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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
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World Seniors Championship news

This year's FIDE World Senior Championships are being played in Bled, Slovenia, from 18-29 November. After our return we shall replace the still available report on the 2107 championships with an account of the latest tournaments. See our calendar page for more details.

The FIDE Congress has awarded the 2020 World Senior Individual Championships to Italy, to be played in Assisi at dates yet to be announced. This is a historic and attractive venue, which we understand gely restored after devastating earthquakes in 1997. We are relieved not to be going back to Acqui Terme.

We think the annual Royal beacon Seniors was held a few days ago in Exmouth, England, but as yet no report has reached us. Their website was not updated when we looked today.

The European Individual Senior Championships were played under from 3-13 August in Drammen, Norway. Despite losing in round 5, Norwegian GM Simen Agdestein won the 50+ Open title with 8/9 ahead of Conny Holst (Sweden) who finished half a point behind.

Special congratulations to Peter M. Gayson of England who won the bronze medal, having the best tie-break of the four players on 6/9. In the very closely contested 65+ Open tournament, four players tied first with six and a half points. GM Vladislav Vorotnikov won the title on tie-break ahead of Askell Orn Karason, Nils-Gustaf Renman and Hans Werrner Ackermann. Special congratulations also go to England's FM Tony Stebbings who was one of the eight players in joint 5th, scoring 6 points for a 2325 result which was actually higher than Gayson's.

GM Nona Gaprindashvili won the Women's title on tiebreak with 5.5 points in the 65+Open. The 50+ Women's Championship was a separate 9-player all-play-all tournament, which WIM Brigitte Burchardt (Germany) won with 6.5/9.

Tony Ashby, an English competitor who scored 5/9 in the 65 tournament, sent us a few comments.

Playing conditions here are good, organisation is very efficient. Plenty of room on and between tables and the chairs are the most comfortable I've had... Socialising in the evening is somewhat limited when beer is roughly 10-12 a pint. Not much to see in the town although there are lots of hiking trails... and the weather in general has been warm.

The World Senior Team Championships for 65+ and 50+ were played at Radebeul near Dresden in Germany from 7-15 July. Please see our report about that event.

The British Senior Championships were held over seven rounds in Hull in late July and early August. Andrew P. Lewis came out clear winner of the 50+ section with 6/7, a full point ahead of runners-up M. Paul Townsend, Terry Chapman and Jonathan Nelson.

The 65+ Championship ended in a tie between Geoffrey James, Oliver Jackson and Kevin Bowmer with James having the best tie-break. There was a curious incident (or series of them) in the last round. Tom Bimpson, who had been sharing the lead and was due to play Jackson, unfortunately had an accident necessitating his going to the hospital emergency department instead of playing the last round.

Jackson sportingly declined to take the free point which would have guaranteed a share of the championship when he found out that another player (on 3 points) was also without an opponent. Eventually, after a long struggle, Jackson won their game but very near the end he could have lost to a brilliant combination. (See the English Chess Forum for details and that game.)

Grandmaster Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) died on May 10th at the age of 85. It had only recently been announced that he was to play board 3 on the Russian team in the forthcoming Senior Team Championships. See his photograph on our seniors introduction page.

Information about senior tournaments in Germany can now be found at this German Chess Federation web page. Note that the age qualification rule for German Senior events is usually 60+ for men and 55+ for women, but they may be changing to the international age groups. As in the Irish Seniors held last January, the upcoming 26th Sachsen-Anhalt Senior Open (limited to 60 competitors) will have separate prizes for 50+ and 65+ though all play in the one event.

About 190 players of both sexes competed in the 14th Hessische Senior Individual Championship at Bad Sooden-Allendorf, which ended yesterday in a convincing victory for FM Hans-Werner Ackermann of Dortmund who scored 8/9, a whole point clear of three players on 7 points.

ACO (not a FIDE recognised body) is organising a senior congress in Crete this month: see our calendar page for details.

NOTE: This could be a good holiday but is NOT a FIDE recognised event and FIDE will not rate it. Any "titles" won are not generally recognised.

Alternatively you might like a trip to Denmark next week? Thanks to IM Bent Sorensen, we have now added full details of the Larsen Memorial 50+ tournament to our calendar page.

The European Senior Team Championships were played in Walbrzych, Poland, during April. Italy (led by GM Godena) are the 50+ Champions, winning all 9 matches. They finished ahead of Russia Women (8 wins out of 9) and Belgium. England finished 8th and Scotland 10th out of the 12 teams competing.

Russia (led by GM Balashov) won the 65+ title, also winning every match. Germany finished second (7 wins) ahead of Sweden-1, who took third place with five matches won and two drawn. Finland-1 were fourth and Scotland fifth.

Dates are now known for all four of next year's FIDE Seniors events but further information is awaited. See our calendar page which is updated every few weeks.

You can still read our Report, with photographs and games, about the 2017 FIDE Seniors World Championships in Italy. Congratulations to the Champions: Tamar Khmiadashvili (Women 65+), Elvira Berend (Women 50+), Evgeny Sveshnikov (Open 65+), and Julio Granda Zuniga (Open 50+).

Other Seniors Chess News

Moves began last year to establish a FIDE Seniors Commission to improve conditions for 50+ and 65+ players in future FIDE competitions. A website was developed for this purpose; please read the statement there by former European Senior Champion, IM Jan Rooze. It is however unlikely that there will be any further develoipments until the FIDE elections in September.

Your editor, Tim Harding, was successful in the inaugural Irish 50+ and 65+ Championship tournament played from 3-7 January in Dublin. He finished joint third overall and won the 65+ title and prize with a score of 5/7. Both age groups played in the same 7-round FIDE-rated tournament.

The idea was well supported with almost 40 players over a wide range of ages; the oldest competitor was born in 1939 The Irish Chess Union intends to repeat it next year.

Bob Jones told us that his annual Royal Beacon Seniors tournaments were held earlier in November 2017 at Exmouth, Devon, England. Congratulations to the winners. First prize was won by Ivan Myall (Chelmsford), with 4.5/5. Joint second on 4/5 were Stephen Berry (Wimbledon), Mike Wiltshire (Dartford) and Bill Ingham (Teignmouth). The "Junior Seniors" was won by Steve Dilleigh (Horfield) with 4/5. Joint second on 3.5 were Alan Brown (Northampton), Mike Waddington (Dorchester) and Jonathan Wells (Norwich). Several players in both sections won prizes in the various rating categories.

The same venue has already been booked for this year's tournament which will be held from 5-9 November. (See the calendar page for contact details.)

If you have Seniors chess news you would like posted here, or announcements of future events, please email Tim Harding.


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