Welcome to the October edition of the ECF eNewsletter. In this edition we feature an interview with the new ECF social media manager Danny Rosenbaum along with a delightful op-ed from Tim Wall on running the Northumbria Masters. If there was an award for best chess players’ writer, Tim would win it inside 10 moves. We also preview the 11th London Chess Classic.
The UK Open Blitz qualifiers were a big success and we now look forward to the finals in Solihull on November 16 with 32 qualifiers battling for the title. I took part in the London event with a less than impressive 6/15. Talking to players between rounds I heard an interesting point which I think is worth airing here. There is a cohort (we don’t know how large or small) of online blitz players who have never encountered across-the-board-chess against a human opponent, some of whom are playing to a reasonable-plus standard. Should we entice these self-taught keyboard warriors to enjoy the delights of club and tournament chess, or should we not bother (imagine Liverpool and Manchester City not poaching the top FIFA20 gaming stars!)
On this and any other chess-related topic, I would be pleased to welcome submissions from members so please send your article, tournament, congress or news to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavor to publish it.
Finally a big ‘break a leg’ to the newly formed Pro University Chess League which kicks off this month. More here –
Have a great season!
— Mark Rivlin
The ECF 2019 AGM takes place on Saturday 12.10.19 at 1.30 pm at the Thistle City Barbican, Central Street, Clerkenwell London EC1V 8DS. Papers are available here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/about/ecf-council-and-board/
If you are not a delegate and would like to attend please contact Mike Gunn at email@example.com
Mark Rivlin interviews the ECF’s Social Media Officer Danny Rosenbaum – click here
Tim Wall takes us on a nostalgic journey of running the Northumbria Masters – click here
UK Open Blitz Championship qualifiers
A very good turnout for the qualifiers with 450 participants in the 15 venues around the country. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/uk-open-blitz-championship-2019/
Problem solvers bar Nunn
The English team enjoyed success at the 43rd World Chess Solving Championship with ace problem solver GM John Nunn’s excellent report here – https://en.chessbase.com/post/43rd-world-chess-solving-championship-vilnius-2019
A great turnout for the Delancey Terafinals in Daventry with 211 participants in the five categories. Winners – Under 8 Aayush Dewangan; Under 10 Denis Dupuis; Under 12 Yichen Han; Under 14 Ranesh Ratnasan; Under 18 Koby Kalavannan. Full results and roundup here –
A Rook at Bedtime
Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan’s Game Changer is the unanimous choice of judges Ray Edwards, Julian Farrand and Sean Marsh for ECF Book of the Year Award. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-book-of-the-year-2019/ and a special offer from Chess & Bridge to get the book from only £16.20 by using your ECF member discount here – https://shop.chess.co.uk/Game-Changer-Matthew-Sadler-Natasha-Regan-p/cb07223.htm
FIDE World Cup
The World Cup knockout in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia was won by Azerbaijan GM Teimour Radjabov who beat the Chinese GM Ding Liren in the tie breaks. The English contingent was made up of Mickey Adams, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane. Adams lost in the first round to Indian GM Aravindh Chithambaram while Jones beat Argentinian GM Diego Flores in Round 1 before losing to Russian Gm Dmitry Jakovenko in Round 2. McShane beat Paraguayan GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez in Round 1 but went out in Round 2 to Russian GM Daniil Yuffa. More here on Adams’ exit from Leonard Barden – https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/sep/13/chess-michael-adams-knocked-out-first-round-world-cup and a roundup here – https://en.chessbase.com/post/world-cup-2019-r7-d5
Classic Rocks again
Tim Wall sets the scene for the 11th London Chess Classic. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is … undoubtedly when the UK’s greatest chess festival as the 11th London Chess Classic rolls into the London Olympia Conference Centre from November 29 to December 8. And we’re pleased to share the news that entries for all the various Festival Events are now live at londonchessclassic.com with special Early Bird discounts available if you enter by October 28.
Whether your yen is for Classical, Rapidplay or Blitz, the LCC has the event to suit all tastes. The £14,000 FIDE Open (Nov 29-Dec 6), the Weekend Rapidplays and the English Open Women and Girls Rapidplay Championship (Saturday Dec 7) and the £8,000 Super Blitz Open (Sunday Dec 8) are among the main attractions, while the organisers Chess in Schools and Communities are putting on their renowned Olympia chess excursions and training events for groups of schoolchildren from around the country. Chess and Female Empowerment is the theme of the accompanying London Chess and Education Conference from Nov 30 to Dec 1 at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith which the organisers anticipate will be of great interest to women chess players, organisers and educators. Sessions will include debates and workshops on how to make chess a more engaging, social and collaborative activity in primary and secondary schools, and will look at ways chess can improve the engagement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Seniors keep grades northwards
Stewart Reuben reports from the European Seniors Team Chess Championships in Croatia … Three English teams took part in the European Senior Team Chess Championships in Croatia in September. This was a much better turnout than in Serbia last year, where we fielded just one team. In both 65-plus and 50-plus competitions we were outgunned. There is little interest from our leading eligible players and thus less financial support. The whole event attracts fewer teams than the equivalent World Senior TCC. There just isn’t that much interest in two such events in one year.
In the 65-plus Russia won all nine of their matches. The highlight of our individual match was that John Quinn beat the legendary Yuri Balashov. This helped propel him to the Silver medal on Board 1, scoring 5/7 and gaining 53 rating points.
