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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
  Dr. Tim Harding   J. H. Blackburne     William Steinitz Correspondence Chess history book   Captain W. D. Evans

British Seniors will be online again

The persistence of the Covid-19 pandemic has put many senior events for 2021 in doubt although the increased availability of vaccines has raised some hopes.

The city of Magdeburg in the Sachsen-Anhalt region of Germany will host a series of recently-announced events during July, including a Senior Open.

The Bad Neuenahr tournament in late May is now the earliest Senior event that may yet go ahead and a long list of entrants can be seen online. Unfortunately postponement, or restriction to German residents only, seems likely to us.

Early in March, English Chess Federation announced that they will not hold British Championships over the board in the summer, and the congress in Torquay (originally scheduled for 2020) is postponed a second time to 2022. Instead they will hold online championships like last December/January which will presumably include 50+ and 65+ tournaments.

As our Seniors news page announces, the World Senior Team Championships will not be held until next year but it is still hoped that the FIDE Senior individual championships can go ahead in Italy. An announcement is expected by the first week in June.

The high rate of infections in the Czech Republic has caused the postponed Marienbad festival (at Marianske Lazne in April) to be definitely cancelled, as was also the annual festival in Bad Wörishofen (both including senior tournaments). These events will probably not be held again until, respectively, January and March 2022.

Nevertheless, the Amateur Chess Organisation plans to revive its events this year. Note that they are NOT rated by FIDE although they use FIDE (or national) ratings to determine which tournament entrants compete in. The "titles" they award are not recognised by anyone except themselves.

ACO's postponed 2020 "Senior World Championships" (for players 50+) will be held at the 5-star Fodele Beach Resort, Crete, from 11-20 May, alongside their "World Amateur" championships. Today (31 March) is the last date for early booking discounts.

ACO's 2021 tournaments will be played at the same venue from 1-10 October, which was also the venue for their 2019 senior festival.

GM Vlastimil Hort will be guest of honour at both festivals. ACO events are essentially a holiday but they are popular with regular visitors. See below for details.

Two small German senior tournaments that had been planned for March had to be postponed to November, although optimists in Germany and elsewhere are still planning some attractive tournaments for the second half of this year. The continued high level of infections and the confused slow roll-out of vaccines in Europe makes planning difficult for organisers.

See also our Seniors news page.

For tournaments run on FIDE Senior rules, you do not have to wait for your birthday; you are qualified from 1 January in the year in which you reach the qualifying age. The qualifying dates for the two FIDE age groups this year are 31 December 1955 (for 65+) and 31 December 1970 (for 50+). For next year's events the qualifying years become 1956 and 1971.

The German Senior tournaments calendar was redesigned and updated during 2020. We are in contact with Wolfgang Block who organises it. In our calendar we include only those tournaments which are described as Open, and not events restricted to German players.

We are still hoping that the midsummer festival at Bad Neuenahr, which includes a 75+ tournament, but we no longer expect to be able to play in it. Maybe next year.

If you know of further tournaments, or cancellations, please inform us and we shall include them.

An asterisk in the list below indicates new or recently changed information.


Tournaments in 2021 (liable to change/cancellation):