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14th April 2021
SOUTH LAKES CONGRESS 2021 & 2022
Now society is opening up with lockdown easing, we were looking at the possibility of holding the 2021 South Lakes Chess Congress (SLC) later this year. Unfortunately the Kendal Leisure Centre is not available for the remainder of the year and therefore we have to announce that the 2021 event is cancelled.
The good news though is that we plan to hold the 2022 event in Kendal on the weekend of June 3rd, 4th and 5th. The Kendal Leisure Centre is booked and we hope to see you there; an entry form will be available at the end of the year.
Keep well and safe.
The SLC Organisers
4th March 2020
Chess in Niger
Email from John Lydon ( Cumbria Junior Organiser ) -
One of the Carlisle Chess Club members (Martin Best) is currently working away from home, as he nearly always is.
He's working in Niger.
He has been doing his best to promote the game out there.
I've contacted my management at Chess in Schools and Communities, and they are in the process of helping him get some chess equipment for schools.
He's also trying to get the adult game promoted there as well.
Niger is a very poor country, and there is very little chess equipment at all.
Specifically, he asked about clocks.
In Carlisle we have some very old mainly analogue clocks that are rarely if ever used, and once we can gain access to them they will be donated.
My question is do any other clubs have any old clocks, that are no longer needed and that they would be prepared to donate?
27th February 2021
Amateur Chess Organization - Oct 1st to10th Crete
Email from Ian Mackay -
Am I the first this year to sign up for ‘OTB’ chess abroad?
I have entered this in Crete...
Amateur Chess Organization – ACO World Senior Chess Championship 2021
As you can see it rather grandly calls itself a World Championship event! Do you know anything of the ACO? As I understand it, it is not recognized by FIDE, & is therefore not a FIDE rated tournament.
But does that
matter? It’s still chess. Their regular competitions are popular & held in
very attractive locations...Crete, Sun, October, ouzo...something to look
Has anyone else in Cumbria played in ACO tournaments?
23rd February 2021
It is my sad duty to publish the following email from Dave Cole -
Click photo for larger image
Tony Kirby, Barrow chess player since the mid 1950’s has sadly passed away aged 82 on the 18th February 2021.
Tony was a strong player throughout his chess career and a tough competitor, reaching a grade of 151 in 2010.
His first success was in the Barrow Championship as long ago as 1955 and won again in 1988.
One of five chess playing brothers along with his father Norry Kirby, Trevor Blower tells the story of a get together in the Barrow club in 1990’s where Norry in his 90’s was joined at the club by his five sons, all six of them pensioners!
This photo is
from the South Lakes Congress 2010 in Grange-over-Sands where Tony on the left
is playing Bill Burgess from Carlisle.
17th January 2021
Windermere Chess Club Old Photo
An old photo of Windermere Chess Club members recently appeared on Facebook.
It was taken about the time that Windermere held a simultaneous Chess Event given by Harry Golombek about 1960.
Click photo for larger image
As far as we know (L to R) -
- Back - 1. Charles Morris (Science teacher at Windermere Grammar), 2. George Wilson, 3. Jack Pooley (President and Haulage contractor), 4. ?, 5. ?
- Front - 1. John Wood (Salesman/Financial Advisor), 2. Albert Hebron (worked at Sanderson & Dixon), 3. ? , 4. Ron Harding (Secretary & Maker of the cabinet, which is still in use.)
The simultaneous at Bowness Hydro Hotel. Albert Hebron is stood next to Harry Golombek.
Harry won 49, drew 2, and lost 1.
If you have old pictures of your chess club send then in !
28th December 2020
Jim Billsborough 1942-2020
Sad to report that Jim Billsborough passed away earlier this month. Jim used to be the Cumbrian League Controller.
Jim was also a talented artist.
See more picures from him here.
24th December 2020
ECF The Queen's Gambit Scheme
Email from the ECF -
Dear chess colleagues
With many people working from home during lockdown and children stuck indoors out of school, the ECF, along with hundreds of clubs, has seen a spike in interest among former enthusiasts as well new players who want to learn and play chess online. The Queen’s Gambit Netflix mini-series has also contributed to the increasing popularity of the game by breaking down the stereotype that the chess is only played by men and led to increasing interest from women and girls.
