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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
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Four nations bid to host World Senior Team Championships

For more information about chess for over-50s, please see our Seniors calendar and our Seniors introduction page.

 

The European Chess Union and the Polish Chess Federation have now published details of the European Senior Team Championships (50+ and 65+) to be played in the city of Swidnica, Silesia, in July.

The full regulations and hotel offers can be found on the ECU website or via our calendar page where the English PDF is available. Teams can represents nations, regions or clubs and as usual there are separate prizes for all-female teams.

Meanwhile, the FIDE Events Commission says it received four bids by its 10 January deadline from organisers offering to host the 2023 World Senior Team Championships.

These bids were from the national federations of Malta, North Macedonia, Thailand and Italy. To host this team event outside Europe would be a "first", but one that would be very likely to flop as the level of entries would probably be very low. Singapore is the only Asian nation that is usually strongly represented at FIDE senior tournaments and we cannot remember seeing a Thai competitor.

A few days ago we made a submission to the Events Commission and this evening we received a reply from its Secretary, Yana Sidorchuk. She wrote:

"There will be inspections and consultations before decision will be made.
As I may know, bid for 2023 World Senior individual championship will be announced in the near future. Keep in touch."

So we may expect some further delay before the winning bid for the Teams event is selected and dates announced. Looking at our calendar, it would seem that late August or September would be the best time to avoid a clash with other major Senior tournaments.

The inevitable delay before we know the venue for the individual championships is less serious because that event is usually held in the second half of November and it is usually about May before details are made available. (The championships for individuals had originally been awarded to Sochi in Russia.)

In our view, expressed to the Commission, it is certainly not a bad idea to host the individual World championships outside Europe for a change. Thailand might be a suitable and attractive venue for these senior championships.

Individual players can make their own decisions about flights, but to coordinate arrangements for a team of four or five players to travel there months ahead is trickier, given the risk that a team member may have to drop out at a late stage. Health issues for seniors have frequently in the past meant that teams have had to withdraw or play without a reserve because of illness.

We also hope that the Italian bid is from the team in Sardinia who have run some successful events in the past rather than from Arcoworldchess/ Scaccomatismo who already have one event to run this year (the European individual championships). We are not the only ones to write to the Commission complaining about the arramngements in Assisi.

Dates and venues for the 2023 English Seniors (in May) and British Seniors (late July) have now been announced.

Unlike the English Seniors (only for players with an ENG registration), the British events are also open to players from Ireland (north and south), Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and even to genuine long-term British residents who are not nationals and one or two British expats who are FIDE-registered with other countries.

See our calendar page for details, where you may also note some recent changes to German events and the addition of the ACO unofficial "World Championship" for 50+ players.

During 2022 the Amateur Chess Organisation (ACO) expanded its activities for senior players and their 50+ "World Seniors Championships" was held at the Fodele Resort, Crete, Greece, where the 2023 event will be played. However ACO cancelled plans for a team event because of insufficient interest.

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 2023 Irish Senior Championships were held over seven rounds in Dublin from 5-8 January as part of a very successful programme of events. This now traditional New Year festival could not be held in either 2021 or 2022.

78-year-old Eamon Keogh scored a notable success, winning the strong 65+ Championship with 5.5/7. The Irish co-champion of 1975 and 1979 finished a clear point ahead of a 5-way tie for second which included your editor who was also unbeaten but failed to convert several good positions.

This very enjoyable tournament attracted a record entry of 30 players and the large number of hard-fought drawn games was reflective of the fact that at least a third of the field had played internationally for Ireland, including two who were in the 50+ age group only last year.

The 50+ championship was smaller, perhaps because the date schedule did not suit players returning to work after Christmas. Ciaran Quinn was a worthy winner of the Irish title, holding off a strong overseas challenge for the prize money. Quinn shared first place on 6/7 with Nicholas Schoonmaker (USA) ahead of third-placed FM Cesar Becx (Netherlands) who scored 5.

The final major senior chess congress of 2022, the World Senior Individual Championships at Assisi, was decided on 26 November, when the final rounds were played. We added some further comments about the organisation during December.

We also still have our final report on the European Senior Team Championships (50+ and 65+) which concluded earlier in November in Dresden, Germany. That was a very enjoyable and well run event, and the first we were able to play abroad in over four years, meeting many old friends.

The ECU has awarded their 2024 senior events to Slovenia (team championships) and Italy (individuals) in consecutive weeks in October of that 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.

 

To make room for new announcements, news of past events which have been on this page for some time are now removed.

 

The death was announced during August 2021 of the 2017 Senior World Champion, GM Evgeny Sveshnikov, who was a regular competitor in FIDE senior tournaments for several years. You can still find our obituary notice on a separate page.

 

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

 

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