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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
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Senior tournament season really begins on the continent now

For more information about chess for over-50s, please see our Seniors calendar and our Seniors introduction page.

Two Senior tournaments in Europe launch the summer season this weekend. From 21-29 May the 32nd Bavarian Senior Open is being played at Bergen-Chiemgau. This is a 60+ tournament.

Then in Bregenz, Austria, on the shores of Lake Constance, the 6th Bodensee International Open also runs 21-29 May with a 7-round Seniors tournament commencing on Sunday.

Professionals dominated the 50+ English Seniors Championship, played in Warwickshire, which ended on 8 May. GM Mark Hebden comfortably won on 6.5/7, conceding only one draw to GM Keith Arkell who finished on 6. Three players tied for third on four and a half points.

The 65+ Championship was much closer and resulted in a three-way tie between Cliff Chandler, IM Paul Littlewood (a former British Champion) and Ian Snape, all on 5.5 points.

The total entry for the two sections was 54 players although a few did not stay the course.

Team information is starting to become available for the World Senior Team Championships which will be played in Italy between 19-30 June. The venue is the town of Acqui Terme in Piedmont.

Teams so far entered are listed on chess-results.com but not yet split between the two tournaments, 50+ and 65+. These championships were not held last year while the 2020 event (in Prague) was halted prematurely because of the Covid pandemic.

The USA, fielding four GMs headed by Grigory Kaidanov and one IM, with an average team rating over 2500, look as if they hope to retain the 50+ title which they won when these championships were last held. The top England team may be able to beat them as it has five GMs including Michael Adams and Nigel Short.

Past experience of these championships shows that they can be decided by two or three critical matches because the top teams massacre most of the rest and any slip-up (usually a drawn match against a lower-rated team) can make the difference between gold and bronze medals.

The first England 65+ team (headed by GM John Nunn and including two IMs) looks stronger than their second 50+ team. There are no entries from Russia or Belarus, who are barred from entering national squads, so it is hard to see another winner though more entries may come in. Latvia and England have entered women's teams.

Two sets of World Senior Individual Championships were previously organised in Acqui Terme (in 2015 and 2018). This town has now also been announced as the venue for the 2023 European Senior Individual Championships, which may disappoint many players who might like a change of scene.

The European Senior Individual Championships, which Poland was unable to host in both 2020 and 2021, will now go ahead in that country in July, the European Chess Union has announced. See our calendar page for a link.

The venue will be the city of Lublin, birthplace of Johannes Zukertort, one of the greatest players of the 19th century. There is a big chess boom in Poland at present because of the success of some of its players, especially Duda who won the last FIDE World Cup.

Two years ago these championships had to be cancelled because of the Covid pandemic while last year it was hurriedly moved to the Italian island of Sardinia. Poland also had to give up its right to hold the European Senior Team Championships in 2020, 2021 and 2022 but they are scheduled to stage that event next year.

Full details are also now available for the European Senior Team Championships which will be played in Dresden, German, starting in late October. Again, see our calendar for details.

Players aged 75 or older might like to consider the 7th Baden-Württemberg Open Senior Championships being held in July, because they are offering prizes for the top player or players from that age group competing in the 65+ section.

Dates for the British Senior Championships can also be found in our calendar; the two age groups will be played in successive weeks for the first time. Unlike the English Seniors (only for players with an ENG registration), the British events are also open to players from Ireland (north and south), Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and even to genuine long-term British residents who are not nationals.

To make room for new announcements, news of past events which have been on this page for some time are now removed.

This year the Amateur Chess Organisation (ACO) plans to expand its activities for senior players. ACO is a German-based commercial company. Note that their tournaments 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 events are essentially a holiday but they are popular with regular visitors.

ACO recently ran its inaugural 65+ "Super Senior" tournament and their usual 50+ Seniors will follow later in the year. They also plan a fairly informal senior team tournament. Regulations for those events can be found on our calendar page.

FIDE need to recognise that they are in competition with ACO for the large minority (or is it small majority?) of senior players who want a good holiday and not just a chess tournament. The team championships in Dresden directly clash with an ACO event.

 

The death was announced during August 2021 of the 2017 Senior World Champion, GM Evgeny Sveshnikov. You can find our obituary notice on a separate page.

 

If you have Seniors chess news you would like posted here, or announcements of future events, please email Tim Harding.

 

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