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Krakow confirmed as venue for 2024 team event

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

We note today that the FIDE Calendar for 2024 now confirms Krakow, Poland, as the venue for next year's World Senior Team Championships, but without any dates as yet mentioned.

We think early July is probable (see below). The venue for the individual championships has yet to be announced officially.

Meanwhile, we have finalised our separate page for our reports on the World Senior Team Championships which ended on Thursday at Struga in North Macedonia.

The Spanish Senior Championships (50+ and 65+) started yesterday. Round 2 is being played today and some games will be broadcast live.

We note from the chess-results website that the Russian senior championships (including rapid and blitz) will be held in two categories starting today in St Petersburg (men) and Pushkin (women). Galina Dvorkovich is named as the organiser. We believe she is the mother of the FIDE President. Whether it will be possible to follow the games remains to be seen.

The Amateur Chess Organisation (ACO) are holding their 50+ tournament again in Crete starting tomorrow, 2 October. There are several sections arranged by rating bands. ACO also has announced the dates for its 2024 65+ tournament, which it calls the "Super Seniors". More details are available on the organisers' website.

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. 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 extended closing date for the FIDE individual senior world championships has now passed. These tournaments will be played over 11 rounds at Terrasini, Sicily, starting on the 25th of October. Possibly later entries may be accepted but at a higher fee.

English GMs Michael Adams and John Nunn, who were both playing in Struga, head the seedings for the 50+ and 65+ championships respectively. Nunn will be defending the title he won last year in Assisi but this will be the first time Adams, yet again the real British Champion, has contested the senior individual championship.

Their chess-results page does not separate the age categories yet but it will probably be updated soon now that the October FIDE ratings become available. There are 271 names on the list, including 35 women headed by chess legend GM Nona Gaprindashvili. The highest-rated woman in the 50+ category is IM Masha Klinova of Israel.

Possibly the women will have to compete in the open sections again because FIDE now has a rule that at least three continents must be represneted in a World championship event and we don't see any women entered from the Americas or Africa.

After Adams, other notable entries for the 50+ include GMs Hannes Stefansson, Maxim Dlugy and defending champion Zurab Sturua who will be eligible for the 65+ next year.

In the 65+, the highest rated entries after Nunn are GMs Lubomir Ftacnik, Rainer Knaak and Yuri Balashov (who is no longer the only male Russian to enter).

FIDE announced provisional decisions during August about the venues for its two World Senior Championships for 2024. These were made at the August FIDE Council meeting and published in the FIDE website recently, but these awards still remain to be confirmed. To quote:

CM2-2023/20 To award World Senior Team Chess Championships 2024 to Krakow, Poland, subject to the successful inspection.

CM2-2023/21 To award World Senior Chess Championships 2024 to Constanta (Mamaia), Romania, subject to the successful inspection.

Bearing in mind what happened with the provisional award of the 2023 individual championships to Buenos Aires, nobody should be booking flights to Romania or making firm plans until these arrangements are confirmed. (The Argentinians either failed their inspection or withdrew.)

As mentioned above, Krakow has just been confirmed but the exact dates will be decided by the organisers. The suggested dates in their bid were 1-12 July.

If we go by what was said in the bid documents published earlier on the Events Commission website, the Romanian bid was the only one to host the individual world seniors, so that event is likely to be at Constanta, on the Black Sea, from 5-15 September. Those dates suggest this would be only a 9-round tournament instead of the usual 11. (See below on the revised regulations.)

Krakow is an attractive venue for the team competitions and we hope to go if Irish teams are arranged (by somebody else). The proposed venue and main accommodation is the 4-star Galaxy Hotel. Whether there will be a rest/excursion day in mid-rournament as was the case this year remains to be seen.

Huge prizes in US Senior Championship

The 10-man round-robin United States Senior Championship, held at Saint-Louis from 16-24 July, was won by GM Melikset Khachiyan with a round to spare while GM Alex Shabalov finished second.

Khachiyan (who did not play on the winning American team in Struga) won $20,000 and the players who finished in the tie for 8th-10th each won $3333. This should be compared with the 1,500 Euro first prize in the two FIDE World Senior championships.

It remains disappointing to us that the Americans only have a 50+ championship, or if they do hold a 65+ event it is of lower prestige and held elsewhere. We are also not sure how they decide who qualifies for the lucrative Senior event; is it done on rating?

Maybe these are matters for the US Chess Federation and sponsor Rex Sinquefield to consider for 2024.

Other News

We have removed old results from this page now. Our final report on the European Senior Team Championships (July) is on a separate page.

In March FIDE issued new regulations concerning the World Senior Championships. These can be found in section D/04/03 of the FIDE Handbook. One detail we noted is that the championship could be reduced from 11 rounds to 9 rounds although that is not happening this year, fortunately. Other changes concern offering choices of hotels and meal plans, evidently in response to criticisms of last year's arrangements in Assisi.

The new regulations also state that "the organizer of the competition should ensure representation of all continents and at least 20 (?) players in each of the categories." There was criticism last year of FIDE's late decision not to hold separate tournaments for female players, which was apparently because not all continents would have been represented.


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