Southampton Chess Club

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Start of 2020-21 season delayed

The Club committee is reviewing the situation, consulting with Club members, and deciding when it will be viable to start the 2020-21 season. Please check back here and (for 2019-20 members) look for email updates from the committee.

The St Denys Community Centre managers have set the capacity for our room at the Centre at 14 people, i.e. 7 games taking place. The English Chess Federation's covid-safe guidelines - click here - say the following conditions should be followed when 'government advice allows people to meet but sets a limit on how close they can be':

'In competitive chess under socially distanced conditions, either player may demand the use of two boards, one player using a ‘master’ board, the other player using a ‘subsidiary’ board. Both boards should conform to the usual standards for competition play and both should be of the same design. Sets should be of the same size and a standard Staunton pattern.'

Several current Club members are very reluctant to return under the current restrictions, which means it is not viable to start the new season at the moment. We will keep this under review and hope to return soon.

Chess Club suspended from 24th March until further notice

The latest coronavirus outbreak guidance, issued on the evening of Monday 16 March, is that everyone should avoid non-essential travel and contact with others. Because of the short notice, the Chess Club is going ahead tomorrow, 17th March. Important - please do not come if you are in any of the vulnerable categories or if you have any flu-like / cold / cough symptoms. A committee member will be at the Community Centre from 7pm and if no one else shows up, that's absolutely fine! Do not feel at all obliged to come.

Following on from tomorrow, due to the stark advice given by the Prime Minister earlier this evening, the Chess Club will be suspended until further notice. If you like, use the time to do some chess studying or playing online and remember that the ECF has set up online groups at two of the popular online chess platforms - details here.

Club members will be kept up to date by email, and watch this space for more information as and when the situation changes. Best wishes and good health to all.

Tournament updates

Robin Williams still leads the way in our season-long Club Championship, and he'll take some catching! Paul Hurn is doing well on 64%, then Gareth Jones on 63%, and a large chasing pack in the 50s. See the latest table here.

The next local congress is at Fareham on Friday 29 Feb to Sunday 1 Mar. It's organised by Castle Chess and you can download an entry form from their website. The Dorset Rapidplay in Ringwood on Sunday 15 March has just reached capacity, but do get yourself on the reserve list if you're keen to play. More details are on the Dorset Chess website.

The English Chess Federation keep a calendar of tournaments - click here. And they've recently released the mid-season grades, which take into account results up to the end of December. Here's the grading database.

Happy new year...

...and may your chess in 2020 be strong! The Chess Club starts again on Tuesday 7th January, with the next round of Club Championship games and also our B team and A team facing each other in division 1 of the league.

We're around half-way through the season but newcomers are still very welcome. See the information to the right or just come along to a Tuesday session and have a game. We start playing at 7:30 but please aim for 7:00-7:15 so we can say hello and explain how the Club works.

Tournament update - December

Robin Williams continues to lead the Club Championship, with a very solid 4 wins and 1 draw - a 90% score. Gillian Moore leads the chasing pack, with a group of players a bit further back either side of 60%. See the latest table here

The Knockout Cup draw is up - click here. Please try to play your first round game by the end of January.

Tournament update

Our Club Championship is four games in, and the table is beginning to take shape. Nice going so far for Tomasz Wilamowski and Robin Williams who are both off to 100% starts - see the table here. Better luck soon to those who haven't got points yet, unless they're going for an ambitious Swiss Gambit strategy...

The draw for our club knockout tournament will be done soon, so make sure you've told Kevin that you'd like to take part. Send Kevin an email.

Finally, entries are still open for the Hampshire Chess Congress, which takes place on Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd November at the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham. More details are on the Hampshire Chess Association website.

Countdown to the 2019-20 Club Championship

This season's Club Championship begins on Tuesday 24th September! Come along at 7:00pm or so and we'll pair everyone up to play a game in the Club Championship. This runs throughout the season and you just have to play on 10 evenings to qualify for prizes - you aren't expected to play every Tuesday, though of course you're welcome to. We start the games at 7:30 but try to arrive well before then as the latest person to arrive will miss out if we have an odd number of players.

Annual General Meeting key decisions

Thanks to all who attended the Club AGM on 3rd September. Minutes are in the Club filesharing area (ask a Committee member for the link) and here is a summary of the decisions made:

Changes to the Quickplay Championship
All three of our quickplay tournaments will now be included in the Quickplay Championship, instead of just the September and May 10-second buzzer tournaments. People's percentage score at their best two tournaments will be added together to determine the Parsons Trophy winner. Because it's based on players' best two performances, you'll still have a chance of winning the Trophy even if you miss one of the tournaments. We also agreed to scrap the small entry fee and prize money for the quickplay tournaments

Club subscription fee
The Club subs for 2019-20 were set at £51, unchanged on last year. This is reduced by 1/3 for full-time students, under-18s, and people on some sickness / disability benefits. Please pay your subs to Paul Chinkin as soon as you can, and definitely before your 4th game in the Club Championship. All Club members also need to join the English Chess Federation, so they don't charge us for putting our games through their grading system. If you're intending to play in any weekend congresses this season then it's probably worth going for Silver membership, otherwise Bronze is fine - see the ECF website.

