eNewsletter No. 34 – July 2019

Dear Member

Welcome to the July edition of the newsletter. The British Championships begin in Torquay on 26th July and Tournament Manager Kevin Staveley sets the scene. I have written an article about the costs of playing and organising chess. Whatever your views I would welcome feedback and I will collate the responses into an article for the August edition. please send your comments to publicity.manager@englishchess.org.uk. I particularly want to hear from people who disagree with my premise that playing recreational chess in leagues and tournaments is a leisure pursuit that is excellent value for money. We also feature the timetable for British Blitz Championships along with a proposed initiative from 4NCL to run a Women’s League, and we look at Gawain Jones and David Howell at the 2019 Summer Chess Classic and Luke McShane at the Netanya Masters. 

I hope you having a great summer!

— Mark Rivlin

Best of British
The annual British Championships returns to the popular location of Torquay for the third time in 10 years with this year’s tournament taking place from 26th July to 4th August. Tournament Manager Kevin Staveley reports. We look forward to welcoming players and spectators to the Riviera Centre. The Championship features England current number one David Howell, along with GMs Michael Adams (defending his 2018 title with a chance to go back to England Number 1 ranking, should he win the tournament), Nick Pert, Stephen Gordon, Chris Ward, John Emms, Keith Arkell and Simon Williams, along with a raft of other titled players competing for the first prize of £5000. As in previous years there will be live commentary at and from the venue. For those who cannot be there in person you will be able to follow the games live online and also view the commentary. A wide ranging social programme is also being arranged around the Championships. For full details and links to live games and commentary visit www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk

Financial sacrifice?
Mark Rivlin on the costs of playing recreational chess – here

Into Battle to save Hastings
ECF Chief Arbiter Lara Barnes has launched a fundraising campaign to save the iconic Hastings Chess Congress. You can read more and donate here – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lara-barnes

Membership reminder
Director of Membership Dave Thomas writes — ECF memberships for 2019-20 (expiring 31st August 2020) are now on sale. The new membership rates are published on the website at www.englishchess.org.uk/membership/membership-rates, and instructions for joining, renewing and upgrading your membership online are here — , and . All members are encouraged to renew online where you have the option of paying by card or setting up a Direct Debit. Our preference is for members to set up a Direct Debit. Once this is set up you will be notified a month in advance before the money is called for. You will not need to take any further action unless you want to change your category of membership or cancel it. All current members for whom we have a valid email address will be shortly receive an invitation to renew their membership.  This should contain all the information you need to login to your membership and renew. If you are an existing member please renew your current membership rather than taking out a new one; creating a new membership unnecessarily creates extra administrative work for both the office and the grading team.
Players and organisers are reminded that ECF memberships 2018/19 run to 31st August 2019 but 30th June was the cut-off for grading results. From now, the ECF will be billing Leagues and Clubs for any players who played four or more games in 2018/19 (rapidplay counting as half a game) in that League or Club competitions and who is not an ECF member. Billing, per League or Club, will be £16 per player or £5 for known juniors. To check whether a player is a member either look at the ECF grading database (correct as at 24th May) or email membership@englishchess.org.uk

And the winners are …
The 2019 ECF awards have been announced by Paul Bielby, Chairman, ECF Awards Committee. Congratulations to Vassos Georgiou, Robin Kneebone, George Spalding, John D Wheeler and Mike Wiltshire. Warwick Chess are Club of the Year and Battersea Chess Club were awarded Website of the Year (www.batterseachessclub.org.uk). More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-awards-2019-2/

Northumbria Masters
The international congress is taking place Novotel Newcastle Airport from 23rd – 27th August 2019, with the following 9-round FIDE rated tournaments – Northumbria Masters (eligible for title norms), prize fund £2,950; Challengers (Under 2050 FIDE, Under 180 ECF), prize fund £975; Major (Under 1825, Under 150 ECF), prize fund £975; Junior Rapidplay (Under 11 & Under 14 sections) – a one-day tournament on Friday 23rd August with numerous prizes and trophies. More here – https://northumbriamasters.com/

