The Marienbad International Chess Festival at Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic, starts today and according to the chess-results server, there are 55 entries for the Senior tournament.
The highest-rated player is an IM (FIDE 2180). We shall keep an eye on developments. As usual (except for 2021 when the congress was cancelled) there are several other tournamnets being played including GM norm, IM norm, rapid and blitz over the nine days of the festival, which is organised by Ave-Contakt's Czech Tour.
Meanwhile, the picture about this year's European and World FIDE senior events has clarified somewhat in recent days with two announcements.
Marienbad will be followed in March by the return of the popular Bad Wörishofen festival in Bavaria. This includes a 60+ seniors event but it is too late to enter because numbers are restricted by social distancing regulations and the waiting list is full.
Instead, readers looking for a chess holiday on the continent of Europe should consider the Bodensee Open in the very attractive location of Bregenz, Austria, on the shores of Lake Constance is returning. This will be held in late May with a 7-round Senior tournament alongside. See our calendar page for links to regulations for this congress.
FIDE has postponed the World Senior Team Championships from May to new dates in June; the venue remains the same. Following enquiries made by the English Chess Federation to the organiser, Cristina Pernici Rigo of arcoworldchess, IM David Levy was informed that the new dates are 16-27 June. "I think in one week it will be official on fide website with all informations," Ms Rigo wrote to Levy.
Meanwhile, the calendar on the website of the European Chess Union is now saying that the Senior Individual Championships will be held in Poland in July (no place named yet), and the European Senior Teams will be in Dresden, Germany, in August, but there are no definite dates yet.
Unusual age rules pertained to the Bremen Senior Open (Carl Carls Memorial) which was played recently in northern Germany (3-11 January). This event was open to men aged 58 or older (by the end of 2022), or women aged 53 or older, and was restricted to 40 competitors. Also unusually, this was a 7-round tournament with no games last weekend (8 and 9 January). The fascinating German announcement (PDF) included a picture and biography of the local master Carls who was one of the pioneers of the Bremer Partie (a form of the English Opening) in the early 20th century.
100 players, nearly all German, contested the last major senior tournament of 2021, the 21st Open Senior Championship of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, held between 1st and 9th December at Binz (a resort on the Baltic island of Rügen). The field was of very mixed strength as is often the case with senior opens.
In a close finish, 70-year-old IM Joachim Brüggemann from Erfurt was placed first on tiebreak with 7/5/9 ahead of 67-year-old FM Michael Schulz, with 65-year-old GM Thomas Pähtz (father of WGM Elisabeth Pähtz) third on 7/9.
Four contestants scored six and a half points, including the top placed female player, WIM Annett Wagner-Michel. More information in German can be found at the organisers' website.
Firm dates for the British Senior Championships can be found in our calendar; the two age groups will be played in successive weeks for the first time. The English Chess Federation is also planning English Senior Championships (both 50+ and 65+) in early May and a firm announcement is likely to be made in the next week or two.
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 plan to hold a 65+ "Super Senior" as well as their usual 50+ Seniors (at a different venue later in the year) and the regulations for those events can now be found on our calendar page. ACO also plan a fairly informal senior team tournament. See our calendar page for links to information.
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 Irish Seniors Championship was held in late September with the 50+ and 65+ age groups in one five-round tournament. Gerry O'Connell won the event and becomes the new 50+ champion. There was a 3-way tie for the 65+ prizes, Tim Harding regaining the title on tiebreak. See our Irish news page for more details.
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.
Firm dates were announced last year for the World Senior Team Championships to be held in Acqui Terme, Italy, on 5-16 May 2022. If it happens, this will probably be organised by Arcoworldchess but there is no information from them or FIDE yet about arrangements, accommodation, entry fees etc. We are sceptical this event will actually happen.
If you have Seniors chess news you would like posted here, or announcements of future events, please email Tim Harding.
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