Welcome to the June edition of the newsletter with features from Tim Wall and Danny Rosenbaum, the first in a series of chess problems chosen by Christopher Jones of the British Chess Problem Society, and some important ECF housekeeping on membership renewals, Women in Chess initiatives, the ECF Academy initiative and an advert for the new Development Officer post, which is a paid post and which we hope will attract a lot of interest among ECF members. Across the board, Gawain Jones continued his great run of form winning the TePe Sigman & Co tournament in Sweden, and Magnus Carlsen joined a select group of super GMs for a weekend of action in a remote whisky distillery in Fife, which really has to be the best venue to at least try the Scotch, or at least give it your best shot. As relegation-threatened football managers put it, ‘We’re staring through a barrel’ (I’ll get my coat) … have a great summer!
— Mark Rivlin
Off the Wall
Our ubiquitous blogger Tim Wall on mixing with Transylvanian arbiters and the odd sniper – here
New Social Media Manager
The ECF welcomes Danny Rosenbaum as the new Social Media Manager. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/new-ecf-social-media-manager/
Gawain Jones won the TePe Sigeman & Co Tournament in Malmo with an unbeaten 5/7 and a tournament performance score of 2816. More here, including analysis from Malcolm Pein
Danny Rosenbaum in revelatory mood on playing in simuls – here
Development Officer post
Stephen Woodhouse writes on behalf of ECF – the ECF has a vacancy for a Development Officer, a new post aimed at growing chess at all levels across the country. The Development Officer’s main areas of responsibility will be —
Assisting with the revival of grassroots chess; training local organisers; bringing more juniors into local clubs; promoting social chess and community events; encouraging chess organisations to recruit more children and young adults; supporting new formats of events aimed at bringing a wider layer of players into organised chess; raising chess’s public profile; and assisting the ECF with national and local fundraising. Further details can be found in the Development Officer Specification here (PDF attached)
The ideal candidate will be an active chess player with experience of various levels of chess. They should also have an interest in approaching sponsors and other stakeholders, and in media, public relations and marketing.
The Development Officer will report to the CEO and will work closely with the Directors of Home Chess, Women’s Chess, Junior Chess and Education and International Chess.
The post will be part-time and be remunerated, with an additional bonus opportunity based on the delivery of performance-related targets including in particular membership fee revenue growth.
The ECF is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.
Interested applicants should send a CV and cover letter to – firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications to be received no later than 5th July 2019.
4NCL Spring Bank Holiday Congress
GM Mark Hebden won the 4NCL’s biggest congress to date with 6/7. IM Alan Merry finished second with 5.5/7. Full results here – http://chess-results.com/tnr443165.aspx?lan=1. The next 4NCL Congress is in Telford between 19th-21st July. Details here – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/information_22.htm
4NCL International Congress in Hull
The organisers are indebted to the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust for their financial support for the junior section and to Hull & District Chess Association, Hull Culture & Leisure, Friends of Chess and the ECF for their financial support for the GM norm tournament.
ECF International Director Malcolm Pein writes – Brandon Clarke was awarded the IM title in March and subject to FIDE confirmation the title applications for James Jackson, Matthew Wadsworth and Adam C Taylor should be approved at the 2nd Quarter FIDE Presidential Board Meeting in Baku from 27th to 30th June, as the trio have all passed 2400 recently. The titles will come into force 60 days after publication on the FIDE website so all three should be IMs by mid-July. Congratulations all!
Director of Membership Dave Thomas writes about the Membership Renewal Deadline – Leagues and their players are reminded that a penalty fee will be charged to the League for any player who is not a Bronze or higher member of the the Federation who has played four or more standard play games (rapid play games counting half) during the season. The deadline for renewing your Bronze membership to avoid this charge is 30th June.
Director of Women’s Chess Chris Fegan’s roundup
I am delighted that Hammersmith Women’s Chess Month was a big success, and hopefully a report will be published in the chess media in due course. We are now getting ready for the big events of the summer – the English Women’s Chess Festival in Hull over the weekend of 30th August to 1st September, and I would encourage as many women as possible to enter the English Women’s Championship, especially as there is an increased prize fund this year, including age-related prizes. We are also planning coaching and special events for local girls and women from Hull and the surrounding areas. The other major event is the Women’s Conference, which is intended to bring together women from all aspects of English chess to discuss the issues that matter to the English women’s chess community and to draw up a planned programme of action for implementation by the ECF.
