF newsletter and apologies for the long absence, which is due to circumstances beyond the Federation’s control. I am Mark Rivlin, secretary of Hackney Chess Club, and I am temporarily taking over editorial duties to ensure members receive the newsletter on a monthly basis over the next few months. Many of you will know me through comfortable wins against me over the years. I look forward to working with you so please email me at manager.publicity@englishchess.org.uk with your news, views and comments.  

In this edition we cover the wide spectrum of chess in England on and off the board including chess problem championships, the ECF Chess Trust and a great initiative where top players take on club and casual players in local venues along with achievements by our top GMs in team and individual tournaments.

It’s coming up to membership renewal time, so please watch this space in the upcoming July eNewsletter for a special offer from our sponsors Tradewise – they are finalising the details of a free ECF membership for all chess players. The rates will be changing from September.

We aim to get Issue 12 out before the British Championships, starting late July.

— Mark Rivlin

ACROSS THE BOARD – news & events around England  

ECF new office – onwards and upwards
Five years for a move would test the most patient of arbiters but after working in the cramped environment of the ground floor Battle office since 2012, the ECF have completed the short journey up a flight of stairs to larger premises at the same address. Says ECF office manager Gary Willson, “Aside from a more comfortable environment for the four full-time and part-time staff, we are also aiming to display the bulk of our collection of books, which had previously been housed at Hastings College.” 

A reminder of ECF contact details: The Watch Oak, Chain Lane, Battle, East Sussex TN33 0YD Tel: 01424 775222 Email: office@englishchess.org.uk

British Chess Championships – Llandudno, 29 July to 6 August
David Howell, Luke McShane and Gawain Jones lead a strong field of 11 GMs and nine IMs who will be playing the newly introduced reduced format of nine-rounds. Aside from the Championship there are 20 sections catering for all levels. For further details and online entries click here and for entry qualifications for 2018 Championship please click here

Chess Problem Championships – Elementary for Watson
The British Chess Problem Society’s championship was held in February at Eton College with veteran problemist Ian Watson beating a strong field to win his first title. Click here for more details, and here for more mates, selfmates and helpmates.

4NCL – high five for Guildford
The Surrey powerhouse recorded a perfect season score of 11/11 to secure a fifth consecutive 4NCL title. Read Leonard Barden’s Guardian piece by clicking here

Chess Master @ The Local – Hammersmith
This excellent ECF-sponsored initiative hit the road in west London in April with Hammersmith Chess Club booking Lateefah Messam-Sparks [left, picture by John Saunders] to take on all-comers in the bustling Lyric Square shopping precinct. The event served a dual purpose of raising awareness of chess in the borough and the excellently run Hammersmith CC as well as raising funds for mental health charity Mind. The 16 boards were continuously full all day with Hammersmith members and an enthusiastic public who were delighted to play and discuss chess with Lateefah. Further details of the Hammersmith day and other events can be found here and here

In Chess We Trust
Established in 2015, the Chess Trust supports chess-related activities and projects outside of the professional game. The focus of the Trust’s attention will be on promoting and developing junior chess as the lifeblood of our great game in line with the wishes of our benefactors so far, although people are of course free to give money to whatever cause they like, or indeed to give money on an unencumbered basis. If you would like to make a donation, or see how your club may benefit from the Trust, please click here

National Club Championships
A good turnout in Solihull for the National Club weekend event with 21 teams battling in the Major, Intermediate and Minor sections. The newer format where all matches are played over one weekend is an excellent initiative now in its fourth year, results can be seen by clicking here

Tradewise Grand Prix – Merry leads going into final straight
IM Alan Merry leads GM Mark Hebden in the Open and in the Women’s Open, Meri Grigoryan leads Akshaya Kalaiyalahan with both sections worth £1,000 to the winner. 

Magazine of the Year – hot off the press
The ECF invites applications from all chess-related publications (print and digital) for this award. The deadline is the end of June. Please send applications to Gary Willson Email: gary.willson@englishchess.org.uk

In Memoriam

Keith Richardson [far left], who has died aged 75, was the first British player to be awarded the title of correspondence GM and two years ago he received the ECF’s President Award for services to chess.

Martin Regan [left], who has died aged 54, was a successful publisher and chief executive of ECF for 18 months from 2006-8.

For obituaries and links to Keith and Martin please click here

Across the Borders

The English back in fashion
English chess is like a London bus – you wait ages and then three great results come along at once. First it was the excellent performance by England at the Baku Olympiad highlighted by the 3-1 win over (then) world champions China. Then Gawain Jones won the prestigious Challengers at Wijk aan Zee and Mickey Adams, David Howell and Nigel Short finished in the top 12 of a very strong Tradewise Gibraltar tournament [read more]

How-well did David and Gawain do!
A superb performance from David Howell (8/11 and equal fourth) and Gawain Jones (7.5/11 and equal 16th) at the European Individual Chess Championship in Minsk… You can read more on this story by clicking here and also here

Banter of the Month
London-based club Drunken Knights have the best strapline on the circuit – ‘The chess club with a drinking problem’. Please send in your own club straplines (real and imaginary) and I’ll choose the best for the next edition.