AGM hears of competitive start to league

Any thoughts that Shropshire’s first online chess league season might see a dip in the intensity of the competition have proven far from the case, the annual meeting of the county’s chess association has heard.

In the first opportunity to review how the new league is going, with face-to-face chess being ruled out, it is apparent that the season is proving very competitive, and players are taking internet chess seriously. Although some local players are giving it a miss as playing online is not to everybody’s taste, that has been counterbalanced by an influx of other players taking advantage of the switch to the internet, the meeting held on Zoom heard.

However, with only 45 per cent of players nationally renewing their membership of the English Chess Federation, a reminder is going out that Shropshire players are required to be in the ECF to play in the new league, which means their games will both be rated and monitored by anti-cheating software on the Lichess internet chess platform. The basic ECF sub is £10.

To nobody’s surprise Shropshire’s biggest chess event, the annual congress held in January, will not take place in the New Year. There is a longer term question mark over whether future events will be able to use the venue at the Wrekin Housing Trust in Telford, both because the offices have been reconfigured and also because one of the congress organisers, Francis Best, has retired from his top post with the trust.

Last summer’s team quickplay tournament was a victim of the pandemic and now Newport’s Chris Lewis is organising it as a delayed event for the winter, to be held online on January 10.

And reigning county individual champion Nathanael Paul will be challenging allcomers in a Christmas event online on Wednesday, December 16. Nat will be playing a host of challengers in games played simultaneously,


Division TwoWellington A 2.5, Telepost C 0.5: A Grillage 1, R Nield 0; T Faustino 1, N Holmes 0; M Podlesak 0.5, D Bonner 0.5.

Oswestry B 1, Telepost B 2: P Lovatt 1, K Walker 0; A Bailey 0, J Westhead 1; P Fisher 0, J Holyhead 1.