The ECF’s new Queen’s Gambit Scheme, which offers FREE Supporter membership for women over 18 who have not previously been members of the ECF, together with a package of events aimed at new player joiners, will run alongside the current Free Junior Silver membership scheme with the idea of encouraging women and generally wider participation in organised chess.
The Queen’s Gambit Scheme (and Free Junior Silver) packages last until the
end of the membership year and will include:
All Supporter benefits (and all Silver member benefits for Free Junior Silver membership);
ECF Online club membership and ability to play in regular club events and online internationals;
The ability to enter special new player events at the British Online Chess Championships and in ECF Online Clubs over the coming months.
New player events will include:
Special tournaments alongside the British Online Chess Championships;
Beginners coaching on Zoom during the British Online Chess Championships;
A rating limited tournament added to the regular club events;
A monthly chess variant event added to the regular club events;
Other events including a chess marathon in the New Year.
In Director of Women’s Chess Chris Fegan’s words, ‘The Queens Gambit series which has recently been shown on Netflix has been a tremendous success and has been seen by millions of people throughout the world, many of whom have been encouraged to take up the game for the first time. The ECF wishes to keep the momentum from the TV series going into 2021, and therefore we are offering free Supporter membership to women over 18 alongside our Free Junior Silver membership scheme for girls under 18 to enable them to experience the benefits of ECF involvement for themselves.’
To take advantage of the Queen’s Gambit Scheme and become an ECF Supporter at no cost, or to become a Junior Silver member at no cost, join here — https://ecf.azolve.com/. To find out about the benefits of being an ECF Supporter or a Junior Silver member click here — https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-membership-2020-21/
29th November 2020
The Queen's Gambit
The recent film on Netflix is waking everybody up to the beautiful game of chess.
Holden Davis and myself contributed to a short piece on the Mike Zeller Breakfast Show on Radio Cumbria on the 26th November.
You can listen to it here in case you were still in bed - Radio Cumbria Interview.
I had been hoping to get a plug in for Cumbria Chess so people interested could contact their local club. Unfortunately any information I supplied has not been included.
If anybody is looking for contacts of a local club they can all be seen on the Clubs Page.
You can join Chess.com here and join Cumbria Chess Online Club here.
13th October 2020
An extract from the recent ECF Newsletter -
Message to members from ECF Chief Executive Mike Truran
I am writing to you to ask for your help in the ECF’s hour of need.
Despite members’ best efforts so far, however, only 43 percent of members have renewed their subscriptions. We will face serious financial difficulties and potential damage to our infrastructure if the current crisis extends too far into 2021 without sufficient membership income to sustain a cost base that we have already stripped back as far as we feel able.
NB - You can check your own status as well as your club members by looking at the Clubs Page and clicking on the 'Club' ECF Grades link.
30th September 2020
I am sure that you are now aware that the new style ECF grades are with us.
Please note that these will be updated every month, so Andy will need results from both internal Club games and Cumbria games as soon as they happen.
See ECF Grading page for the new grades. The old grades can still be seen here ECF Grading page.
The Clubs Page has a link to the new grades for each club.
There is a rating faq page here.
Cumbria will be using these new grades for both League and Whitaker assuming we ever play again.
I am working on a new Whitaker form even as we speak, and there will be a few minor alterations to our Constitution. I am not panicking about it just yet !
20th August 2020
He is to enter into the more profitable world of Antiques and is seen here at the Antique Road Show, Windermere on September 29th. Ian is the one with the busts.
7th September 2020
Cumbria Online Chess Club
Cumbria Online Chess Club currently has 57 members.
At the moment there are 2 tournaments every week -
1) The Saturday morning dash.
5 minute games played from 11 to 12 am.
2) The Midweek Arena.
Varying time controls usually about 10 mins, sometimes with increments. Played Wednesday 7 to 9 pm.
There are also Daily games, which are similar to Postal Chess so you get a lot of thinking time. It is proving popular.
1st September 2020
Barrow Chess Club Restarted
Notes from Dave Cole on the Barrow setup -
The circumstances being, the British Legion only opened a couple of weeks ago and we found out the large concert room we use for chess is available once more and the players set up ‘distanced boards’.