Almost time for the new season...

It's time to start thinking about chess again! The 2019-20 season is on the horizon, starting with the Club Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 3rd September. Here's the plan for the first few weeks, all starting at 7:30pm:

3rd Sep: Club AGM. All members from 2018-19 are welcome.

10th Sep: Friendly chess, with or without a clock - to ease us back in gently. Committee meeting to sort out the Club's teams for the new league season.

17th Sep: Lightning tournament - 7 or 8 very quick games in the evening.

24th Sep: The 2019-20 Club Championship starts again. Games will start at 7:30pm but arrive from 7:00 to make sure you get a game (if we have an odd number of players then the last person misses out).

Rapidplay 2019

The Rapidplay tournament is back this summer and will take place on Saturday 1st June at our usual venue, St Denys Community Centre. It's a 6-round tournament, with a time control of 25+5 (25 minutes per player, with an additional 5 seconds per move. This is much quicker than our normal competition time control but it still gives you time to think properly. We hope to see you there.

Get an entry form here or enter online

Club Knockout tournament

The final of our annual knockout tournament was a tense, interesting game which ended up being settled by an unfortunate mistake. Congratulations to Fraser McLeod, Southampton Chess Club 2018-19 Knockout champion! See below for the game, with comments by Gareth Jones, player of the White pieces and maker of that unfortunate mistake...

Welcome to the new year

The Club is back for the new year, with a good turn-out of players at our first two Tuesday evening sessions. This included a league match between our A and B teams, which are both in division 1 of our local league. It was a well-fought match, with the A team emerging victorious by a 4-1 score.

We've had some new faces, so a big welcome to them. If you're thinking of coming along and giving competitive chess a try in 2019 then we'd love to meet you! For more details about the Club and our various competitions, please click here.

Time for a break...

It's Christmas! The Club has finished for the year, with our traditional 5-minute tournament. Thanks to Dave Nelson for running the tournament, and after the normal chaos of blitz chess, with pieces being left en prise all over the place, congratulations are due to:

Gareth Jones - winner

Oliver Gill - second place

Tomasz Wilamowski - third place

Ryan Cheung - under-125 grading prize

Our next session is on Tuesday 8th January so we hope to see you then for the continuation of our season-long Club Championship. The current standings are here

Annual subs and ECF membership

Our venue hire increased from £30 per session to £36 in April 2018, so we have had to increase our annual subs accordingly. The annual subscription fee for 2018-19 is £51, with a 1/3 discount for full-time students.

Please pay your subs (in cash or by cheque payable to Southampton Chess Club) to the Club treasurer, Paul Chinkin. You must pay your subs before you play your fourth game at the Club, but this still gives you until 16 October at the earliest!

You will also need to join the English Chess Federation before playing your fourth game, so the ECF don't charge us for running your games through their grading system. The ECF website has details of membership benefits and the 2018-19 fees. Bronze membership is fine for our Club tournaments and League games, but consider joining as a Silver (or higher) member if you intend to play in tournaments like the Hampshire Chess Congress.

Welcome back!

Southampton Chess Club is back for the 2018-19 season, and the season-long Club Championship is about to begin again! This is run every Tuesday (except on dates of quickplay events), although you're not obliged to play each week. Play 10 games over the whole season in order to qualify for prizes. These usually include three grading prizes, so there's plenty to play for even if your ECF grade isn't up there with the Club's strongest players.

We also have a knockout tournament that runs through the season, with the draw to be made on 16 October. All games are ECF graded. See the About page for details of our other competitions and tournaments.

Knockout Tournament

The draw for this season's knockout tournament has been made!

See the activities page to find out who you are playing.

Club Championship

The current standings in the club championship are available on the Activities Page. The club championship table and the knockout cup results will be updated regularly.

Information for Visitors

Southampton Chess Club was founded in 1883 and is the largest chess club in the Southampton area, and is pleased to welcome visitors and newcomers of all abilities.

The club meets on Tuesday evenings, 7.00-10.30 p.m., September to May inclusive (except between Christmas and New Year), at the St. Denys Community Centre (next to the Junction Inn), Priory Road, St. Denys, Southampton, SO17 2JZ.

Future League and Cup matches, along with details of meetings and other events are available on the Club Calendar

For more information, please see the "About the Club" page, email Club secretary Kevin Sawers or call Paul on 023 8043 2490.