The ECF has also announced the Teesside International Women’s Invitation Chess Championship, running over June 20th and 21st June. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/teesside-international-womens-invitational/
Fife in a row for Magnus
World champion Magnus Carlsen won his fifth tournament of the year at the Lindores Abbey distillery in Fife. More here – https://en.chessbase.com/post/magnus-carlsen-wins-his-fifth-title-of-the-year-the-lindores-abbey-chess-2019 and here – https://lindoresabbeydistillery.com/chess-stars-tournament/
Excellent reviews by Ben Jackson from London Review of Books on The Grandmaster by Brin-Jonathan Butler and Game Changers by Natasha Regan and Matthew Sadler (our thanks to LRB for permission to link without paywall) – https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n11/ben-jackson/doomed-to-draw
Gary Lane looks at Devoted to Chess: The Creative Heritage of Yuri Razuvaev by Boris Postovsky –
Christopher Jones, Secretary of the British Chess Problem Society, with the first of a regular set of problems. This one is from Daniel Papack, 1993 and if you can’t wait for the answer in the July newsletter please visit theproblemist.org
The ECF Academy is the flagship training programme for promising juniors, with over 80 players attending training weekends run by our best titled coaches. We are halfway through the 2019 Academy year with two weekends under our belts. Two weekends remain (14-15 September and 16-17 November). The September weekend is taking place at Holiday Inn, Reading South. Significant change is afoot for the 2020 season as the Academy moves to a joint venture between the ECF and the UK Chess Challenge (UKCC). The UKCC runs the largest junior chess competition in the Country with 7,000 children competing in the regional Megafinals. The 2020 Academy will be based on the Young Masters Programme, a structured syllabus from beginner through to approximately 2000 ELO strength. Places in the Academy are limited and priority will be given to existing members of the Academy. Applications are expected to open this summer. Sarah Longson, Director, UKCC says, ‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to shape the training of our top chess prospects. Whilst the UKCC continues to grow and introduces more and more children to competitive chess we see a real need for a structured training programme to give the children the support and guidance they need to reach their potential. Working with the ECF on this venture was a natural next step and we can’t wait to get started with the 2020 programme.’ Mike Truran, Chief Executive, ECF says, ‘I am very pleased to see the ECF working in partnership with the UKCC to carry on and develop Traci Whitfield and her team’s excellent work on the ECF Academy. I believe that partnerships like this will play an increasingly important role in English chess as an excellent way for chess organizations to work together and harness skills for the common good of English chess. We will be putting in place a very exciting programme that builds on our existing model for the benefit of our brightest and best junior talent.’
Mimi Khan and David Gray report on the April Academy Study weekend here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/ecf-academy-study-weekend-april-2019/
European Senior Team Chess Championships
Stewart Reuben writes – The European Senior Team Chess Championships take place in Croatia from 17-27 September 2019.
The arrival date and registration for the event are 17 September, with play taking place every day at 15.00 from 18-26 September. Departure is 27 September. The playing venue is Hotel Aurora, Mali Losinj Island, Croatia. We will be staying at the Hotel VESPERA which is adjacent to the Aurora. Each team consists of 4 players + 1 optional reserve. Teams have to be registered with the organisers by 17 July at the very latest. Our system is usually that all 5 players play regularly. Each tournament is a 9 round Swiss. The time control is 40 moves in 90 minutes, 30 minutes for the rest of the game, +30 seconds per move increment from move 1.
ECF members who are over 50 and registered with FIDE ENG are invited to enter if they are interested in playing for one of the England teams in this event. If you do not currently have a FIDE Identification Number (FIN) then you must obtain one to be eligible for the event and should email David Clayton email@example.com to help with this. In order to play in a 50+ England team, you must have been born by 31 December 1969 at the latest, and for a 65+ England team, you must have been born by 31 December 1954 at the latest.
Anyone interested and eligible should complete the entry request form below by 10 June preferable, 17 June latest –
Once your entry request has been received we will look at allocating you to play in a team of four (plus optional reserve), after which we will confirm that your entry has been accepted.
