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Israel and Czechs win European Senior Team Championships

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


A few senior tournaments have now been announced for 2022. Ave-Kontakt, the Czech Tour organisers, just released their winter programme which includes the return of Marienbad in January, with a senior tournament as part of the programme as usual.

This follows the announcement, a few days ago, of the return of the popular Bad Wörishofen festival in Bavaria. That includes a 60+ seniors event and will be played in March 2022. See our calendar page for links to both these congresses.

Israel won a hotly-contested 65+ tournament in the European Senior Team Championships which ended in Prague in early September. This event was not played in 2020.

The Israeli team, headed by GM Yehuda Greenfeld, won eight matches and drew one. The runners-up were the top seeds Lasker Schachstiftung from Germany (led by GM Rainer Knaak), who also won eight matches but were defeated by the new champions. Also on 12 match points were a strong Czech club team led by GM Vlastimil Jansa.

Third place went on tie-break to France (led by GM Anatoly Vaisser), which was the only team to hold Israel to a 2-2 draw. In total there were 21 teams in this tournament.

The 50+ Championship was a round-robin between just 10 teams: Czech Republic (the eventual winners), Germany Women, Slovakia (the runners-up), and seven Czech club teams. Here are links to the official website and the results.

The German Senior Teams Championships, which were played at the same time as the Prague event, also finished recently in Ingolstadt. Sachsen-Anhalt are the 50+ champions (8 teams competed) while the Berlin team won the 65+ tournament in which 20 teams competed. For more information please see the tournament website (in German).

The death was announced last month of 2017 Senior World Champion GM Evgeny Sveshnikov. You can find our obituary notice on a separate page.

Some seniors tournaments are scheduled for the next few weeks, as our calendar page shows. The Irish 50+/65+ Championship will be next and the British (two separate tournaments) will be played in October.

Since our last report, entries have more or less been finalised for the European Senior individual championships at Budoni in Sardinia; it will be on a smaller scale than in 2019. This event was not played in 2020. For a link to the official website, see our calendar page.

The chess-results listings for the championships, when last updated today, 7 September, show 33 players in the 50+ (including four women) and 28 in the 65+ (including one female player). GM Keith Arkell, who had been listed earlier (though he is only 60 years old), is no longer going because (as he has confirmed on the English Chess Forum) he will be competing in the British OTB Championships in Hull. Keith recently won the 2021 British Online Championship, is listed for the 65+ tournament.

Currently GM Klaus Bischoff from Germany is top seed for the 50+ and IM Nathan Birnboim (who was board 2 on the Israeli team in Prague) is currently the highest rated entrant for the 65+. Terry Chapman (ENG) and Kevin James (IRL) have entered the 65+ championship. The field for the 50+ includes WIM Ingrid Lauterbach (ENG), Andrew Burnett & Ian Aird (SCO), Peter Cafolla & Gabriel Mirza (IRL), and Mark Adams & Anthony Hughes (WLS).

Unfortunately the senior congress in Bad Neuenahr, Germany, which had been rescheduled from May to October, has been cancelled due to the catastrophic flooding in the Ahrweiler region which claimed over 100 lives there last month. Our sympathies go out to those affected. We spent a week in that town in 1996 when the ICCF Congress was held there. More than 200 players had entered the three tournaments.

The World Individual Senior Championships scheduled for Assisi, Italy, are postponed once more, which is hardly surprising. The FIDE calendar, updated at last. now shows that event will be held there in November 2022.

Firm dates have now been announced for the World Senior Team Championships to be held in Acqui Terme, Italy, on 5-16 May 2022. Both these events will probably be organised by Arcoworldchess, although their own website does not show the changes yet and is still saying Assisi in 2021.

The European Chess Union now has to make decisions about its 2022 events but possibly will wait some months before doing so. Poland has now twice been awarded them but had to postpone because of the pandemic. Will they try again in 2022 or maybe Germany will host at least one of these championships?

The Amateur Chess Organisation's postponed "2020" festival was successfully played in Crete this summer (11-20 June) and will be followed by their 2021 events in October. 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.

Englishman Tim Spanton played in Crete and you can read about his experiences and see some of his games on his blog.



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