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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
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FIDE announce 2025 championships

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

 

The FIDE Events Commission has been much quicker to make up its mind about where its two 2025 senior championships will be held. Perhaps this is because for each event they received only one bid, but at attractive venues (Prague and south-east Italy) from organisers with a proven track record.

The dates are noted in our calendar but of course the full confirmed details will not be known until much later. For more comment see below.

We have again updated our preview page for the 2024 World Senior Team Championships (to be played at Krakow next month). Two more teams have entered (from Kazakhstan) so it looks, thankfully, as if byes can be avoided. Links to the provisional entry lists can be seen there.

The announcement of FIDE's 2025 venues and dates follows their somewhat controversial late decision to award this year's World Senior Individual Championships to Portugal. The venue is a remote island resort to which it is at present impossible to book direct flights.

The 2024 World Senior individual championships are to be held from 16-29 November at the Vila Baleira Hotel on the island of Porto Santo, which is situated in the Madeira archipelago, an autonomous region of Portugal west of Morocco and north of the Canary islands.

Porto Santo is about 42 sq. km. in size with some beautiful beaches and a hilly interior. The climate should be warm and the venue looks very attractive. but this is the first time we have seen an important event of this kind announced when it was virtually impossible to make travel arrangements because airline schedules were yet to be finalised.

You can book flights to Funchal airport on the main Madeira island but the local connection cannot be booked yet. So we cannot advise anybody to enter until this situation is resolved.

We have, though, received several emails from Paulo Rocha of the Portuguese Chess Federation assuring us that all will be all right in the end. He says that direct flights will be available from Lisbon (and Billund in Denmark) in addition to the twice-daily flights between Funchal (Madeira) and Porto Santo which are guaranteed by a contract with the Portuguese government, in addition to which there are ferries between Funchal and Porto Santo.

Unlike last year's event in Sicily, for which an out of season resort was partially reopened for the tournaments, he says that is not the case here.

The main information file (regulations in PDF), including the schedule, prizes, accommodation and other essential facts, can now be downloaded from our calendar page. There is already an official website for the championships and the FIDE News announcement page includes a press release and short invitation letter.

Players will not be allowed to bring personal pens or watches or any kind of electronic devices to the playing hall, except for medical devices approved by the chief arbiter. We shall be interested to see whether similar anti-cheating regulations apply at the upcoming World Senior Team Championships.

So far as the 2025 championships are concerned, we already reported on the bids which appear to have been accepted. The one for the team championships comes from Jan Mazuch's well-established company that runs the Czech Tour events annually. They propose to hold these tournaments at the Olympik Hotel in Prague from 16-27 February, just prior to their usual Prague international festival.

That is earlier in the year than usual but the event should be popular, especially with the continental teams that can easily go to Prague by road or rail. Of course we know from past experience that there can sometimes be a change of date or hotel but we judge that this is probably quite a firm decision.

The bid to host the 2025 individual championships is from Arcoworldchess, who ran the 2022 world championships in Assisi. These are not our favourite organisers but at least Gallipoli in Apulia is a new seaside venue and should be quite warm.

The English Senior Championships concluded in late May with victories for IM Paul Littlewood (65+) and GM Peter Wells (50+) without any tie-breaks being required. Here is a link to the full results.

The English Chess Federation also organises the various 2024 British Championship tournaments which will be played in Hull from 24 July to 4 August. These are open to a much wider group of players. Scottish, Welsh and Irish players and long-term UK residents with other FIDE national registrations can enter championship events while anyone can play the Major Open.

According to the provisional schedule, the 7-round senior championships (50+ and 65+) will begin on Monday 29 July. As last year, the first six rounds will be played in the afternoon with a morning start for the final round. There is no PDF to download but full details can be found on the ECF website.

Online entries are now open and a list of early entrants (to 10 June) can now be found there. GM Keith Arkell heads the 23 so far entered for the 50+ and Terry Chapman is currently top of the 33 for the 65+. Eventually there will probably be 25-40 players in each event, judging by the size of the fields last year.

The European Senior Team Championships, held in Slovenia earlier in May, finished in English victories though it was very close in the 50+. Please visit our separate pages reporting on those tournaments.

The FIDE Council decided in April to distribute 15,000 Euro among six deserving seniors under its Veterans Support Program. The beneficiaries, profiled on the FIDE News, are: GMs Nona Gaprindashvili (Georgia), Yuri Balashov (Russia), Edvins Kengis (Latvia) and Anatoly Vaisser (France), WGM Marta Litinskaya (Ukraine), and International Arbiter David Sedgwick from England (who is recovering from a stroke suffered last year).

 

We have now removed some older items from this page to clear the way for summer 2024 news.

 

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

 

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