eNewsletter November 2016 – Issue 9


If you have any chess news you think we should know about or if you have any comments you would like to make on this newsletter, do contact us at manager.publicity@englishchess.org.uk – the deadline for the newsletter will normally be on the 18th of each month so don’t send us the info too late!

— Mark Jordan, Publicity Manager

The 9th edition of the eNewsletter appears very late with apologies from the editor. One takes on these kinds of voluntary roles with the understanding that a time commitment has been made, which one must strive to meet. Unfortunately, being a voluntary role, there are occasions when, despite best efforts, one is forced to concentrate on other things, which has been the case here.


I suspect you didn’t hear it here first!


Website makeover!
The website has benefitted from a new look undertaken by our webmaster, Andrew Walker. The content remains the same but the design has been improved, as has the navigation.

ECF Annual General Meeting
The draft minutes of the ECF AGM can be found here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ECF-AGM-minutes-Final-October-2016-v6.pdf

Club/Association Insurance
Renewing your Club/Association Insurance, which was available from 1st October 2016, can be done here –


Delancey Schools UK Chess Challenge
After the well-publicised legal difficulties of the UKCC and their VAT returns, it looked for a while as if this important national schools competition would be no more. Rescue packages were sought and after a competitive process between a number of interested parties, ECF Women’s Director, Sarah Longson’s proposals won the day and she will be taking overall management responsibility. For Sarah’s motivations and ideas go to

Tradewise Grand Prix – latest rankings
In the Open 180+ race, last year’s winner, GM Mark Hebden, is currently well in the lead on 612 with Mike Surtees on a fairly distant 2nd at 533. Akshaya Kalaiyalahan, who also won last year, leads the Women’s 180+ on 188 and is pursued quite closely by IM Jovanka Houska on 174. Shreyas Royal leads the Junior Prix on 576. The full rankings for all sections can be found at https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Grand-Prix-Report-2016-11-13.pdf

World Seniors Chess Championship
The World Seniors saw an excellent first half for English players. In the +50, Keith Arkell right up there among the leaders and looking to be in with a good chance of another medal, and Terry Chapman not far behind. In the +65 section, Tony Stebbings had a great first 5 rounds with 4.5/5, defeating IM Bogdanov in round 5. However, it was not to be, with disappointing second halves for all concerned and all English players out of the prizes by close of play. GM Giorgi Bagaturov won the +50 section, scoring 6/6 in the last 6 rounds and Anatoly Vaisser won the +65 for the fourth time! For more go to

11th 4NCL FIDE-rated Congress 4th-6th November
The tournament attracted some very strong competitors, including 3 GMs and 6 IMs, no doubt partly attracted by the fact that this also served as the qualifier for places in the British Knockout Championship which is being held alongside the London Chess Classic. In a four-way split for 1st, GM Nick Pert and IM Daniel Fernandez came out the qualifiers and, since they have already secured a substantial payday for simply qualifying for the Knockout, 1st Prize was shared by Tunbridge Wells junior, Freddie Hand and Brandon Clarke. Freddie scored 3 /4 against 2400+ IM opposition to win his prize whilst Brandon’s loss in Round 1 to GM Nick Pert led to somewhat weaker opponents until he met and defeated GM Keith Arkell in the final round. Excellent perforances by all four! For full details go to – http://www.4ncl.co.uk/


An exclusive excerpt from the November edition of ‘Chess’ – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/november-chess.pdf

The Fianchetto Solution
by Emmanuel Neiman & Samy Shoker
Published by New In Chess, 272 pages £19.50

The idea of a repertoire book is very appealing because, instead of doing hours of study, the authors do it all for you. Basically, being encouraged to play certain openings is a good idea if you have limited time to study but a lot of the obvious continuations have been covered. Therefore, the inspiration for playing a kingside fianchetto is a practical idea supported by the French chess teacher, Neiman, and, adding extra credibility to the project is Egyptian GM and co-author, Shoker. So what openings do they recommend? The answer for White is to play a Reversed King’s Indian Attack and, as Black, the Modern.

This seems rather sensible, although it is difficult to use these systems to win quick games at a weekend tournament. Then again, if you can play like Magnus and grind your opponent down then it could be an ideal vehicle to play safe, with potential for aggressive intentions. The authors give sample illustrative games and examples of how to play certain middlegames, but some of the exercises are nice tactical challenges but not what you want when learning an opening line.

A positive approach to learning openings without having to do lots of work.


The London Chess Classic
The London Chess Classic returns to Olympia from Friday 9th – Sunday 18th December. Eight of the world’s top ten players, including two former world champions, will be taking part as this year’s Grand Chess Tour reaches its climax. Daily and season tickets are now available online – book early to avoid disappointment!

There will also be the usual chess festival for players of all ages and abilities, with an over £45,000 prize fund. Events include a nine-round FIDE Open and the Super Rapidplay Open. Women and under-25s enter free of charge (UK residents only). 
Full details and online entry now available – enter before Monday 17th October for the best discounts.

For further information, entry forms and spectator daily and season tickets go to http://www.londonchessclassic.com/

London Chess Conference 10th-12th December
The London Chess Conference is taking place at Hilton Olympia Hotel and, this year, is focussing on the didactics of chess. If you wish to attend you can purchase delegates tickets via the website. On Monday 12th between 2-4 it the conference is also hosting a talk by Amanda Ross on the proposed National Mind Sports Centre. The event is sponsored by the ECF, is free, and all are welcome. For further info and tickets for the conference – http://londonchessconference.com/

See in the New Year by playing in the Hastings International Chess Congress which, having started in 1920 will soon be reaching its centenary. For full details go to http://www.hastingschess.com/

National Schools Girls’ Championships – more entries are needed
More here and here

Hendon First Thursday Blitz
Open section, 10 minutes each – www.hendonchessclub.com/blitz

Golders Green Monthly Rapidplay
Open, U170, U145, U120 – 25 minutes + 5 seconds per move – www.goldersgreenchess.blogspot.co.uk