League chess action is to resume in Shropshire after a special meeting on Zoom for players and club secretaries agreed the rules and format of a new online league.
With a resumption of face-to-face chess a distant prospect, the new league will be started from scratch and will be entirely separate from the traditional league structure, but will still play for trophies. About half of the county’s players have expressed an interest in playing online – playing over the internet is not to everybody’s taste. Teams will be of four players in Division One, and of three in other divisions. With many players saying they lose concentration if internet games go on too long, the time controls in the new league will be 45 minutes to complete the game, with an extra 15 seconds added for every move made.
Among other developments Francis Best stepped down as Shropshire Chess Association president, and is succeeded by Matthew Clark, who in turn has been succeeded as general secretary by Nick Holmes. Nick has also taken over as editor of Shropshire chess’ webpage, from which Keith Tabner has stepped down after 17 years.
After some debate it was agreed that the Shropshire individual championship should be run online as well, despite a statement being read by Wellington player Eugene Raby who said it was too prestigious to be run online, nobody should be crowned Shropshire champion without having played a single over-the-board game, and the competition should remain “untarnished and respected”.