eNewsletter May 2018 – Issue 20

Welcome to the May edition of the eNewsletter. In this edition we talk about what the Federation does to back up the strapline ‘furthering the cause of English chess’. From bronze to platinum, we make every penny of your membership fees count. Below you will see the main areas we cover (this list is certainly not exhaustive) with much of the work being carried by a raft of unpaid officers. We currently boast 11,655 members with 18,808 players who have played at least one graded standard or rapid game. Please join in the discussion on this here – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/index.php?. From an ad-hoc game on the beach to the top board in the last round of the British Championships, we are here for people who want to learn, achieve and enjoy playing and watching chess. This edition also includes a piece from Richard Quin, a disabled chess player from Purbeck Chess Club who was one of the respondents to my call for comments on whether there should be recommended standards for playing facilities. Thanks also to everyone else who responded.
Finally, a bit of financial housekeeping as we approach ‘that time of the year’ when membership renewals become due due. The new rates for 2018-19 are listed in the Pay and play report below.
 
— Mark Rivlin, Editor
 
What is the ECF and what does it do?
The English Chess Federation (ECF) is the governing chess organisation in England and is affiliated to FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs). Its mission is to promote the game of chess, in all its forms, as an attractive means of cultural and personal advancement to the widest possible public. In addition, the ECF exists to develop chess by creating the means to enable the highest forms of chess excellence to be achieved, and to expand the game as a social and sporting activity.

Annual competitions run by the ECF include – 
– the British Championships, featuring events for all ages from Under 8s to veteran chess players (over 50s, over 65s);
– the County Championships;
– the English Women’s Championships;
– the Tradewise Grand Prix;
– the National Schools Chess Championships.

Other activities include – 
– selecting English teams and individual representatives to all FIDE events, including the European and World Team Championships, Chess Olympiads, and European and World Junior Championships;
– working with the Chess Trust and the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust to support young players;
– running the ECF Chess Academy for our most promising junior players;
– maintaining the National Grading System, with an online database available throughout the year, and bi-annual online publication of ECF grades (January and July);
– training and refresher courses for arbiters.

ECF services include – 
– submission of chess events to FIDE for FIDE rating, and international rating liaison;
– chess club and congress insurance scheme;
– discounted motor and travel insurance scheme for all chess players and accompanying persons;
– a monthly eNewsletter to all members;
– a regularly updated online chess events calendar;
– the annual ECF Yearbook: the year’s results, a directory of English chess organisations and officers, lists of past and present Champions and more;
– a map of the current chess clubs in England that the ECF is aware of with their contact details, and the same for English junior clubs;
– maintenance of five websites covering the ECF, ECF Juniors, ECF Seniors, the National Schools competition and the British Chess Championships;
– the ECF Master Points system, which allows chess players to apply for the title of National Master, Club Master, County Master, Regional Master, Team Master and Chess Maestro for performance in graded events;
– the ECF Certificate of Excellence and Certificate of Merit schemes, which feature the CoE tests, available for download from the ECF website at Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond level; and the CoM tests, an online suite of chess skills tests at www.certificateofmerit.org.uk

4NCL 
The inaugural seven-round Spring Bank Holiday Congress takes place on 25-28 May at Basingstoke Country Hotel — http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/information_springbh_2018.htm
October sees the first overseas holiday and congress at Hotel Mangalan, La Manga del Mar, Spain (11-17 October) — https://bridgeoverseas.com/chess-spain. We have reserved the services of GM Keith Arkell for coaching, simultaneous displays etc for the week.
Planning is underway for the inaugural nine-round International Title-norm Congress at Park Inn Telford on 31 October-4 November. More to follow!
The final weekend of action in the 2017-18 4NCL takes place over this coming Bank Holiday weekend, You can catch up with the action live at 4ncl.co.uk and chess24.com
Finally, we hope to announce the venue for the annual Rapidplay soon. The likely slot will be probably to be October or November. We may consider changing the format for this from a one day team/one day individual event to a two-day individual event. If you have any views on this please contact Mike Truran on mike(at)truranfamily.co.uk.
 
Director of Women’s Chess
ECF Office Manager Gary Willson writes — the position of Director of Women’s Chess has been vacant since Sarah Longson moved on to pastures new.  Directors are normally elected by Council at the AGM every October, but the Board has decided to consider appointing a person to the role for the intervening period, until such time as a formal election can be run and voted on by Council. A link to Directors’ and Officers’ Responsibilities and Regulations can be found here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/ECF-Regulation-No-2.pdf.
Anyone interested in applying for the position should do so before the end of May, by writing to office@englishchess.org.uk
 
Pay and play
ECF Finance Council met on 28 April and agreed the following membership rates for 2018/19 —

i. Platinum (adult and junior): £70 
ii. Gold (adult): £34 
iii. Gold (junior): £17
iv. Silver (adult): £23.50 
v. Silver (junior): £5
vi. Bronze (adult): £16 
vii. Bronze (junior): £5

Pay to play fees for congresses
i. ECF graded adult congresses: £7.50 
ii. FIDE rated events: £10.50 
iii. Junior only congresses: £2.00

Game fee for non-members playing four games or more in any league or competition
i. Adult £16 
ii. Junior £5
 
A summary of key decisions made by Council can be found here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/finance-council-meeting-2018-decisions/

Juggling clubs
ECF Webmaster Andrew Walker is on a mission – to put your club on the map! 
Says Andrew — in an ongoing effort to make the ECF clubs list and the ECF clubs map tally more closely, and to enable the ECF office to maintain a list of club contacts as up-to-date as possible, we’d like to ask for the assistance of club secretaries and/or interested club members right across the country.
All you need to do is visit two locations on the web –
1) the ECF clubs page at https://www.englishchess.org.uk/?page_id=19477, and
2) the ECF clubs map here.
Find your club (alphabetically on the clubs page, CTRL-F on the map page) and let us know the following —
• All’s well in both cases
• Corrections are required in one or both places
• We’re not there in one or both cases, so here are our details – get it done!
 We hope this exercise will be a success, and plan to extend it to the junior clubs page and map shortly thereafter. Thanks in advance for all your help! Send your emails to webmaster@englishchess.org.uk
Your thoughts are welcome.
 
