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Please pass on to all your club members and players.
Suspension of Shropshire Chess League Matches
Over the last week, I have been in discussion with the General Secretary, Matthew Clark, and League Controller, Adrian Zdanowski, regarding the operation of evening league chess during the continuing coronavirus pandemic. We have also been approached by a number of Shropshire players, expressing views and seeking guidance on our approach to this matter. In addition, we have sought advice from the ECF and other County Leagues where we have contacts.
The current advice is that it is for local leagues to decide but the suggestion is that play is suspended for a period. A sensible period to allow for the progress of the virus to be monitored and reviewed in line with developments in Government policy might be for the next three weeks with the policy being reconsidered at the end of that period. However, we have already seen that policy can change much more rapidly than that and it is likely in my view that this period will be extended.
It has therefore been decided that all fixtures in the Shropshire Chess League from Monday 16 th March 2020 will be deferred.
At this stage, we do not know whether the remaining fixtures will be played or whether the season will have to be abandoned altogether.
As always in these situations, many will be disappointed with this decision. Equally, a number of people involved in our local clubs have already felt the need to absent themselves from chess on account of advice received in respect of their own underlying health situation.
Quite apart from the legitimate concerns over the transmission of the covid-19 virus, it is also a fact that a significant proportion of our chess players fall into the category of being especially vulnerable should they succumb to the infection, either through age, or as a consequence of their own health circumstances.
Some questions you may have:
Where can I find the ECF advice on coronavirus?
The ECF guidance can be found here .
What about play in individual clubs?
It is for each club to decide how they handle this situation. For the time being, many will choose to continue to meet. Our recommendation is to check regularly and follow government advice.
What about the County Individual & Minor Individual Championships?
For the time being, Nick Rutter & Chris Lewis have informed me that they will continue to issue pairings. Some individuals may need to defer their games, which is perfectly acceptable, but, as long as both players agree to play their game, that is also perfectly fine. No one should feel forced to play, however, and we just ask that you keep Nick or Chris informed as to your decision.
Can we play remaining league fixtures through the internet?
The ECF is looking to support this as an option. However, the games cannot count for normal grading purposes.
Thank you for your understanding. Whatever your personal circumstances, I hope that you can still find alternative ways of enjoying the game that we all love. Above all, though, I wish you continuing good health and protection at this difficult time.
With very best wishes.
Shropshire Chess Association
14 th March 2020
Following yesterday's announcement and today's updated advice from government, it now seems appropriate to suspend the individual competitions too. I understand that this had effectively happened in the case of the Minor Individual through self-isolations and Chris Lewis has also sent round an email confirming this.
It would also now seem appropriate to suspend regular club meetings, which you might like to discuss with your club members, if you haven't already.
I know some people are looking at ways of continuing some club activity online and we are at least fortunate that this is an option for pursuing our hobby. No doubt, this will develop as time goes on.
In the meantime, keep healthy and look after yourselves and each other.
President, Shropshire Chess Association