Government’s Road Map to Easing Lock-Down, Chess Organisations’ Plans
The government’s Road Map to the gradual, progressive easing of restrictions resulting from the Covid pandemic consists of numbered stages, to be implemented (if,) as and when the best available scientific “data” are regarded as indicating implementation is appropriate. An important factor is the desire to ensure another lock-down is avoided. The government was pressured into attaching dates to each step, and so the dates given are “earliest” dates, which might get pushed into the future when the effects of the vaccination program are clearer, and any adverse effects of previous easing become apparent.
The realisation of the hoped-for return to over-the-board chess is affected not only by the easing of legal restraints, but also the attitudes of players who potentially have a variety of concerns about returning to the real board, and uncertainty as to the availability of suitable venues. These problems are not enumerated here (but see later article).
Some traditional over-the-board chess requires forward planning, particularly congresses. Some organisers, already have in place rearrangements of events which have been cancelled due to lock-down, or indeed rearrangements of cancelled rearrangements. Others, who had put activities on hold, are now planning ahead in the hope that the dates of the stages of the Road Map are not pushed too far into the future, and new initiatives are even being launched on the same basis.
The Yorkshire AGM, 2021
Something more detailed is due to be published on this website once the President has put pen to paper, and submitted it. Meanwhile, it can be stated now that, after consultation between most-affected officials and sample grass-root players, the decision has been made NOT to attempt to hold a YCA AGM in the usual month of June, despite the Road Map’s Step 4 currently being set for 17th June. (More to follow in time.)
The 4NCL has announced arrangements for its 25th 4NCL Congress, to be held (subject to pandemic developments) from 9th to 11th July, 2021, at the Woodland Grange hotel in Leamington Spa.
Bradford Chess CentreTournaments
Bradford Chess Centre (about which an article appears here) is aiming to start holding over-the-board congress-type event as early as 22nd-23rd May, initially on a limited, invitation, trail basis. Players are to be in groups of 6 to comply with envisaged Covid requirements.
It worries me (Steve Mann) that the premises and the nature of the activity will not in fact fall within scope of what Step 3 of the Road Map (currently scheduled for 21st May) will permit, but the organisers will of course be able to check that nearer the time. Is such chess activity within the scope of “indoor adult group sports”? “Sport” usually excludes chess. [PS Guidance published a little later by the ECF seems to think chess is included.]
Yorkshire Championship, 2021
The congress currently due to have the option of hosting the 2021 Yorkshire Championship is the Bradford Congress, which one would expect to be held, normally, in September 2021. That looks like it could happen.
ECF Covid Guidance
The ECF is expected to issue updated Covid guidance today (08/03/2021).