Paul Hutchinson did well, recovering from his very long layoff. I also gained a few rating points (8). But even that is welcome for an 80 year old. It was only at the prizegiving that I learnt I was the oldest player in the competition. Brian Ewart got the silver medal on the reserve board.
We were ranked 7th/18 before the start and improved our ranking to 6th.
In the 50-plus Russia managed to edge out Croatia on a tiebreak. The both scored 17/18 match points. England 1 were originally seeded 5th, but finished a slightly disappointing 6th. Andrew Ledger started off badly, but made a strong comeback to score 4.5/7, gaining a few rating points. Steve Ledger scored 3.5/6 on reserve board and thus achieved the Bronze medal. England 2 were the lowest ranked team out of 13.
Even so, there were some successes. Sheila Jackson scored 3.5/8 on board 1, gaining 18 rating points. Majid Mashayekh had just 0.5/7, but won his last round game to actually gain 2 rating points. Peter R Wood and Julie Denning didn’t fare so well, but they put up stubborn resistance.
Why the emphasis on ratings? Without that it is very difficult in a tournament and, even more so in team events to gauge how one has done.
In some ways the most important news is that no less than four players dropped out of the event due to ill-health. All seem to have made reasonable recoveries.
Final results here – https://www.fide.com/news/124
Carl Portman – new ECF Development Officer
ECF Non-Executive Director Stephen Woodhouse writes: The ECF now has a Development Officer. He is Carl Portman, who many of you will know from his sterling work managing the ECF Chess in Prisons programme. This is a key role for the development of chess in England, focusing on –
Driving forward the ECF’s plans for increasing its membership base by 500 or more per year.
Broadening the grass roots appeal of chess through encouraging social chess and chess in the community.
Retaining the impressive population of English juniors so that they continue playing and stay engaged with the ECF into adulthood.
Encouraging more women to participate at all levels.
Says Carl, ‘This is an exciting time to be working with the ECF. I am looking forward to working the Directors and the wider chess community to develop chess at all levels and all areas of England, building on my experience with Chess in Prisons.’
Says ECF CEO Mike Truran, ‘The appointment of the Development Officer is an important step in helping us achieving our vision of a substantially increased and diverse chess community. Carl’s work with Chess in Prisons shows the capacity for the study and playing of chess to achieve substantial social and education benefits beyond simple competitive success. I look forward to working with Carl in his new role.’
The appointment is supported by funding from the Chess Trust, the charitable body set up to support and develop English chess, working in combination with the ECF.
ECF Secondary Schools Rapidplay
Well done to RGS Guildford A (25/30) who won this year’s tournament ahead of Hampton School A (24.5) and Gonzaga College, Dublin A (23.5) The Plate was won St Paul’s Girls School John Place’s full report is here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/ecf-secondary-schools-rapidplay-2019/
World Youth Rapid and Blitz
Yukteshwar Kumar writes — The World Youth Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships was held at the coastal town of Salobrena near Malaga, Spain from September 10 to 14. There solo entry from England, Yuvraj Kumar, participated in the U14 group. Some of the bigger chess playing nations like India, China and USA had no entrants. Yuvraj won more than 50 per cent of his matches and was among the top 32 players in the rapid tournament. In Blitz, he started well and won some matches against stronger players. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/world-youth-rapid-blitz-in-salobrena-spain/
British Championship 2020
Director of Home Chess Adrian Elwin writes — The preliminary schedule for next year’s British Championship can be found at https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Schedule-2020-1.pdf. Other competitions may be added and the schedule will be finalised by January 2020.
Chair of Awards Committee
Following Paul Bielby’s retirement from heading the ECF Awards Committee, the Federation is looking to appoint a successor. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/vacancy-chair-of-awards-committee/
Controller for ECF Grand Prix
Director of Home Chess Adrian Elwin writes — Applications are invited for the post of Controller of the ECF Grand Prix. Responsibilities include ensuring that tournaments submitted for inclusion are acceptable and that the leader board for the Grand Prix is kept up to date and published regularly. This is a voluntary position. Applications should be made to the Director of Home Chess at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the ECF office. If it is not possible to find a volunteer to fill this post, it may be necessary to discontinue the Grand Prix.
ECF Girls Chess Championships at Blenheim Palace – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/english-girls-chess-championships-2019/
ECF National Schools Girls Semi-Finals – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/NSCC/u19-girls-3/ and https://www.englishchess.org.uk/NSCC/u11-girls-3/
4NCL Women’s League at the Holiday Inn Kenilworth-Warwick – both team and individual entrants welcome. Click here – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/information_womens_league.htm
Hull 4NCL International Congress – including a nine-round GM norm APA event – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/information_hull_2019.htm and http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/information_gmnorm_event_hull_2019.htm
The fifth 24-hour Global Chess Festival starts on 12.10.19 More here – https://www.facebook.com/GlobalChessFestival/
Christopher James unrolls some ‘rescued’ problems which will test you way beyond the coffee break time in reading this newsletter here
CHESS magazine – teaser here
Tweet of the Month
GM David Howell’s chance encounters with GMs while walking the streets of London …
Malcolm James McHugh – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&p=235039&sid=8757b731776613e9c915428956656dcc#p235039
Dale Brandreth – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10407
Tony Bill – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10412