New chess season -welcome message from Chairperson

Dear Chess friends and clubmates

Welcome to our new chess season, which runs from 1 October 2020 to 30 June 2021.

This is a short note to update you from your chairperson. I want to tell you about things that are underway in your chess club and what you might expect in the next few weeks and months.

I cover

  • 1. Can we meet physically as a club?
  • 2. What are our online coaching and chess activities, for juniors and adults?
  • 3 Will we run a chess tournament and why?
  • 4 How can I Join the club?
  • 5 How can I help?

If you have any question, do feel free to email me at john.delaney.irl@gmail.com.

Hope you are all well

John

John Delaney FM

Blanchardstown Chess club Chairperson

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  1. Can we physically meet as a chess club?

No, and certainly not before January 2021 at the earliest.

Coolmine School, where we normally meet, has asked all of their evening and weekend activities to halt. We do wish them well in grappling with the challenges they face in getting the schools back up and running. Whilst there is a very slight chance we can return to Coolmine in the new year, for now we are homeless.

The following is decided by the club committee:

  • As you would expect, we will wait for guidance from Youth Organisations that it is safe to meet again as a club, and we will follow all government guidance
  • We see that we will not meet as a physical club until January 2021 at the earliest
  • We ask you (yes, you!) to let us know if you become aware of a premises we might use for our chess meetings when we do re-open
  • The club will limit itself to Online chess activities and coaching for now, with a possibility we might test running a chess activity (face-to-face) to test the ways of meeting face-to-face safely towards the end of the year (see 3.)

2. What are our online coaching and chess activities, for juniors and adults?

The club is lucky to have recruited the services of three top chess coaches, including a former Irish champion. To introduce them briefly, I would mention:

Andrew O’Brien: experienced chess fundamentals improvement coach

Graeme Walsh: experienced Irish chess coach, opening specialist and specialist in oddities linked to chess and quirky sidelines

John Delaney FM: former Irish champion and your club chairperson!

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October 2020

Overview:

For juniors: Starting on Saturday (3pm) 26 September, we hope to run 10 weekly coaching sessions, followed by a chess tournament for juniors. Andrew O’Brien will coach this group.

For adults: Starting on Monday (7.15pm) 12 October, we hope to run 10 weekly coaching sessions for adults, followed by a chess tournament open to the entire cub membership. Graeme Walshe will mentor and coach the adult group.

Notices to provide more details of activities will be shown on the website as time goes by, so it is important to check the website for any changes or adjustments..

We will use ZOOM (for coaching) and Lichess (for online tournaments) to deliver these our online activities.

You need to:

  • join the club to participate. The cost is small (€5).
  • install ZOOM on your laptop or phone or device
  • create a username on www.lichess.org

Information and help will be available via the Whatsapp groups and your questions can be answered promptly.

DescriptionDate & timeEventCoach / OrganiserTechnical notes
Coaching for juniorsSaturday – 3pm, on 26 SeptWeek 1 – Junior CoachingAndrewBy ZOOM – join the club & join Whatsapp group
Juniors chess Tournament4 pm, on 26 SeptLeinster Junior Chess – Grand PrixHenryOn Lichess – join the club & join Whatsapp group
Coaching for juniorsSaturday – 3pm, on 3 OctoberWeek 2 – Junior CoachingAndrewBy ZOOM
Juniors chess Tournament4 pm, on 3 OctoberLeinster Junior Chess – Grand PrixHenryOn Lichess
Coaching for juniorsSaturday – 3pm, on 10 OctWeek 3 – Junior CoachingAndrewBy ZOOM
Juniors chess Tournament4 pm, on 10 OctoberLeinster Junior Chess – Grand PrixHenryOn Lichess
Coaching for seniorsMonday – 7.15pm, on 12 OctoberWeek 1 – Adult CoachingGraemeBy ZOOM – join the club & join Whatsapp group
Open chess Tournament For all club members junior or seniors8 pm, on 12 OctoberCLUB CHALLENGEHenryOn Lichess
€30 first prize for top registered club member (see rules on website)
Coaching for juniorsSaturday – 3pm, on 17 OctWeek 5 – Junior CoachingAndrewBy ZOOM
Juniors chess Tournament4 pm, on 17 OctoberLeinster Junior Chess – Grand PrixHenryOn Lichess
Coaching for seniorsMonday – 7.15pm, on 19 OctoberWeek 2 – Adult CoachingGraemeBy ZOOM
Open chess Tournament For all club members junior or seniors8 pm, on 19 OctoberCLUB CHALENGEHenryOn Lichess
€30 first prize
Coaching for juniorsSaturday – 3pm, on 24 OctWeek 5 – Junior CoachingAndrewBy ZOOM
Juniors chess Tournament4 pm, on 24 OctoberLeinster Junior Chess – Grand PrixHenryOn Lichess
Coaching for seniorsMonday – 7.15pm, on 26 OctoberWeek 3 – Adult CoachingGraemeBy ZOOM
Open chess Tournament For all club members junior or seniors8 pm, on 26 OctoberCLUB CHALENGEHenryOn Lichess
€30 first prize

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3 Will we run a chess tournament in 2020 and why?

If Dublin reduces to Level 2, and it is otherwise safe and the club can locate sponsorship or funds and if we have enogh volunteers (i.e. quite a few dependencies) we will consider running a small face-to-face physical meeting tournament in November or December.

This would mainly be to test how we can make safe arrangements to deal with COVID restrictions as we play chess face-to-face; and in that way to think through how our club can restart when it is safe to do so.

If you are interested in helping to organising and design a safe event, please contact john.delaney,irl@gmail.com

Our first step will be to set up a discussion group to discuss ideas and simply see if it is safe and feasible and worth pursuing as an idea before the end of the year.

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4 How can I Join the club?

Annual Club Membership: please complete the form on the website

The Club committee has decided on a reduced fee is €5 to cover the period 1 October 2020 to 30 June 2021. Family membership is €7.

On this year’s membership form you will see we have also decided to invite donations from club members (e.g to cover costs of coaching) as you wish and can afford. Any sum, however small, will help us fund the club and be gratefully received.

Irish Chess Union membership: This year members are responsible to join the Irish Chess Union themselves i.e. the club will no longer organise and pay for this out of club subs. It is highly recommended that you join the ICU. This is required if participating in any rated over-the-board club events. See www.icu.ie

5 How can I help?

As your chairperson, I will put it simply: please help the club to stay in existence.

Your ideas and energy are essential to keep our volunteering spirit alive; and to run our activities in these difficult times. We do need people to volunteer to organise both online activities and to help administer the club (i.e. join the committee, which is currently too small).

If you are interested and can help in any way, please let us know in the various whatsapp groups or email me at john.delaney.irl@gmail.com.

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