Dear ECF Member
Welcome to the September edition of the e-newsletter. What an Autumn we have in store with the World Championship match and the London Chess Classic both coming to London … and there’s an exciting new national tournament with the UK Open Blitz Championship – first qualifiers taking place this weekend. So if you are free, see the link here and book a place in your region — https://www.englishchess.org.uk/uk-open-blitz-championship/
Our resident op-ed columnist, FM Tim Wall, previews the event in his inimitable and irreverent style. We also feature an interview with Allison Harvey, mother of Jessica Mellor, who won the Gold Medal at the European Schools Under 11 Championships in Krakow in July, and Director of Women’s Chess Chris Fegan reports on a very successful English Women’s Championship.
A quick bookkeeping nudge; it’s time to renew your ECF membership if you have not already done so and this year the process is extremely user-friendly, so please follow this link —
After a glorious summer, we are ready for action in the 2018-19 season, and I wish you all success on and off the board.
— Mark Rivlin
Simply the Jess
In July Jessica Mellor won the Gold Medal at the European Schools Championship Girls’ Under 11 section. Her mother Allison talks about parenting a talented chess junior. Read the interview here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Jessica-Mellor-September.pdf
Let’s get blitzed!
You have three minutes (and a further increment of two seconds per word) to read this gem of an article from Tim Wall previewing the UK Open Blitz Championships qualifiers here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Tim-Wall-September.pdf
In memory of Peter
WFM Sarah Hegarty is organising the inaugural annual tournament in memory of of Peter Poobalasingam, who died last year. More here –
Walk the Torq
The 2019 British Championships will be held in Torquay at the Riviera Centre from 26th July to 4th August. More details to come in the October Newsletter.
Director of Women’s Chess Chris Fegan reports on the 2018 English Women’s Championship
The 2018 English Women’s Championship took place over the last weekend in August at St John’s Hotel in Solihull. The event attracted 30 players of all ages and chess ratings representing the country’s depth of talent. The prize fund had been doubled from 2017 and this had dramatically increased the number of entries from the 11 players who participated in 2017. Last year’s champion Louise Head was defending her trophy and the entrants also included the 2016 Champion Kanwal Bhatia. The first round saw all the top seeds win their games and Round 2 saw the first clash of titled players with Louise Head playing White against WIM Natasha Regan – Natasha won with the Leningrad Dutch. The leader board included Natasha, Kanwal, Sheila Jackson, Ingrid Lauterbach and Naomi Wei.
Round 3 was an historic moment for English Women’s chess as seven-year-old Elis Denele Dicen won her first game in the English Women’s Championship precipitating a Twitterstorm in the process. Chess statisticians with time on their hands might like to check if Elis is the youngest player to win a game in the Women’s Open. Ingrid and Naomi both won their games to to share a joint 3/3 lead and set up a clash for Round 4. Ingrid beat Sheila in a game between 2 of the Bronze medal winning English Women’s Seniors form the recent World Championship Team event in Germany and Naomi beat another promising young women player Zoe Varney. Their Rd 4 game was a significant event of a clash of generations and honours were equal as the game was drawn to leave then both on 3.5/4 and which gave the field the chance to catch up. Kanwal duly took advantage by beating Thivyaa Rahulan.
Winners’ podium – (L-R) Julie Denning, joint winners Kanwal Bhatia and Ingrid Lauterbach, Helen Frostick
The final round was thus set up for a great end to the event with a possible seven women still in contention to become champion with Ingrid, Kanwal and Naomi all a half point ahead of Sheila, Nadia Jaufarally, Sarah Longson and Anum Sheikh.The afternoon and early evening were tense affairs and Kanwal v Naomi was the very last game to finish as Kanwal won a Rook and Pawn endgame to join Ingrid who had won earlier on 4.5/5 and for them both to share the Championship trophy. The event was a major success with all competitors playing hard-fought chess with a very low number of draws and we are already looking forward to 2019. Our sincere thanks must go to Arbiters Priscilla Morris and Matthew Carr for running a splendid event.
Director of Junior Chess Traci Whitfield rounds up the latest news
Alex Golding won the 54th Berks & Bucks Championship section scoring 5.5 out of 6. Results can be found here – http://berksandbuckschess.com/?page_id=644
Akshaya Kalaiyalahan achieved the Bronze medal in the U18 section at the European Youth Chess Championships held in Riga, Latvia. In a hard fought competition, she gained a score of 7/9 with 6 wins and 2 draws.