When your entry has been confirmed by the ECF you should contact the ECF’s travel agents Bridge Overseas to arrange accommodation at the recommended Hotel and transfers from the airport. They will also be able to organise travel if you wish them to do this as well.
More here – https://www.fide.com/images/stories/FIDE_Calendar_2019/Invitation-European-Senior-Team-Losinj-20192.pdf or www.european2019chess-losinj.com
Director of Home Chess Adrian Elwin writes – Invitation to apply for the post of Arbiter at the European Team Championships 2019 and other ECU events. The European Chess Union will hold the European Team Championships 2019 in Batumi, Georgia, from Wednesday 23 October until Sunday 3 November. The Invitation and Regulations have been published at http://www.europechess.org/european-team-chess-championship-2019-official-invitation/. IAs and FAs who wish to be considered for a position at this or any other European Chess Union event should read the information at http://arbiters.europechess.org/ and should send in their CVs as indicated at http://arbiters.europechess.org/call-of-interest/. CVs should be sent to Geert Bailleul, Secretary of the ECU Arbiters Council – GeertBailleul@skynet.be – and any queries should also be directed to him.
An ECF Arbiters course was held at Daventry over the weekend of 13th-14 April. Many congratulations to Chris Strong, Dennis Dicen, Kishan Pattni, Manoj Arora and Phillip Orgler, all of whom passed with flying colours. They are now all level 1 arbiters.
Battle for sponsorship
The iconic Hastings International Chess Congress is seeking sponsorship after the Tradewise contract came to an end. More here – http://www.hastingschess.com/hastings-chess-opportunities/ and here – http://www.hastingschess.com/hastings-chess-next-move/
The European School Chess Championship is taking place in Mamaia, Romania until 9 June. We have regular roundups from Head of Delegation Kim Shek here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/european-schools-in-romania/
Direct members representatives
Gary Willson writes from the ECF Office – Direct Members are invited to apply to be Direct Members’ Representatives, taking office for a period of one year from 1st August 2019. For the purpose of the election of Representatives, Direct Members are grouped into the following five categories –
(a) Honorary Life Vice Presidents, Honorary Life Members and Life Members
(b) Gold Members and Gold Junior Members
(c) Silver Members and Silver Junior Members
(d) Bronze Members and Bronze Junior Members
(e) Platinum Members
Each of these five categories is entitled to elect two Representatives. Applications are sought among the five categories. If there are more than two applications in any category, a first two past the post election will be held in that category in accordance with instructions to be issued by the Board.Representatives are members of Council, must be Direct Members (but not necessarily in the category for which they are elected), and remain Direct Members throughout their period of office. All reasonable expenses incurred in acting as a Direct Members’ Representative will be reimbursed by the ECF. To be eligible, applications must be received at the ECF Office on or before Sunday 23rd June 2019, either by post or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Eton College Team Rapidplay 2019
Neill Cooper writes – This year’s event will take place on Sunday 15 September at Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW. Play will be in the spacious School Hall; team rooms will be shared and in the math’s department. Time: Registration from 10.15am, play start 11am, finish about 5pm. The events is a five round Swiss rapidplay tournament. Digital chess clocks: all moves in 20 minutes + 5 sec/move. All games will be ECF graded. Teams will consist of 6 players, in school years 7 to 13. Schools can enter one or two teams. Squads can have up to 8 players with 6 playing in any match. Schools which have no pupils beyond year 8 are allowed up to 2 players from years 5 and 6. All players in a team must attend the same school. Chess Supplies Tim Onions will be running a chess and bookstall www.onionschess.co.uk Reserve games: We may need to include a team of reserves in the tournament. We will also be able to play reserve games and arrange for these games to be graded.
Cost: £25.00 per team, state schools entering the Eton event for the first time can enter one team for free.
It is appreciated when those schools who have suitable chess equipment (sets, boards and digital clocks) bring it to this event, see details on the entry form – https://britchess.wufoo.com/forms/ecf-secondary-school-rapidplay-tournament-2019/
More information from Neill Cooper – email@example.com
An ECF statement on tournaments being held in Falklands through the Argentine Chess Federation here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-falklands-statement/
CHESS magazine taster for June 2019 here
BrianWalden – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10231
Brian Fewell – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10245
Sid Kirby – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10257