eNewsletter November 2017 – Issue 15

The season is well underway and this edition of the eNewsletter has an emphasis on the work of ECF. From the recent AGM in London through to new plans for the Yearbook, consultations on how to improve the prestigious County Championships, and the new League Management System (LMA), where league and tournament organisers will find their work a lot easier. Every ECF member is a stakeholder and it is important to us that your voice is heard. So please do fill in the questionnaire about the County Championships, read the minutes from the AGM, and consider other ways you could  get involved in the Federation (you will see that we are also looking for Gold and Platinum members’ reps).

Marketing of chess is an important part of the ECF’s work. We have a vibrant junior chess scene and it is particularly pleasing to see young players participating in adult leagues and tournaments, and having been on the receiving end of a few drubbings against youngsters who could barely reach the pieces, I know how good they are. But to ensure the next generation of our titled players get the best coaching and regular participation international tournaments we need to secure more sponsorship, and I’m particularly interested in hearing from members who have skills in marketing and PR who can help us with campaigns to attract more young people to take up chess and secure sponsorship. Please contact me at  publicity.manager@englishchess.org.uk if you would like to help in this area.

— Mark Rivlin
Please see details of governance, strategy, accounts and Yearbook at
Entitled to be proud
The following title  applications  were approved by the Fide Executive Board in Antalya, Turkey —
GM title, Daniel Fernandez; IM title, Ravi Haria and John Pigott
Lara Barnes has upgraded as an International Arbiter from IA Category C to Category A and Director of Home Chess Alex Holowczak is upgraded from Category D to Category B. Lara achieved this status by being the Deputy Chief Arbiter of the World Youth Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2016. Lara is one of only 68 Category A arbiters in the world, fewer than 10 of which are women. Alex achieved Category B by virtue of being Deputy Chief Arbiter of the London Chess Classic FIDE Open once and Chief Arbiter twice, and Deputy Chief Arbiter of Division 1 of the 4NCL twice.
It’s a knockout
Chess Promotions Ltd and 4NCL have agreed that one qualifying place for the British Knockout Championship, to be staged at the London Chess Classic from 1-9 December inclusive, will be made available to the player finishing first in the Open section at the 4NCL FIDE-rated Congress at Holiday Inn Coventry on Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November. More details at http://www.4ncl.co.uk/index.htm
It’s your vote that counties
The ECF county championship is one of the most prestigious and popular tournaments on the calendar. We would like to hear your opinions on how the championship can be improved so please fill in the questionnaire on the ECF website at
Junior news

Knights Owls
Cambridge Knights won the first Junior 4NCL Division 1 weekend with a 9/10 performance, despite being ranked 17/20, more here at https://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/cambridge-knights-win-j4ncl-division-one/    
Abigail’s party
England junior player Abigail Weersing scored a perfect 7/7 to retain her title as Danish U10 and U12 combined title. Results are here at http://skanderborgskakklub.dk/?page_id=990#dm
The World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad, Ahmedabad, India, runs from the 10-20 December 2017, and requires a FIDE rating of >2000. The event is still on the Expression of Interest form at https://britchess.wufoo.eu/forms/expression-of-interest-youth-championships-2017/ and any junior player with a sufficient rating and an interest should fill in the form as soon as possible. 
Bridge over troubled waters
It looks like the English Bridge Union (EBU) have lost their appeal on having tournaments zero-rated for VAT. This decision will also have an adverse effect on chess. More here at http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=196124&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=1590575
ECF Chess Academy study weekend at Daventry on 11th-12th November
There are a few ‘taster’ weekend places left (minimum standard play grade of 75 required for this with no upper grade limit). Please contact the Director of Junior Chess and Education, Traci Whitfield, if you are interested in applying for a place director.juniorchess@englishchess.org.uk 

English Rapidplay
More on the highly successful English Rapidplay Championships held in Liverpool in September can be found at

Club class
3Cs and White Rose were England’s representatives in the European Club Cup earlier this month. 3Cs finished 14th and White Rose 23rd in a 36-strong field. More at www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=9323 and www.chess-results.com/tnr302878.aspx?lan=1&art=20&fed=ENG&flag=30&wi=821

ECF Initiatives

League Management System
There are 10,000 players in individual tournaments and leagues all over the country. The new League Management System is a free service to ECF-graded leagues and tournaments which makes officials’ lives a lot easier and includes the following features: League tables updated automatically, an automatic generation of file for ECF grading; automatic League Fixture generation taking into account dates to avoid and teams to avoid clashes; Reports to track games played by non-members, late matches, adjournments; tracking club details, team captains, and all the information to manage your league. More here — http://ecflms.org.uk/lms/
Chess Mag
November edition taster here — https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Chess-October-2017.pdf
Members’ interests
The ECF Board hopes to be in a position to fill the two currently vacant Gold Members’ Representative positions and the one currently vacant Platinum Members’ Representative position at its next Board meeting in November. We have had expressions of interest from various quarters, but would like to give all ECF members the chance to be considered. If you are interested, please contact the ECF Office at office@englishchess.org.uk
Short on the circuit
GM Nigel Short won the Negros Open Bacolod City, Philippines with an impressive 8/9, although his rating remained static due to pairings against lower rated opponents. More at https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=9353
Book review
IM Gary Lane reviews Jimmy Adams’ epic book on Hungarian master Gyula Breyer and a left-field look at how to improve your game from USA IM Cyrus Lakdawala. Follow this link —
In Chess we Trust
Established in 2015, the Chess Trust is supported by a significant bequest from Richard Haddrell which forms the basis of its support for a wide range of chess related activities (except those of a professional nature). Any organisation or individual may apply for support from the Trust. For further information please visit the website at
Checks in the post
Welsh IM Anthony Balshaw won the British Correspondence Championship 2016-18 with 8.5/15. John Brazier and Brian Thompson came second and third. A final table can be found at https://www.iccf.com/event?id=61304
In Memoriam
Dr Brian Dudley, former president Worcestershire Chess Association and captain of its first team in the 1970s died on 30 September aged 86 — http://www.wdclchess.org.uk/blog/?news=dr-brian-dudley-of-stourbridge
GM William Lombardy, a giant of US chess who fell on hard times and ended up sleeping rough, died on 14 October aged 80. More on the ECF forum here — https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9358 and here — http://en.chessbase.com/post/william-lombardy-1937-2017

Apology and correction
Apologies for an error in the October eNewsletter, in which we published Gonzaga as the winners of ECF Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament in 2017. The winners were RGS Guildford with Wilson’s School second and Millfield School third. The Plate was won by Norwich School.