A well-ventilated Wanstead House was a hive of activity on 14 August, with the County’s junior players at the forefront, welcoming the first ECF rated team matches in the county for some 17 months whilst our leagues engage in careful preparations for the new season as more of our county clubs open again.
Only three County Associations took up the opportunity for an early return to over-the-board matchplay in the ECF’s pre-season County Challenge competition for eight-board teams with an average team rating maxima of 1600 in the Minor and 2000 in the Major. While Essex U1600 played host to Hants U1600, an Essex scratch team took on local Club Wanstead & Woodford.
The Boaden Hall at Wanstead House also played host to an afternoon of junior chess aimed particularly at those new to over-the-board chess. Notwithstanding the August holiday season and just a week’s notice, 18 juniors elected for rated play (including those who had not played any tournament chess or over-the-board chess before).
A further helping of Festival Chess is planned for 4 September.
If you would like to get involved with the County’s back to real chess initiative and pre-season over-the-board matches contact Peter Nickals (email Peter direct if you have his email address, or use the ECA Officials Contact Form in the Directory dropdown above and select “U1850 Team Captain” as the official to contact). Our aim is to provide team chess opportunities for all as we encourage a return to over-the-board play and rated chess.