FIDE have announced significant extra prize money (30,000 Euro) for its Seniors tournaments, starting with the 2019 World Senior Individual Championships in Bucharest, although it is clearly aimed chiefly at professional and retired professional masters.
They have also set up a fund of 20,000 Euro to which senior players in straitened financial circumstances can apply for assistance. The details can be found on the FIDE website. Applications close on 15 May.
The USA successfully defended the 50+ title in the World Senior Team Championships recently held in Rhodes, Greece. Italy took the silver medals and Israel were third, while Russia Women were the top all-female team.
Russia won the 65+ tournament again with England taking silver on tiebreak from France. The English team consisted of IMs Robert Bellin and Nigel Povah, FM Tony Stebbings, Ian Snape and John M. Quinn.
This team event followed the European Senior Individual Championships at the same venue. The new 65+ Open Champion is GM Jens Kristiansen (Denmark) scoring 8/9, with GM Yuri Balashov (Russia) second on 7 points, while IM Nathan Birnboim (Israel) took bronze on tie-break with 6.5 points. England's Tony Stebbings (6/9) won sixth prize. In the separate 65+ Championship for women, WGM Elena Fatalibekova emerged victorious.
Zurab Sturua (Georgia) won the 50+ Open Championship on tiebreak from Milos Pavlovic (Serbia), both on 7.5 points. The bronze was won by Sergei Terentiev (Latvia) with 6.5. English GM Keith Arkell was fifth. Special mention should be made of the seventh prize-winner FM Terry Chapman (England) who was sole leader on 4/4 after beating GM Henrik Danielsen and then drew with Sturua, but had to play successive masters with Black in the critical rounds 6 and 7.
There were insufficient entries for a separate 50+ Women's Championship so the ladies played in the Open. The new champion, on tie-break, is WGM Tatiana Grabuzova (Russia) who scored 5.5 points. For full results and photographs see the report on the European Chess Union website.
Details have now been belatedly published for the European Senior Team Championships to be held at Mali Losinj, on an island in Croatia, in September. An innovation (for Seniors events) is that no draws will be permitted before Black's 30th move has been made.
Unfortunately it seems from our research into the travel options that the journey woulkd be too arduous for many older players. The venue is extremely inaccessible (at least from western Europe) and probably of doubtful suitability for a senior championship.
Please see our updated calendar for details of this and other future tournaments, including the FIDE World Senior Individual Championships in Bucharest, Romania, in November.
It was rumoured in Bled that FIDE may reduce the length of the world individual championships to nine rounds but nothing has officially been said about this and this year's event will be 11 rounds again, with a rest day after round five. Please keep an eye on this page and our calendar page for any changes.
The English Senior Championships were held in Solihull, Birmingham, from 4-7 April. Kevin Bowmer won the 65+ Championship with 5.5/6 in a field of 40 players and IM Paul Littlewood won the 50+ title with 5.5/6, a full point clear of the runner-up in a 24-player field.
The FIDE Congress has awarded the 2020 World Senior Individual Championships to Italy, to be played in Assisi at dates yet to be announced. This is a historic and attractive venue, which we understand greatly restored after devastating earthquakes in 1997. We are relieved not to be going back to Acqui Terme.
Information about senior tournaments in Germany can now be found at this German Chess Federation web page. Note that the age qualification rule for German Senior events is usually 60+ for men and 55+ for women, but they may be changing to the international age groups.
Other Seniors Chess News
Moves began in 2017 to establish a FIDE Seniors Commission to improve conditions for 50+ and 65+ players in future FIDE competitions. A website was developed for this purpose; please read the statement there by former European Senior Champion, IM Jan Rooze. So far as we awre aware there have been no recent developments.
If you have Seniors chess news you would like posted here, or announcements of future events, please email Tim Harding.
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