So conditions in the chess room are as follows:
- Hand Sanitiser is available in two areas of the room (the club has put them on the wall). We are encouraged to use this when passing.
- We have a sanitiser spray for the sets which is used when taken out the box and set up.
- The tables are set up in a square for distancing – so we have a room big enough to use 4 tables per game.
- The main tables also have a gap which increases distancing (covers 2/3 squares of the chess board @ 2” per sq) which is 4-6” and the clock sits over the gap (this is a good guide) so it is stable on both tables.
- Clocks are roughly 6-8” in length depending on analogue or digital – set up to suit in between the gap.
- The distance is therefore roughly 1.5m between players. Players can adjust their seats to be further away if they wish.
- Boards need to be wooden or cardboard based to have the gap – roll up boards will not be able to have a gap.
- The tables on either side encourage distancing and stop spectators coming too close.
- Spectators can view from behind each player but are encouraged not to.
- No masks are warn, but it’s an option if players want to.
- The conditions are near enough back to playing conditions we are familiar with and as the ‘new normal’ it is really not much different from before.
23rd August 2020
ECF North v South Challenge
Email from Mick Riding ( Northumberland Team Captain ) and Andy -
On September 5 we have the opportunity to take part in a historic rematch between North and South, the first since 1894.
To join just click on https://www.chess.com/club/ecf-north
For the background stuff go to https://www.englishchess.org.uk/online-north-v-south-challenge-2020/
The occasion is about participating. Of course it's nice if you're a 200+ ECF player, but us lesser mortals need not worry. The match will look to pair people up as closely as possible to their playing strength - so there's room for all.
On the back of our stand out efforts in the County, Pool and U100 matches this would be a big fat cherry on the cake. And The North has never won this challenge. Time to put that right yes? 🙂
The only prerequisite is ECF membership. Be aware most expire end August. So if you haven't renewed please do - or at least sign up as a Supporter (£10) which can later be upgraded to membership - and your £10 will counts towards membership.Thank you - Mick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note - Whether or not you play in the above as the email says ECF membership expires at the end of August. You can join/renew here - https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-membership-2020-21/
20th August 2020
2020 AGM - Note from Jonathan
Chess Club Secretaries and Officers,
the time of year when preparations for the new playing season would
underway, the Cumbria Chess Association Committee have been reviewing
likelihood of being able to resume over the board chess in the near
Given that most club premises remain closed because of the virus, there is no possibility of commencing competitive chess in the near future even if club members are prepared to play. Commencement of the 2020-21 season is therefore delayed until further notice.
The Committee has considered a number of options such as the holding of a 'distanced' AGM, or completing the 2019-20 season on-line, but have decided that, unless there is a groundswell in favour, these will remain in abeyance.
The Committee would appreciate views from all clubs as to what they think should happen. Clubs should let the League Controller know if and when their premises are usable and their members are willing and able to play over the board chess in a safe way.
The Cumbria Chess Website will keep players updated on any developments with relevant guidance from the Government and the ECF.
In the meantime Cumbria on-line chess will continue and all those who are able to do so are encouraged to join in.
Best wishes and keep safe everyone.
- Cumbria Chess Association
8th August 2020
Cumbria lost last night (Saturday) to Oxfordshire in the semi-final.
See the CountyChess Page.
1st August 2020
Cumbria drew last night (Saturday) with Somerset 6-6 in a rematch of the first round which was abandoned, and lead the Table.
See the CountyChess Page.
1st August 2020
Note from Dave Cole -
It is with sadness to notify the demise of Derek Miller this week, a Barrow Chess Club player that some of you will know especially those in the South League.
26th July 2020
Cumbria Chess Swiss Tournament.
There is a 5 round swiss tournament on Wednesday evening 29th July at 7:00pm.
Time limit is 10 mins + 5 secs a move increment.
- Games are played on Chess.com.
- No gradings apart from the ones on Chess.com.
- Players need to be members of the Cumbria Chess Association Online Chess Club on Chess.com.
- Similar to the Saturday Morning 5 minute tournaments. Just click on the Link - https://www.chess.com/live#t=1354875 - click JOIN on the tournament page and everything is taken care of by Chess.com. Your game starts automatically - easy ! As is it a Swiss rounds cannot begin until the previous round has finished, so if you have a quick game you will have to wait till everybody is finished.
