Reminder from ECF

To all clubs and leagues, with chess starting up again since the pandemic don’t fall foul of the membership fee / game fee rules for this season.

If you have started playing league chess and club championship games OTB, then check your players renewed their membership. If not, you could find the club and league getting invoices from the ECF after June 2022.

Details are here on the ECF website

Leyland Rapidplay – Sunday 20th February

It is still not too late to enter the Leyland Rapidplay, which takes place on Sunday 20th February.

Leyland Rapidplay – Sunday 20th February 2022 at the Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland.

Six rounds, two tournaments, Major for those rated under 1900 and Minor for those rated under 1500.

Start at 10am, finish approx. 4.30pm.

For more information and how to enter, go to – Leyland Rapidplay 2022

Heywood Chess Club – Update

As part of our series of updates as we come out of the Covid pandemic and get back to normality, a few clubs have already started with getting back to some normality.

Although, it will take a little while to get all the leagues back up and running smoothly again, some over the board chess matches are taking place across Lancashire.

My thanks to Steve Flaherty (Secretary) of Heywood Chess Club, for the update below.

Heywood Chess club is up and running, meeting on its usual night of Wednesdays from about 7.15pm until 11.00pm. Our membership is currently about a half of what it was pre pandemic. A lot of juniors have disappeared from the scene. And many adults have not been seen these last two years either. We do have a good social media presence and hope to rebuild membership over the next 6 months but I do not think we will get back to what it was. We are running a club championship which is linked to the ECF LMS and so games played get graded and this has brought back some people into the club.

Regarding teams. This is a fluid situation which hopefully will improve.

We have one team in the MCF now. Currently it is an online league but we will have one OTB team in their next OTB league planned for late March. The MCF want to return to normal in September but I cannot think we will be back to entering 5 teams like we did.

We have one team in the East Lancashire League which is run by Peter Barlass. We had two teams pre pandemic.

We have no teams in the CLL but that’s because the CLL are not running a league unless I have missed something. Previously we had two teams in the CLL.

We have no teams in the Bury and Rochdale League but again because there is no league at the present. Previously we had three teams.

So from 12 teams pre pandemic to two teams at present.

We still have a good, spacious venue and have maintained good relations with them throughout the pandemic so the venue is secure for us to rebuild.

45th Blackpool Chess Conference – It’s Back!

After the interuptions of the last couple of years, the Blackpool Chess Conference is back and will take place as usual at the Blackpool Imperial Hotel on Friday 11th March through to Sunday 13th March.

Five sections to enter, and with £6700 of prizes on offer, it remains one of the most prestigious chess congress events on the calendar.

Note that entries are limited to 400 players, so don’t delay, get your entry in now, you can enter online here.

The Imperial Hotel in Blackpool is situated on the resort’s quieter North Promenade, this traditional Victorian hotel offers spectacular views over the beaches to the Irish Sea, yet is only minutes from all the local attractions. The Imperial Hotel is Blackpool’s most prestigious, historic and well known hotel and regularly hosts celebrities from the stage & screen and hosts one of the largest weekend chess competitions in Britain.

Lancaster Chess Club – Update!

Lancaster Chess Club have recently moved, from the longstanding venue of the Reform Club they have now moved to the Lancaster Bridge Club on Chapel Street. Details can be found on the club website.

Clubs have been asked to submit a paragraph or two, as we open up from the confines of Covid-19. It will take a while before all clubs are back up and running again. My thanks to Barry for his update.

“Established in 1895, Lancaster Chess Club is thriving as much as it did during the post-Fischer boom in the 70s and early 80s. Membership has exploded since we reopened after lockdown, and our move after four decades at the Reform Club to the plush environs of the Lancaster Bridge Club on Chapel Street has facilitated this expansion and our enjoyment of the game in near-perfect playing conditions. We now regret having entered only two teams in the local league this season, and to cope with the demand for matchplay experience have recently set up an internal league in which every member is admitted to one of four teams – Team Polgar, Team Anand, Team Carlsen and Team Firoujza – who will duke it out for the new Dick Collins Memorial Trophy, awarded at the end of the season. There are also club quickplay and championship competitions, regular blitz tournaments, lectures from titled players, and near-weekly one-hour demo-board coaching sessions for junior and novice players – plus plenty of friendly and casual games taking place. We are especially pleased to be becoming a much more diverse and inclusive club in terms of our demographic, and one of our junior players is already a leading member of the first team. We resist calling him our new Ian Wells, but he and his fellow juniors, alongside a very healthy student representation from our local universities, have quickly brought a welcome sense of vigour and energy to club nights.”

Barry Hymer, Lancaster Chess Club Secretary