Sunday, 29 March 2020

Play local chess online

Many chess clubs and organisations are now making use of online chess platforms, such as, and, as a temporary measure during the current global pandemic.

In Suffolk, Ipswich Chess Club, Bury St Edmunds Club and Woodbridge School Chess Club, have an online presence on

You can also become a member of Team Suffolk:

Bury St Edmunds Chess Club have already run a couple of online blitz tournaments via the Tournament feature.

If you're not a member of an online club already, it's very simple to join. Also, if your local chess club isn't yet online, it's very easy to set up a new club.

At a national level, the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) has also launched an online chess league open to existing and new teams. It's still possible to enter this league until midnight on Friday 3 April:

Monday, 16 March 2020

Norfolk and Suffolk Cup

The Suffolk Final of this annual competition was played on 27 February, between Bury St Edmunds and current Cup holders Ipswich (see photo below).

Neither club was able to field its strongest team, but the pairings were still well-balanced.   The result was in doubt until very near the end.   It looked as if it would be a win for Ipswich, with Board 2 Tim Lunn in a winning position against Bury's Mark LeVine.   But Tim inexplicably allowed a pawn fork and lost his rook.  Mark had little difficulty in converting the win.

Meanwhile, on Board 4, Bury's Zia Quader held firm against Ian Wallis, resulting in a win for Bury by 3½ points to 2½.

Full results (Bury first):
1     Mike Harris (210)   1 - 0   Steve Gregory (182)
2     Mark Le-Vine (198)   1 - 0   Tim Lunn (188)
3     Jaden Jermy (176)   ½ - ½   Martin Fogg (179)
4     Zia Quader (169)   ½ - ½   Ian Wallis (173)
5     Jan Balogh (160)   ½ - ½   Alex Sheerin (172)
6     Steve Lovell (151)   0 - 1   Mike Cook (175)
Average grade: Bury St Edmunds 177; Ipswich 180.

Bury St Edmunds will now play the winners of the Norfolk competition.   The Norfolk final was due to be played at the end of April, between Broadland and Norwich Dons, but this looks unlikely in view of the current virus situation.   It's therefore probable that the Cup Final will be deferred until the start of next season.

Suspension of play in all SCCA competitions from Monday, 16 March

Message from SCCA President, Leon Burnett:

The spread of Covid-19 in Britain and internationally continues to gather pace daily.   As the situation worsens, more and more sporting events are being postponed or cancelled.   After consultation with the Competitions Secretary, and aware of the suspension of fixtures in the Bury Area Chess League from Monday 16 March onwards, I have decided it is in the best interest of the health of players in the Suffolk League and Cup competitions to declare a suspension of play in all Suffolk County Chess Association competitions with immediate effect, that is from Monday 16 March until further notice.

In due course, the SCCA Committee will meet (virtually, if necessary) to review the situation and discuss how to proceed with this season’s competitions.   For the present, however, it is more important to ensure that the health and wellbeing of the Suffolk chess community is attended to in the most efficient way possible in order to avoid the risk of spreading the coronavirus in over-the-board encounters.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Chess in Schools and Communities

Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) is a UK charity whose mission is to improve children’s educational outcomes and social development by introducing them to the game of chess.   Founded in 2009, it runs classes in over 300 schools and supports a further 500 schools nationwide.   It also organises the London Chess Classic every December.

CSC delivers chess via curriculum-time lessons or through the traditional extra-curricular chess club.   Children are taught by CSC trained tutors, who all have Enhanced DBS clearance, progressing from the rules of the game to foundational tactics and strategy over a 30 week period.   Schools receive chess sets, teaching and learning resources and entry to school activity days at the London Chess Classic.   CSC also runs a growing network of chess clubs in local libraries.

CSC is looking to expand its activities in East Anglia, and is keen to increase the number of participating schools and libraries.   As part of this drive, they are running two tutor training days in our region, which subscribers to Suffolk Chess may be interested in, or know someone (player or teacher) who might be.

You can find information about the training days here.

Alternatively you can contact CSC Local Organiser Mike Usher.