- Assume each round lasts for a half hour then the tournament should end about 9:30.
line with current Government policy - not at all scientific, I should
add, it is recommended that you wear a mask while playing.
26th July 2020
July 2020 Grades
If anybody is interested in ECF over the board grades the July ones are now on the ECF Grading page.
The Top 10 grades
|Roy Ellames||Carlisle Austin Friars||183|
|Alex J. Billings||Windermere||178|
|Stavros Karampatos||Carlisle Austin Friars||171|
Congratulations to Robin on leading the table ( again ) !
22nd July 2020
Cumbria First Online Swiss Tournament
The First Cumbria Online Swiss Tournament has just finished with Neil Jones taking first place.
Well played Neil !
See the full result on the Cumbria Online Swiss Page.
19th July 2020
Cumbria drew last night (Saturday) with Shropshire 7-7, but still lead the Table.
See the CountyChess Page.
10th July 2020
Chess clubs and Covid-19
The ECF has just done an interesting article on Chess Clubs opening. It may be a little early yet, but things are stirring ! It was interesting to see the suggestion of playing with 2 boards - one each. Just like Syd !
Here is the link ECF and Covid. Make sure you click on their Word | Pdf link to read the article.
7th July 2020
Cumbria beat Worcestershire 7½-6½ in the 3rd round of the Counties Championship. See the CountyChess Page.
22nd June 2020
Julio Calcina v Alan Llewellyn
Andy has posted a game from the recent County match games here.
21st June 2020
Cumbria beat Hampshire 10-2 in the 2nd round of the Counties Championship. Well played Cumbria !
Read Andy's report on the CountyChess Page.
18th June 2020
1st Cumbria Chess online 5 round Swiss Tournament.
If the ECF can run a competition so can I !
I am running a 5 round swiss tournament on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm for 5 weeks with one round per week. Each round has two games between players, alternate colours, a half-hour per person per game.
- Games are played on Chess.com
- Games will be submitted to the ECF for ECF Online Rapid grades
- Entrants need to be members of the Cumbria Chess Association Online Chess Club on Chess.com. Join here. Your real name will be displayed with your handle as it is for Online County matches.
- I will maintain a list of winners on the Website. Just imagine in a 100 years time your name will still be there !
- If you really cannot play on Wednesdays at 7:30 then your opponent may take sympathy and play another time with a deadline of midnight the following Monday. However if they like 7:30 Wednesday then that is it.
To enter please just let me ( Dave Shaw ) know ASAP. Hopefully we can start Wednesday 24th June but we will see.
17th June 2020
ECF Online Chess.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all over-the-board chess came to a standstill when the lockdown was imposed. This inevitably lead to a surge in online chess and so the ECF organised online chess competitions. See their webpage here.
So far 2 competitions have been organised.
- English Online Blitz – The English Online Blitz Championships 2020 was held on chess.com with a group stage on 9th May and the finals on 16th May.
- English Counties – The English Counties Championships start in earnest on 13th June on chess.com following a preliminary familiarisation held on Saturday 6th June.
Cumbria chess is involved in the English Counties Championships. Details can be seen on the CountyChess page. If you are interested in playing contact Andy.
19th May 2020
The Unfinished Season.
It is about this time of year that we are usually considering the date of the Cumbria Chess AGM. Obviously it is not going to happen until we receive some positive news and guidance from the Government.
It is hoped that we can finish the important games from last season.
- The Whitaker final between Penrith and Ulverston.
- Penrith A only need a good result against Windermere to claim the Open League.
- I am not sure about the South League.
We may need to find some large tables when we start again.
2nd May 2020
Email from Andy -
Could you please circulate this to all your members and ask them to contact me if they're interested in playing in this. All the details aren't finalized yet but you'll get the picture if you read the attached PDF file.
11th April 2020
Cumbria Online Chess Club
The first 11am Saturday morning tournament took place with 10 entries, which made for an entertaining competition. Hopefully we can build upon this and more turn out across Cumbria (and beyond!) for future Saturday mornings.
Thanks to all who participated,
To request registration for Cumbria Online Chess Club: