eNewsletter No. 42 – March 2020

Dear ECF Member
Welcome to the March edition of the ECF Newsletter. In this edition we feature an interview with chessboxer Chris ‘The General’ Levy.  
There is concern among clubs and tournament organisers around coronavirus. HM Government has issued advice on coronavirus which can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public and here – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/. Public Health England’s specific advice is as follows —

– wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
– always wash your hands when you get home or into work
– use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
– cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
– put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
– try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

– touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

We will keep all members updated through the ECF website – www.englishchess.org.uk – along with our Twitter feed. There is also useful advice from National Council for Voluntary Organisations here – https://bit.ly/2vAW9Di

— Mark Rivlin

Centre counter punch
Mark Rivlin interviews chessboxer Chris Levy here

Problems solved
Christopher Jones writes – The Final of the 2019-20 British Chess Solving Championship, sponsored by Winton, took place at the Copthorne Hotel, Slough on 22nd February. The event consists of six rounds each featuring problems of a different type (mates in 2, mates in 3, mates in >3, helpmates, selfmates and endgame studies) which must be solved within the stipulated time.  Three-time former World Solving Champion John Nunn was on top form, solving 12 of the 13 problems set, and duly recorded his tenth win in the event. Former World Champion Jonathan Mestel recovered from a poor start to take second place, with defending champion David Hodge third. The event forms one leg of the World Solving Cup, and attracted 13 strong solvers from 6 countries, who could gain WSC points. Belgium’s Eddy van Beers top-scored among the visitors, who compete in the Open section (for those who have not qualified for the British Final – Finalists and Open solvers solve the same problems).  A Minor event for lower-graded solvers, featuring easier problems, was won by Giles Body. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/winton-british-chess-solving-championships-final/

Online chess update
Nigel Towers reports – Our ECF online clubs are continuing to grow steadily. Club memberships are currently as follows —
chess.com – ECF (Open) Club 2,308 members
chess.com – ECF Members Club 216
lichess – English Players 166
We are currently running two club tournaments a week for each of the three clubs and are expecting to publish the first ECF online monthly rating list for ECF members and English Players club games played between ECF members or supporters from January 8th to the end of February. The ECF teams also took part in two major internationals over the weekend of 15th-16th February. Our team won the group stage and final of the lichess Nations Cup Team battle. Our win in the final was against a Mongolian Team in second, Russians in third, and Turkey in fourth followed by 5 other national teams. We managed a double for the weekend with a second win in the chess.com England-USA International fixture between ECF Members and USCF Members on Sunday evening. There were 17 boards in total with two games of 15/10 rapidplay per board, with colours reversed between rounds – https://www.chess.com/club/matches/live/english-chess-federation-members/6091/games
We had a strong ECF team with Robert Starley and IM Tim Wall on the top two boards. The teams had similar ratings and it was always going to be very competitive. NM Sam Copeland played on board 1 for the US and provided a live stream for his first game against our board 1 – Robert Starley. You can find the commentary on Sam’s twitch channel – twitch.tv/samcopeland – at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/553054288. We are now publishing a regular newsletter with back issues here which you may find interesting – https://englishchessonline.org.uk/online-news/. Please do consider joining one of the ECF clubs so that you can try out the regular club events, get an ECF online rating, and play in some of our international events. Details of the clubs, joining instructions and upcoming fixtures can be found here as ever – https://englishchessonline.org.uk/

Short on form in Bunratty 
Leonard Barden pays tribute to 54-year-old Nigel Short’s victory at Bunratty. More here – https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/28/chess-nigel-short-checkmates-three-in-a-row-at-bunratty-weekender

New Chair of Council 
Michael Farthing was voted in as the new Chair of ECF Council. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/council-chair-election/

Chair of Awards Committee
Stephen Greep of Hull & District Chess Association is the new Chair of this committee.

Monthly grading update
Brian Valentine writes – Work is going to plan (so far) on the ECF’s monthly grading project, with a volunteer development team in place, and work started on building the extensions and modifications to our existing platform. Phase 1 will provide a basic system to support new submission formats in addition to the current grading submissions, and to provide the core ECF monthly grading calculation. Phase 2 will add on additional reports and enquiries and the front end web enquiry forms. We are also proceeding with our detailed consultation with graders and system owners to make sure that the new system meets user needs and provides a good platform for the monthly grading project. 

Northern Junior Chess Championships

ECF Finance Council news
This year’s Finance Council meeting will be held on 25th April 2020 at the Thistle City Barbican in London. Invitations and papers will be sent to Council delegates later this month.

