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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
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Seniors news page

Registration will close on 25 June for the European Individual Senior Championships (3-13 August) in Drammen, Norway. Regulations can be seen here in PDF. This should be a good (but rather expensive) event. Top seeds in the Open events so far are GMs Simen Agdestein (50+) and Leif Ogaard (65+), both from Norway.

The 6th World Senior Team Championships to be held at Radebeul, near Dresden, starting on 7 July. This will be the largest event of its kind so far with nearly 600 players in 130 teams from 27 countries on four continents.

70 teams are now listed for the 50+ tournament (including five all-female squads competing for separate prizes) and 60 teams are in the 65+ event. It is possible a few late entries may be accepted.

England had announced their strongest ever team in an attempt to win the 50+ competition for the first time. However, Grandmaster Nigel Short's going on the campaign trail for his recently announced candidacy for the FIDE Presidency has weakened the team. Also John Nunn has dropped out although his wife is still playing for England Women.

Short and Nunn have been replaced by GMs Jim Plaskett (who did very well on top board for England II on the last two occasions) and Keith Arkell, a former European Senior Champion, so England still has a strong team with chances to fight for medals. In 2016 Plaskett beat Armenian top board Rafael Vaganian in this event.

The revised line-up (Speelman, Emms, Plaskett, Hebden, and Arkell) was announced on the English Chess Forum on 5 June but is not yet shown on the official event website. That gives them a rating average of 2465 which will make them sixth seeds. There is then a rating gap of 105 points to the seventh seeded team so effectively the medals will be conteste dby the top six.

The new top seeds are defending champions, St. Petersburg (former FIDE World Champion Alexander Khalifman, S. Ivanov, S. Ionov, V. Loginov) followed by the USA (Shabalov, Benjamin, Ehlvest, Yermolinsky, and Kudrin). Germany (top board: GM Uwe Bonsch) are the third highest rated team. Fourth seeds are Lasker Schachstiftung (with Yusupov on second board!) and Armenia are fifth seeds.

Russia (led by Sveshnikov and Balashov) are top seeds in the 65+, ahead of France. Several other eminent grandmasters are playing on various teams, including Vaganian (in the 50+) and Hort (in the 65+). Nine English teams are entered.

The Irish teams are announced here. There are also teams from Scotland and Wales in each event.

Grandmaster Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) died on May 10th at the age of 85. It had only recently been announced that he was to play board 3 on the Russian team in the forthcoming Senior Team Championships. See his photograph on our seniors introduction page.

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. As in the Irish Seniors held last January, the upcoming 26th Sachsen-Anhalt Senior Open (limited to 60 competitors) will have separate prizes for 50+ and 65+ though all play in the one event.

About 190 players of both sexes competed in the 14th Hessische Senior Individual Championship at Bad Sooden-Allendorf, which ended yesterday in a convincing victory for FM Hans-Werner Ackermann of Dortmund who scored 8/9, a whole point clear of three players on 7 points.

ACO (not a FIDE recognised body) is organising a senior congress in Crete for October: see our calendar page for details.

NOTE: This could be a good holiday but is NOT a FIDE recognised event and FIDE will not rate it. Any "titles" won are not generally recognised.

Alternatively you might like a trip to Denmark in October? Thanks to IM Bent Sorensen, we have now added full details of the Larsen Memorial 50+ tournament to our calendar page.

The European Senior Team Championships were played in Walbrzych, Poland, during April. Italy (led by GM Godena) are the 50+ Champions, winning all 9 matches. They finished ahead of Russia Women (8 wins out of 9) and Belgium. England finished 8th and Scotland 10th out of the 12 teams competing.

Russia (led by GM Balashov) won the 65+ title, also winning every match. Germany finished second (7 wins) ahead of Sweden-1, who took third place with five matches won and two drawn. Finland-1 were fourth and Scotland fifth.

Outline dates and arrangements have also now been made about some of next year's FIDE Seniors events. See our calendar page.

You can still read our Report, with photographs and games, about the 2017 FIDE Seniors World Championships in Italy. Congratulations to the Champions: Tamar Khmiadashvili (Women 65+), Elvira Berend (Women 50+), Evgeny Sveshnikov (Open 65+), and Julio Granda Zuniga (Open 50+).

Other Seniors Chess News

Moves are afoot to establish a FIDE Seniors Commission to improve conditions for 50+ and 65+ players in future FIDE competitions. Now a new website is being developed for this purpose; please read the statement there by former European Senior Champion, IM Jan Rooze.

Your editor, Tim Harding, was successful in the inaugural Irish 50+ and 65+ Championship tournament played from 3-7 January in Dublin. He finished joint third overall and won the 65+ title and prize with a score of 5/7. Both age groups played in the same 7-round FIDE-rated tournament.

The idea was well supported with almost 40 players over a wide range of ages; the oldest competitor was born in 1939.

The Irish Chess Union intends to repeat it next year. In the meantime it has announced tournaments for Seniors and semi-Seniors (40+) in two rating groups at Easter.

Bob Jones told us that his annual Royal Beacon Seniors tournaments were held earlier in November 2017 at Exmouth, Devon, England. Congratulations to the winners. First prize was won by Ivan Myall (Chelmsford), with 4.5/5. Joint second on 4/5 were Stephen Berry (Wimbledon), Mike Wiltshire (Dartford) and Bill Ingham (Teignmouth). The "Junior Seniors" was won by Steve Dilleigh (Horfield) with 4/5. Joint second on 3.5 were Alan Brown (Northampton), Mike Waddington (Dorchester) and Jonathan Wells (Norwich). Several players in both sections won prizes in the various rating categories.

The same venue has already been booked for this year's tournament which will be held from 5-9 November. (See the calendar page for contact details.)

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


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