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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
  Dr. Tim Harding   J. H. Blackburne     Paul Morphy   Correspondence Chess history book   Captain W. D. Evans

New book by former Senior World Champion Okhotnik

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


All FIDE senior events are organised in two age categories, based on your age at 31 December in the year concerned.

For tournaments in 2021 the qualifying dates for the two FIDE age groups have been 31 December 1971 (for the 50+ Open and Women's tournaments) and 31 December 1956 for the 65+ championships.

If you were born in the year 1972 you will be eligible to play 50+ senior tournaments for the first time from 1 January 2022. If you were born in 1957 you will become eligible for 65+ tournaments once the new year begins.

Some senior tournaments (especially in Austria and Germany) are still run on the 60+ age group rule (sometimes 45+ and 55+ for women).

Vladimir Okhotnik of France (originally from the Ukraine) has written a memoir entitled It Is Never Too Late To Become a Grandmaster, which is published in Belgium by Thinkers Publishing and you can find an extract on their website. Okhotnik has twice won the World Senior Championship.

The British Senior Championships were played last week at Milton Keynes and a small number of senior events are still scheduled on the continent for the last quarter of 2021. Then Marienbad, in January, and Bad Wörishofen, are due to return next March. See our news and calendar pages for details.

Now that (we hope) the Delta variant has passed its peak at least in Europe, there are increasing hopes for chess in the second half of this year, especially as seniors have been vaccinated early in most countries.

The introduction of the new European "green certificate" means that more international participation may be possible. However, some risk of cancellation or postponement still remains and many organisers are still waiting on events or changed national regulations.

Please see our senior news and calendar pages for the latest on European Chess Union senior events which now seem certain to go ahead after all. The European individual championships are now in progress in Sardinia, Italy. However the FIDE World Senior championships will NOT be held in 2021.

We are watching the situation closely but, despite having received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine (but now awaiting a booster shot), we do not expect to be playing any chess on the continent until the summer of 2022.


Please see our Seniors news and Seniors calendar pages for updates.