Upcoming major women’s event
English Women’s Chess Championships, Hull 30th August – 1st September – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/english-womens-championships-2019/

Rank good 1
Baira Marilova from FIDE reports on the latest titles – Please  be  informed  that  the  decisions  on title applications approved by the 2nd quarter PB 2019, which  was held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 27th-30th June, are as follows – IMs James P Jackson – YES; Adam C Taylor – YES; Matthew J Wadsworth – YES

Rank good 2 
Director of International Chess Malcolm Pein reports – England rose from 12th to 11th in the world rankings thanks to the recent strong performances of leading players. More here – https://ratings.fide.com/topfed.phtml?ina=1&country=ENG

Englishmen abroad
Summer Chess Classic – Gawain Jones and David Howell had mixed fortunes at the 2019 St Louis Summer Chess Classic. Howell came second with 5.5/10 to take joint second prize. Jones lost his last three games to finish with 3.5/10. More here – https://uschesschamps.com/2019-summer-chess-classic/2019-summer-chess-classic
Luke McShane had a roller-coaster tournament at the Netanya Masters in Israel, starting with brilliant wins against world number 11 Leinier Dominguez and Pavel Eljanov but tailed off with a final score of 4/9 to finish eighth. More here –

All right on the night
At its AGM on 4th July, the London Chess League voted for a default of 75 minutes with a 15 second increment on all boards so games will finish on the night. 

4NCL schedule 2019-20
Divisions 1 – 4 dates here – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/1920_dates.htm
Junior dates here –
Weekend 1 5th – 6th October 2019, Basingstoke Country Hotel; Weekend 2 18th-19th January 2020, Holiday Inn South Normanton; Weekend 3  15th – 16th February 2020, Mercure Daventry Court Hotel and Spa
22nd 4NCL Congress, Telford 19th – 21st July, details and applications here – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/information_22.htm

New 4NCL Women’s League proposals
The 4NCL are thinking about setting up a Women’s League – initially for one weekend during the 2019/2020 season just to test the water, with maybe expansion in later seasons if the idea gains decent traction.
Rather than asking teams to enter, they are asking for expressions of interest from individual players whom they will then group into teams of broadly similar strength before the weekend itself. That way captains won’t have the worry of having to find players beforehand in order to field a team. If you would like to be a captain and field your own team that is absolutely fine (and there will be a discount on the entry fee). More details here –

Rock around the clock
Nigel Towers on the 2019 UK Open Blitz Championship — The UK Blitz 2019 will be staged as a series of qualifiers over two weekends in September followed by an all-play-all final in November. The Finals and qualifiers combined will have a total prize fund in excess of £5,000.  This will be an Open Championship and there is no geographic or citizenship restriction on entry.
Qualifiers: There will be eight 15-round qualifying Swiss tournaments played over the weekends of 7th and 14th September at regional venues as below. Eligible players will be able to enter one qualifying tournament of their choice.
7th September
Birmingham – Quinborne Community Centre, Ridgacre Road, Quinton, Birmingham B32 2TW
Newcastle – venue to be confirmed
Cardiff – The Cardiff North Hotel by AccorHotels, Circle Way East, Llanederyn, Cardiff CF23 9XF
Edinburgh – Broughton High School, 29 East Fettes Avenue, Edinburgh EH4 1EG
Belfast – Ormeau Bowling Club, Ormeau Park, Park Road,Belfast BT7 4NA
8th September
Bristol – Bristol Grammar School, University Road, Bristol BS8 1SR (TBC)
14th September
London – The Rugby Portobello, 221 Walmer Road, W11 4EY
Manchester – Ukrainian Social Club, 99 Castle Street, Bolton BL2 1JP
he top two players in each qualifier will qualify for the Open Final on 16th November 2019, to be played at St John’s Hotel, Solihull. The top two female players in each qualifier will qualify for a Women’s Final, held concurrently. Each of the finals will be a 16-player FIDE-rated Round Robin tournament. The time limit will be all moves in 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move for all matches.