EYCC – Including Akshaya, 28 players attended the European Youth Chess Championships 19-30 August in Latvia. For the full report go to https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/euro-youth-chess-champs-2018/
Wilson’s School were selected by the EFCC to represent England in the International Schools Event (organised by the Polish Federation). The competition is unusual in that apart from being played on the ICCF webserver, the team includes three school pupils and a member of staff (Neill Cooper)
In the British Problem Solving first round there were 60 solvers from schools (mostly pupils with a few members of staff) of whom 41 submitted correct solutions. They have all been sent the second round and the top scorers will qualify for the final at Eton College in the new year (the Problem Solving Society have guaranteed 5 junior places in the finals)
British Chess Championships – Nishchal Thatte won the U10 section and has therefore been awarded the Neil Carr Scholarship to the ECF Chess Academy for the year beginning January 2019. Nishchal is already a student at the academy and will have his next year’s fees paid by the scholarship.
Congratulations to Koby Kalavannan and Jonah Willow, who have both had confirmation of their FM titles.
Secondary Schools events
ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator Neill Cooper’s newsletter, giving details of some school chess events happening during the Autumn term 2018, is here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/ECF-Secondary-School-News-September-2018.pdf. If you can’t find anything local to you do, email Neill to see if he can arrange something for you and other schools near you – firstname.lastname@example.org
Brought to book 1
IM Gary Lane reviews Lawrence Trent’s Albin Counter Gambit DVD; How Ulf Beats Black: Ulf Andersson’s Bulletproof Strategic Repertoire for White by Cyrus Lakdawala and The Art of the Tarrasch Defence by Alexy Bezgodov. More here –
Brought to book 2
The shortlist for the ECF Book of the Year includes USA champion Sam Shankland on pawn play and the chess community in Odessa; more here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/book-of-the-year-2018-shortlist/
The 10th London Chess Classic takes place from December 9-17, days after the Magnus Carlsen-Fabiano Caruana World Championship clash. The final leg of the Grand Chess Tour, this year the Classic will have a knockout format and a prize fund of $300,000. The semi-final will feature the four top players from the Grand Chess Tour qualifying events in Paris, Leuven and St. Louis, and will be hosted by the pioneering artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, at Google’s London headquarters. Then the action moves to the London Chess Classic’s traditional venue, Kensington Olympia, for the final.
Along with the Super GMs, the FIDE Open and 5-day and weekend events for players of all levels will also feature. Further details and ticket information here londonchessclassic.com
Winton British Chess Solving Championship results are here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/winton-british-chess-solving-championship-solutions/
Congratulations to Steve Rumsby from Banbury Chess Club was presented with his ECF President’s Award for Services to Chess. The Award recognises that for over 30 years Steve has been the Chairman of Banbury Chess Club. Steve has overseen the growth of the club from initially fielding 2 teams in 1 league to the latest season where the club fielded 4 teams in the Leamington League, 3 teams in the Oxford League and entered all the available league cup competitions. In recent years, Banbury entered a team in the 4NCL. Virtually every year, Steve has captained one of the club teams. Steve’s wider contribution to chess is seen in his work for the Leamington and District Chess League. He is, and has been for a number of years, both the league’s webmaster and fixtures secretary. At the start of the 2016-2017 season Oxfordshire County were unable to find a volunteer to captain the Under 150 county Team. Steve at short notice volunteered and led the county team to 5 wins from 6 matches. They ended that season as Chiltern League Champions. Steve has continued in this county captaincy role. Steve is highly regarded by chess players in an area stretching from Birmingham down to Didcot.
Steve (right) receives the President’s Award from Leamington League chairman Ben Graff
Bled and breakfast
If you are over 50 and fancy a few days of chess in the beautiful Slovenian setting of Bled at the World Individual Seniors, this is for you – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=9805
Two recent articles on chess that are worth a look … here – http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20180822-what-we-can-learn-from-female-chess-prodigies and here – https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/sep/02/who-will-be-king-three-way-battle-for-control-rocks-international-chess
FM Phillip Short – https://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9819