John Casewell is seeking SCA members’ views on whether and how online chess might continue if and when we return to over the board competitions. His comments are being sent to clubs by email and are below. Please send any responses to John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear chess players
I am advised that in early July it is planned to hold a face to face Shropshire Chess AGM. I am considering putting forward a proposal that online chess should continue in some format within the league.
The purpose of my email is to gauge the level of support or objections to such a proposal.
Over the last year a fair proportion of you have continued your love of the game online. I am aware a number have not and have heard reasons put forward that it is open to cheating, lack of the social aspect, no post game post-mortem and so on.
On a personal point, as a recent wheelchair user I have relished playing without the reliance of others to help me to the venue. I have not worried about away venue suitability or studied the weather in fear of getting a soaking. Finally no long drive home after generally a loss in my case. As a result with the assistance of Nick Holmes we set up Telepost Dark Knights on Lichess.
Having set up our site, while accepting approximately six previous active members did not share our enthusiasm, we have recruited in excess of that number, some of whom live away but have connections with the county including our club founder who now resides in Paris. Nearer to home, one of our recruits, a talented player who lives in the south of the county with no chess club or means to regularly attend our club physically, would be lost to the over the board version. As well as recruitment there are many other advantages. One can look at your opponents’ games online in preparation for playing them. Watch games in real time or at leisure. Often there can be spectators from other clubs watching a league match. No setting up of sets or clocks and no recording moves, and having finished the game I can get a drink and let Stockfish show me the error of my ways. I also note an increased number of competitors in the various county individual tournaments.
I do not intend to return to over the board chess, but attend our club occasionally to play socially. I am not alone, having established at least three others from one club with the same idea. As a result, if others are of the same mind Shropshire chess may continue with depleted numbers.
Hence my proposal that internet chess should be a serious consideration for the league. One idea would be that if I was in a OTB team I could only participate if my proposed opponent agreed to play our game online.
I have always been keen to promote the game having run the Darwin Chess Festival , in Shrewsbury, put forward the motion to reduce the number of players in division three to help clubs maintain teams, and for ten years taught the game in a primary school.
I would appreciate your and your club members, views for and against.