NSCC finals
John Swain reports on U19 finals held at Uppingham School here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/NSCC/u19-finals/

In the fast Lane
IM Gary Lane with two excellent book reviews on 1001 Chess Exercises for Club Players by Frank Erwich and The 100 Endgames You Must Know Workbook by Jesus De La Villa –

European Team Championships arbiters invitation
Applications are invited to apply for the post of Arbiter at the European Team Championships 2019 in Batumi, Georgia from 23rd October to 3rd November along with other ECU events). More here – http://www.europechess.org/european-team-chess-championship-2019-official-invitation and here https://www.englishchess.org.uk/etcc-arbiters-invitation/

Supporter for a fiver
The new ECF Supporter initiative has been launched on social media here

ECF Member Reps
Gary Willson from Head Office writes — following the annual exercise for renewal of the DM Reps, the following members are appointed unopposed – Lifetime: Stewart Reuben, Gerry Walsh; Platinum: Francis Bowers, [vacancy]; Gold: Lorin D’Costa, Rob Willmoth; Silver: John Reyes, Keith Jones; Bronze: Charles Higgie, Angus French. They have all been informed, and they will take up post from 1 August in accordance with the rules.

Problem solved
Christopher Jones with an other teasing problem and solution to last month’s. In last month’s problem, published by Daniel Papack in 1993, there is a good try — 1.Rb5? threatens 2.Nd2, but fails to 1…Rd5!. The key is 1.Qb6!, with the same threat, after which we have the interesting variations 1…d2 2.Nc5 and 1…Nf1 2.Ng5. Everything hinges on which lines are opened and which closed by these moves! You’ll find an interesting commentary on this problem (both from the point of view of the solver and of seeing what effects the composer had in mind) on the BCPS website. Go to www.theproblemist.org/, click on ‘Solving’, then on ‘Two-movers for solving’ and click on Problem 1 [attached here]

BBCA open day
Abu Hassan from British Bangla Chess Association (BBCA) writes — The sun shone brightly on 30th June at the Tower Hamlets Boishakhi Mela celebrating the Bangla New Year as hundreds of chess lovers from novice to professional visited the the British Bangla Chess Association (BBCA) and Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) Chess Corner at Weavers Fields, East London. With two teams in the London Chess League and three in the ongoing summer chess league organised by Battersea and Hammersmith Chess Clubs, BBCA also has an ECF graded monthly rapidplay on the last Sunday of each month and an annual FIDE-rated rapidplay in November …

Reelin’ in the Years II
Andrew Walker from Head Office writes — The 2019 Yearbook is now available as a PDF to members and visitors alike on the website front page or directly here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019-ECF-Yearbook-Complete.pdf

Game Changers
Authors GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan were joined by Carl Portman for a special event at Banbury where the titled players led a discussion on their book Game Changers which was followed by a simul. More here – https://en.chessbase.com/post/a-simul-alphazero-and-more

Hull 4NCL International Congress
Stephen Greep writes — Junior Coaching (30th October – 1st November) – In the three days before the above congress and concurrently with the first five rounds of the GM norm event, there will be three full days of junior coaching with FM Charlie Storey (Wednesday October 30th – Friday November 1st) . This coaching is provided free, courtesy of the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust. Numbers will be restricted, and preference will be given for players taking part in the congress. Juniors must be graded 100 or above. More information here – https://www.hullchess.com/public/files/Events%20-%20ours/2019%20Congress/coaching.pdf and here – www.hullchess.com  or contact Stephen Greep on sjgreep@gmail.com

Chess Magazine taster – click here

Marcus Misson – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/rip-marcus-misson/
Bryan Fewell – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/rip-bryan-fewell/