Scamming attempt
Please be aware of potential scamming attempt using the ECF as a marker, the latest being an attempt to impersonate new Chair of Council Michael Farthing and coming from execitivecommittee145@gmail.com [not an ECF email address], headlined ‘Sorry to bother you’. Please simply delete any such email …

ECF Tournament Rules

British Chess Educational Trust (BCET) Awards
See the article here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/bcet-awards-feedback/

Reeling in the Year[s] 2020
This year, in a break with tradition, a PDF version of the 2020 yearbook is now available via this link for all interested parties – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Yearbook-2020-complete.pdf. The ECF has been fortunate this year to secure a generous amount of original material from CHESS Magazine’s Home News and Tournaments coverage, for which we thank Chess & Bridge. The ECF Yearbook now offers a detailed review, including plenty of reports and games, of all the important action in English chess during 2019, while the ECF Resource website – https://www.ecfresource.co.uk/ – is the place to go to for lists of ECF luminaries, records of champions, awards and results, contact details for chess organisations in England, and archives of various materials.
Please be aware if you have a slow internet connection, you may want to pop the kettle on while the PDF downloads or appears in your browser window – it’s 6.34MB in size, but well worth the bandwidth! There’s also a link to the PDF version on the front page of the website.
Platinum members have been had their copies posted to them, and you can order a printed copy [while stocks last] by following this link – https://britchess.wufoo.com/forms/ecf-yearbook-2020-order-form-4508/. For members the cost is £13.50, and for non-members £15.50.

Results Submission consultation
More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/results-submission-consultation/

English Seniors
The English Seniors Championships 2020 will take place from Thursday April 30th to Sunday May 3rd at the Holiday Inn Kenilworth. Players must be aged 50 or over by the end of 2020 to enter the 50+ section, and 65 or over by the end of 2020 to enter the 65+ championship. Players must be born in England or have lived in England for at least the preceding 12 months. In addition if they have a FIDE registration, it must be ENG. This will be a seven round congress over 4 days following on from last years very successful event. Entries are looking good so far and please do look at our web page and enter on line if you are eligible and interested in playing. More here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/english-seniors-championships/

Women’s Chess news
For the latest on the women’s chess scene, including WGM Katarzyna Toma playing on Board 1 for the Worcestershire county team in their regional stage match against Nottinghamshire – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/womens-chess/

Swiss on a roll
More on the forthcoming Swiss-Manager/Live Board workshops here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/swiss-manager-live-board-workshops/

Love me tenders
Tenders invited for British Chess Championships –

Keyboard warriors
The latest online international events involving ECF here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-online-international-weekend/

Happy 4th birthday!
The ECF Newsletter reaches its fourth birthday this month and head office maestro Andrew Walker has put all editions in an archive here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/enewsletter-archives/

Tweet of the Month
Justin Bieber gets over two million ‘likes’ playing chess More here (great comments) – https://twitter.com/chesscom/status/1233474562781777923

Remembering Nottingham 1936
An online gem here

Bloxwich Junior Chess Academy
The Bloxwith Junior Academy celebrates 10 years – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/bloxwich-jca-celebrates-10-years/

Bristol Congress
Igor Doklestic writes – The Bristol Congress has now been running under new management for three years and has become an established event in South West England’s Chess tournament calendar. Every year around 140 players take part across minor, major, and open sections. This Congress is held at Bristol Grammar School, located in Clifton, a central and historic part of Bristol.  
This year’s 88th Bristol Open Championship took place between 14-16 February with a total 141 players.
The Open Section had 45 players and the winners were Keith Arkell GM, Alex Belsley, Thomas Brown, Alan Merry IM and Jonah Willow FM who all finished on 4 points. The Bristol Champion was Alex Belsley.
The Major Section had 48 players and the winners were Gareth Cullen and Gwyn Havard with an impressive 4.5 points. The winner of the Bristol Major Trophy was Gareth Cullen. 
The Minor Section had 48 players and the winners were Geoff Ainsley, Lana Boztas, Anthony Carver and John Webb who all finished with 4 points. The winner of the Bristol Minor Trophy was Anthony Carver.
The next Chess tournament in Bristol will be the 14th Steve Boniface Memorial and will take place between 21– 23r August in Bristol Grammar School’s Great Hall, a unique and imposing building in the heart of Bristol. The centre of Bristol will once again host a popular chess tournament. Come and join us! 

Guidance notes …
… on submitting articles etc to the Newsletter here

Forthcoming events

The 64th Southend Easter Congress 2020 takes place from 9th-13th April 2020 – www.southendchesscongress.org.uk

4NCL Women’s League – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/womens/information.htm
2nd 4NCL Easter Congress – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/fide/information_easter20.htm

Blackpool Congress – http://www.blackpoolchess.org.uk/index.php

Chess Magazine – March 2020
The March 2020 taster is here for download. If you like this and would like to read more, the full issue is available to purchase here

Gennady Kuzmin – https://www.chess.com/news/view/gennady-kuzmin-1946-2020
Michael John Rees – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10618
Richard GR Harris – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10089
Nikita Pearl Waligwa – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-51521775?SThisFB&fbclid=IwAR1Z2dogBk-HjTjUL81C-vcgTxKLQizJQwgxCjprTDkDWVoy9Cs56TNXPnk
Paul Timson – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10632
John Pakenham – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=10625