Charity fund-raising online chess tournament on Saturdays 2pm.
While social distancing is making over the board chess difficult to arrange a national chess initiative is being set up by keen chess player Jon Hill and his brother and coordinated by Joanne Ferry which it is hoped will raise £10000 for the NHS.
They will be hosting weekly tournaments every Saturday at 2pm on chess.com and are encouraging those who take part to donate to their Just Giving page ahead of playing.
They are encouraging everyone to donate as much or as little as they can, even £1 to join in, and won’t be checking each players donation as they understand money is an issue for many at this difficult time. They will trust that everyone who joins in will have given what they can, and will continue to encourage playing chess as a means to keep our players occupied and safe at home during lockdown.
Chess.com’s app is currently under construction and so they ask that players use a mobile browser or laptop to play so they don’t encounter any issues. The tournaments will be an Arena style with a time limit of 1 hour with 10 minutes blitz standard chess games. It should be great fun as everyone gets to play different players from around the world as many times as they want to, within the hour. Their points are calculated at the end and the winners are announced.
The top 3 winners will receive an online trophy next to their username on chess.com. Also, the top ten winners of every tournament will be published on their Facebook page.
The English Chess Federation grading database gives two types of Grades: your Standard grade and your Rapid-play grade. What are the differences between these types of game? And what are Blitz and Bullet games? We take a minute to look into the different types of chess game.
Standard and Rapid are just two of several types of chess game duration. There are also Blitz and Bullet. Time duration is usually defined as the amount of time each player gets to complete the game, and can be formed of a base set amount of time plus an option for extra time added with each move made – called an increment (such as 5 seconds per move and so on). Online you might see a time control described as a number followed by a + another number – for example 5+3: it will be the base amount of time in minutes + number in seconds for the increment: 5 minutes plus 3 seconds per move in this example (for a Blitz game).
Another type of time control can also be set on the time for each move.
Standard chess games are defined by the international Chess body FIDE as being chess games where each player’s thinking time is at least 60 minutes.
There are various ways Tournaments and Leagues determine their time-control: this could be one fixed time of say 90 minutes for all moves each, or to have a time-control for a certain number of moves followed by a fixed ‘quick play finish’ (QPF) to complete all remaining moves (example: 36 moves in an hour and 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes each QPF to complete all remaining moves). Another method is to have a fixed element plus increment: each player has a basic amount of time, but every move they make gains extra time on the clock, say 5 seconds a move; digital clocks are necessary for this.
For our League games (certainly in the lower Divisions) and our own tournaments we favour a fixed all-moves time control of 90 minutes each (i.e. without adding increments). The digital clocks count down, and analogue clocks, where used, are set at half-past four, flag falls (time’s up) at 6 o’clock. Whoever’s flag falls first loses the game – they’ve “lost on time”.
Rapid-play is defined as being a game where players’ thinking time is more than ten minutes but less than 60. Some tournaments now have games where the players have 25 minutes each to start with, with an increment of say 5 seconds a move: these games do not usually go beyond one hour in all.
Blitz is where all moves are played in 10 minutes or less each per player. If a game time is under 3 minutes, that is defined as Bullet.
Bullet games are under 3 minutes for each player. Playing this type online would avoid the inevitable knocking-over of pieces in a frantic live face-to-face game..
Golders Green FIDE Rapidplayhttp://goldersgreenchess.blogspot.com/ also have a time control of 25 minutes per player plus 5 seconds per move increment. Interestingly they seem to be running online tournaments whilst the Covid-19 Coronavirus health crisis continues, using Lichess.org as hosts (join team Chess-England).
Lichess.orgArenas (tournaments) for Blitz as well as other types – bullet, Rapid etc.
Chess.com online chess website: players can select the time limits for their games.
With the early end of the season, and no club nights due to the coronavirus crisis curtailing any new club activity, we take a look back over a previous highlight, when some of our club went to watch the London Chess Classic in 2012.
The London Chess Classic 2012 was held at the Olympia Conference Centre, Kensington, London, 1-10 December 2012. The world’s best players competed, but there were also tournaments for players of all strengths. The top players playing in the Classic were: Luke McShane, Hikaru Nakamura, Mickey Adams, Vladimir Kranmik, Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Judit Polgar, Levon Aronian, and Gawain Jones.
Three of us from the club went to spectate on 2nd December. We watched the world’s best players do battle on the stage in the main auditorium, and we listened to analysis in the analysis/media room. Guy is blind, but was able to follow some of the action using his Braille chess set.
And we met Viswanathan Anand and Luke McShane.
We met the chess stars Luke McShane and Vishy Anand as they emerged from their gruelling game in the second round of the Classic. Their match ended drawn. The time control for the top players playing in the Classic was: 2 hours for 40 moves, followed by 1 hour for 20 moves, followed by 15 minutes + 30 seconds per move for the rest of the game. They still seemed weary and drained from their game, but both were happy for their photos to be taken.
The two chess stars were good sports and only too happy to oblige with photos.
The Classic ran from Saturday 1st December 2012 through to Monday 10th. We visited on the second day – Round 2 games. There were 9 Rounds, one a day (but note how long the games could last), with one rest day.
The winner was Magnus Carlsen, who finished with a score of 18 points (the scoring system was 3 points for a win, one for a draw). Vishy Anand came 5th with 9 points, and Luke McShane was 8th, with 5 points.
Guy Whitehouse has since moved to Leicestershire. He plays for Wigston club, Leicestershire County, and is the Secretary of the Braille Chess Association. Don Creasey and Keven Lamb are members of the Chandlers Ford Chess Club.