Editor: Dr Tim Harding
© Dr Tim Harding
3 June 2023
For more information about chess for over-50s, please see our Seniors calendar and our Seniors introduction page.
The individual European Senior Championships at Acqui Terme, Italy, will conclude this afternoon, 3 June.
The 50+ Women's Championship (a 9-player round-robin) was already decided with a round to spare yesterday, after WGM Marina Makropoulou of Greece reached 6/7, a score which none of her rivals can match. However a very close fight for honours was expected in the two Open tournaments.
In the 65+ Open, GM Lubomir Ftacnik (Slovakia) and English FM Terry Chapman led with 6.5/8 and are paired in the last round; Chapman had scored impressive wins in his last two games while his rivals drew. Four players including World Senior Champion GM John Nunn are on 6/8 but since Nunn had already played the other three he was paired for the last round with chess legend GM Nona Gaprindashvili (Georgia) who was on 5.5, leading the race for the Women's 65+ title by half a point from WGM Gisela Fishdick (Germany).
In the Open 50+, five players share the lead on 6/8, including Luxembourg-based English FM Stephen Dishman whose pairing is a downfloat to an opponent half a point behind.
You can find entry lists, pairings and results on the chess-results website. You can also visit the official event website. which provides links to follow the live games for the 65+ section and 50+ sections, though with about 15 minutes delay. The rounds begin at 3pm local time each day (2pm British summer time). The organisers are the same as for the 2022 World Seniors.
As reported on our calendar page, the individual World Senior Championships will not be held in Buenos Aires after all, but rather in Italy. The venue in north-west Sicily looks attractive but the notice is very late, the dates are not the usual ones, and I doubt we shall be going.
Originally these championships had been awarded to Sochi, Russia, and it was only towards the end of 2022 that FIDE President Dvorkovich admitted that this could not be the venue. More time was lost when a new call for bids was not announced until mid-March and then in April the event was provisionally awarded to the Argentinian capital.
As we announced recently, FIDE made a slight change to the arrangements originally stated for the World Senior Team Championships. These will be played in Struga on Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia, instead of the town of Ohrid as originally announced by FIDE. Moreover the arrival date is now 18 September, a day earlier than previously announced, and round 1 will be played on the 19th of September 2023. As usual there will be nine rounds but there will now be a rest day (with optional excursions) after four rounds.
The invitation and regulations can now be downloaded from our calendar page or from FIDE's own site. The official website for the event is now live (see link in our calendar).
Struga, in the south-west of the former Yugoslav republic, is about 180km from the capital Skopje. It sounds attractive but difficult to get to. Wikipedia says that Ohrid is one of only 28 sites that are part of UNESCO's World Heritage that are Cultural as well as Natural sites.
The Commission recently released its call for bids for various 2024 world championship events including the individual and team world seniors. Prospective organisers should note that the closing date for submitting bids is 14 July 2023.
In March FIDE issued new regulations concerning the World Senior Championships. These can be found in section D/04/03 of the FIDE Handbook. One detail we noted is that the championship could be reduced from 11 rounds to 9 rounds but that is not happening this year, fortunately. Other changes concern offering choices of hotels and meal plans, evidently in response to criticisms of last year's arrangements in Assisi.
The new regulations also state that "the organizer of the competition should ensure representation of all continents and at least 20 (?) players in each of the categories." There was criticism last year of FIDE's late decision not to hold separate tournaments for female players, which was apparently because not all continents would have been represented.
The European Senior Team Championships (50+ and 65+) will be played in the city of Swidnica, Silesia, in July. (This is nearly 400km from the border with Ukraine.)
The full regulations and hotel offers for that event can be found on the ECU website or via our calendar page where the English PDF is available. As with the World Senior Team Championships, teams of four players (plus optional reserve) can represent nations, regions or clubs and as usual there are separate prizes for all-female teams. Teams may represent nations, regions or clubs but all team members must be registered to the same FIDE federation. (Last year the Kosovo team in the European Seniors included one Czech-registered player but, as the man was clearly of Kosovan nationality, nobody protested though we privately advised their captain that the player should transfer his registration.)
There is now an entry list on the chess-results site. At the time of writing there are 22 teams between the two events, including 7 English (including a women's 50+ team), one Welsh and one Scottish. Of course it is early days and entries remain open for several weeks but it looks as if Ireland will not be competing this time. So far there are only three Polish teams while the other nations represented to date are Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, and Slovakia. This will surely change.
If you are thinking of playing in the British Seniors Championships (late July in Leicester), note that entry fees rise after 30 June. You must either be a British or Irish citizen or a bona fide long-term resident of either country to enter.
Old rivals, GMs Keith Arkell and Mark Hebden, were declared joint winners of the English 50+ Championship, played earlier this month, after there was a conflict between two different announcements on the ECF website about which tiebreak method was primary.
The game between them was drawn and they both finished with 5.5 points out of 7 ahead of GM Nigel Davies and some other strong players. Natasha Regan won the women's title with 3.5/7.
In the English 65+ Championship, IM Chris Baker (playing in this age category for the first time) won with 6/7, half a point ahead of IM Paul Littlewood. There were 38 competitors in each section. The women's title was won by Susan Selley, a sister of Norman and Paul Hutchinson who also played in the tournament. John Saunders has helpfully posted the final crosstables and all the games of both events on his Britbase website.
During 2022 the Amateur Chess Organisation (ACO) expanded its activities for senior players and their 65+ "Super Seniors Championships" was recently held on the Greek island of Kos. Their 50+ tournament will again be played in Crete in October.
ACO is a German-based commercial company. Note that their tournaments are NOT rated by FIDE although they use FIDE (or national) ratings to determine which tournament entrants compete in. The "titles" they award are not recognised by anyone except themselves.
ACO events are essentially a holiday but they are popular with regular visitors. FIDE need to recognise that they are in competition with ACO for the large minority (or is it small majority?) of senior players who want a good holiday and not just a chess tournament.
The ECU has awarded its 2024 senior events to Slovenia (team championships) and Italy (individuals) in consecutive weeks in October next year. The venues look attractive and geographically quite close; overland travel between the two should take only a few hours. See our calendar for details, which may of course change.
The FIDE Events Commission say they will open bids by 15 May for World events in 2024 so we hope to have more notice about where next year's senior championships will take place.
To make room for new announcements, news of past events which have been on this page for some time are now removed.
If you have Seniors chess news you would like posted here, or announcements of future events, please email Tim Harding.
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