County team activity for 2020-21 gets under way with SCCU competition with two eight board sections, with teams of average rating not exceeding 2050 and 1675. The ECF Online County Championships return in the New Year.
The 2050 section, however, attracted only two entries, by Essex and Surrey, who will play a double round on 28 November and 16 January.
The 1675 section takes the form of a five match all-play-all with teams from Berkshire, Essex (two teams), Kent and Surrey. Matches fall on 28 November, 5 December, and 9, 16 & 23 January.
The three Essex teams are each named after former Essex County team captains, Roy Heppinstall, Jim Pascoe and John Philpott.
In January there may be a competition for lower-rated players once the player registrations have settled down and captains have a better feel for their average rating teams.
On each of the five Saturdays there is in addition the County Challenge where those players who are not selected but would nonetheless like to play a slower ECF online standard rated game can do so under match conditions.
The intent is that everyone who wishes to play slower online chess on a Saturday afternoon can do so, whilst maintaining the tension of team battles. Using average team rating for the sections should give captains plenty of flexibility within their squads across all the team competitions.