League OTB Restart Round-Up
Things are yet early for plans to restart local over-the-board leagues to filter through to the worldwide web, yet evidence is gradually coming to light from around the country. A number of leagues with restart plans are planning a two-phase system, either to allow for more teams to enter in the second phase, or as a way of ranking teams of unpredictable strength in order to allow a follow-up event to be run in strength-based divisions composed according to the results in the first phase.
The first to kick off looks like the Hull & District Chess Association, with a full season’s programme running from 24/08/2021 to 25/05/2022 entered on the ECF LMS website. The Hull & DCA website seems not to reflect this as yet, and so there is no evidence of any Covid-related rules or guidance
The Bristol & District Chess League has fixtures running from 01/09/2012 to 24/03/2022 entered on the LMS website, albeit under “Training” – presumably due to the controller learning how to use LMS. As Peter Ackley has pointed out, the league’s website gives guidance documents on conduct of matches, before and during the match. The league asks that home clubs provide hand sanitiser, and asks players not to gather round other boards to spectate or whatever, but apart from that leaves it to clubs to advise each other of, and agree, beforehand, whatever needs to be advised of or agreed. None of the other events listed seem yet to have had any rules or guidance published.
Next comes the Huddersfield & District Chess Association. The normal Huddersfield activities are still suspended, but Huddersfield’s LMS page shows a new mini-league, with fixtures running from 08/09/2021 to 12/01/2021. The fact that the fixtures encompass the run-up to Christmas, and a little after, may be what prompted giving the event the title “Holy [sic] & Ivy League”. One suspects “Holy” is a spelling mistake on LMS for “Holly”!. [Subsequently corrected on LMS to “Holly” – 04/09/2021.] The five competing clubs are strongly reminiscent of those in the earlier “pod” league which started on 07/09/2020, was due to run through to 25/11/2020, but got prematurely terminated in mid-October by developments in the pandemic. [Clubs since reduced to four – 04/09/2021.] The aim is 6-board matches, with flexibility to increase or decrease numbers as needed.
Calderdale Evening Chess League is similarly running an unnamed all-play-all-twice team event, running from 13/09/2021 to 24/05/2022. The Calderdale website has got as far as updating to “2021-22” but has nothing posted to it about the new season, in particular no rules or guidance.
Further afield, the Thanet & East Kent League has fixtures posted to LMS for a full season’s activity running from 14/09/2021 to 31/05/2021.
Somewhat nearer home, the North Staffordshire & District Chess Association plans to run a Swiss team event in the run-up to New Year, and use the placings to allocate the teams, accordingly to two all-play-all divisions. It is hoped appropriately revised playing rules will be agreed at the AGM on 20/09/2021.
The York & District League, as mentioned in an earlier post, plans to restart in late September, with a meeting to be held in early September to thrash out rules and guidance in accord with the state of the pandemic at the time.
Cannock & District Chess League plans to hold a 2021 mini-league event from October to Christmas, and then another from January to April, by which time it is anticipated more tams may enter.
The Sheffield & District Chess Association, as also mentioned earlier, also plans a two-phase approach, with a further on-line event in the first phase, and then a possible resumption of over-the-board activity in January or later.