By Matthew Clark, SCA President
Dear Secretaries and Officials of Shropshire Chess Clubs,
I would like to suggest that we have a Zoom meeting to discuss our policies for safe Chess under current conditions. This would be an informal meeting with no decision-making powers. I will chair it and Tony will take the minutes as General Secretary. The minutes will be published on the Shropshire Chess website
I suggest that we have this discussion on Wednesday 22nd September at 7.30 p.m.
I do think it would be wise for us to adopt a shared set of measures that are common to all clubs competing in Over the Board Chess in the Shropshire League this season.
I expect that there will be different views on what we should do and I think we would all benefit from a wide ranging discussion.
I attach the proposed MCCU rules and the Telepost Chess Club precautions. I would be very grateful if other clubs could send me their guidelines so that I can circulate these before our meeting.
Please could you confirm if you can attend this Zoom meeting at this time and I will send you a Zoom invitation. It would be wonderful if all clubs could be represented.
President of the Shropshire Chess Association.
MCCU Covid-19 precautions
22. a. It is the policy of the MCCU that appropriate face coverings (masks or visors) must be worn during MCCU county matches, unless a player has a medical exemption;
b. Temperature checks are not required
c. It is a recommendation of the MCCU that all players eligible for vaccination should be double-vaccinated. The MCCU will not seek confirmation of vaccination status. Players who do not want to play an unvaccinated opponent should take this into account in deciding whether to play for their county.
d. Hand sanitizers must be readily available at each venue; there will be no handshakes;
e. Home counties (or both counties in a neutral venue) should use their best endeavours to space tables well apart to support social distancing
f. If any player exhibits symptoms or has a positive test result up to 10 days prior to a match, they must not attend the match. Non-compliance will lead to the relevant board being defaulted.
g. All players must agree that if they develop symptoms or test positive within 7 days after participating in a match, the captains of both teams should be notified immediately, to enable them to notify all participants. The anonymity of any player testing positive must be protected.
h. All players must be made aware that they are subject to, and must familiarise themselves with, HMG guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do
Telepost Chess Club Covid Precautions
a) When you enter the club please apply your face mask.
b) When you enter our chess room please use the antiseptic gel which is provided on the first table.
c) Add your details onto the Telepost Covid form which will be adjacent to the antiseptic gel. This form includes name/mobile number/ how many vaccinations/result of latest Lateral Flow test ( during the last 24 hours ).
d) The Lateral Flow test kits are available from your local chemists and are free and easy to use. If you test Negative you are ok to enter the Club but if you test Postitive please follow the guidelines on the test kit and isolate and do not enter the club.
e) We are allowed to play chess at each table, ie 2 people per table, to ensure the minimum social contact distances are respected.
f) Matches will also be played with one board/set per table.
g) Use the bar in the chess room as it has perspex protection.
h) After using the toilet ensure you use the Antiseptic gel provided.
i) When the games are finished each pair must spray the sets, boards and clocks with the antiseptic spray provided and store the equipment back in its appropriate place in our chess cupboard. This is the responsibility of each pair of players
j) The Government/ECF place great emphasis on the need for ventilation in closed spaces so we will continue to open the Emergency exits when we are playing chess. We know as Winter comes this will get a little chilly but we do have 3 heaters in the large chess room and 1 in the small room.
k) The small room can be used by 4 people as long as the Emergency exit is open and the door going through into the large room.
l) On match night the teams will play at the far end of the large chess room, playing with 2 people per table. Social chess can continue at the top end of the large room and in the alcove, which is directly in front of you as you enter the large chess room. If there are matches being played the social chess players must respect the quietness that is required to play matches. Again 2 people per table must be respected. The Rules of the Telepost Club insist that we cannot move the tables due to Covid security.
I have discussed these rules with the senior members in our club and we all agree that these rules are clear and must be respected by all members/guests and other teams. Although these rules may seem austere it is the only way to keep all our members, particularly our vunerable members,safe from Covid and allow us to continue playing at our great club.