The norm the Merryer
England IM Alan Merry got his first GM norm at the Open Polar Jersey Chess Festival. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/alan-merry-wins-in-jersey-and-gets-a-gm-norm/

Director’s cut – Alex Holowczak with his monthly roll call
We are running ECF Arbiter courses in Hull, and north London. We also have a FIDE Arbiters Seminar in Hull at the start of the British Championships.
The EPSCA Under 11 winners were Kent and Richmond with Kent taking the Under 9 title.
The League Management System created by the ECF is inviting leagues to sign up for the 2018/19 season. The software has been used for a number of leagues successfully in 2017/18, including the Birmingham & District Chess League, the North Staffordshire & District Chess League and the Derby & District League. It allows leagues to set up their competitions and give access for captains to report results directly via the system. It generates the grading files for the tournament to be sent to the ECF. This will reduce the workload of league secretaries around England. The software is free to use for any ECF-graded league to use. Please contact director.homechess@englishchess.org.uk if your league is interested in using this in the 2018/19 season. Link here – http://ecflms.org.uk 
Junior 4NCL weekend results here: http://www.4ncl.co.uk/j4ncl/jn_news.htm#weekend3
 
I think therefore IM
Congratulations to Ezra Kirk for receiving his IM title and Matthew Wadsworth for an IM norm. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ezra-kirk-im-matt-wadsworth-im-norm/
 
Royal flush against Nick Ferrari
LBC listeners enjoyed a real treat on 2.5 when CM Shreyas Royal (aged 9) took on the morning presenter in a chess challenge. The likeable Shreyas, who plays for Charlton & Beckenham in London League Division 2, was in the studio with his parents Jitendra Singh and Amjid who were talking about the family’s problem with an impending deportation. Jitendra Singh told Nick that he was filing an application to the Home Office because of Shreyas’s status as an ‘exceptional talent’.
For the record, it was a pretty straightforward win for Shreyas after Nick blundered his Queen. 
Follow the interview and game here – https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/nick-ferrari/nick-ferrari-plays-child-chess-genius-live-on-air/
 
Arbiters Rule
At the most recent FIDE presidential board meeting three England arbiters/organisers were awarded FIDE titles for their work as follows; IA title: Alan Atkinson; FA title: Michael C Forster; IO title: Alan Hustwayte. Says Thomas Thorpe, ECF Manager of Arbiters: “These titles represent many years of hard work and dedication towards chess administration and we congratulate them on their achievements.”

National Club Championships
In what could be the final National Club event in its current format, Telford were the hosts with Solihull A winning the Major, Telford the Intermediate on a tie-break and Telepost B  the Minor.  Final standings here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/finaltables2018nationalclub.pdf
 
Body politic
Richard Quin from Purbeck Chess Club on facilities for disabled chess players, link here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Screenshot.png

King gong
If your club has something to shout about, let’s hear it as nominations are now open for the following ECF awards: Club of the Year; Small Club of the Year; Congress of the Year; Website of the Year; Magazine of the Year; President’s Award for Services to Chess. More here including how to submit an application – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-awards-2018/

Hull of a great time (if you think the British Championships are just about chess)
As with every British Championship there is plenty going on at Hull in July/August. Events include a ghost walk, a visit to The Deep aquarium, sampling Hull’s very own Grandmaster beer, the delights of Napoleon’s Casino, pizza making (and eating) for children, quiz night, ten-pin bowling and the laser tag game Quasar. A huge thanks to Hull City Council Sports & Leisure who have donated £10,000 to the championships. More here – https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Events-BCC-2018.pdf and here – https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/hull-on-youtube/https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/hull-on-film/
Oh, and let’s not forget the chess – here is the online form for the British – https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/online-entry-is-now-open/

Charger in Sharjah
GM Gawain Jones was fast out of the blocks on his April Emirates adventure winning the Sharjah Masters Blitz ahead of the main tournament where he finished on 5.5/9. Gawain’s partner WIM Sue Moraroa finished on 4/9. Results here – http://chess-results.com/tnr337650.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&flag=30

Minsk meet
The latest episode in the long-running FIDE soap here – http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/10814-fide-press-release-2018-1st-quarter-presidential-board.html

County Championships drawhttps://www.englishchess.org.uk/2018-county-championships/
 
Chess Magazine taster
Another excellent edition from the legendary Richard Palliser / Matt Read editorial combo – taster here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/CHESS-May-2018.pdf 

Junior news
ECF Director of Junior Chess and Education Traci Whitfield rounds up the latest news —
National Schools Girls’ Chess Championships – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/nscc-girls-championship-winners/
U18 County Championships results – https://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/under-18-county-championships-2018/
Academy weekend report – https://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/chess-academy-weekend-report/
West of England Junior Chess Championship results – https://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/wwoe-junior-prize-winners/
North of England Junior Chess Championships – https://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/northern-junior-championship-2/

Obituaries
Sadly, this month there are four deaths to report in the chess community —
Colin Roberts, a stalwart of chess in Shropshire – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9628
WGM / IM Nino Khurtsidze – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9643
John Watts, Fleet & Farnborough CC – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9609
Roger Barnett, Redhill Chess Club – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9600

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