Chess After Lockdown

Next week we’ll be able to meet again over the board, at least in small numbers, and it’s likely that most restrictions will be lifted next month. With any luck, league matches will be able to resume in the autumn. From what we now know about the Covid virus we’ll still have to take care in terms of ensuring indoor spaces are well ventilated, and some will prefer to wear masks indoors. We’ll see what happens.

There’s a lot for us – and for all chess clubs – to think about. Not just about what post-pandemic chess clubs should look like, but about the changing role of chess in a post-industrial society. Venues, collaborations with other clubs, community outreach, competitive chess, chess instruction, social chess, junior chess. I may post more about this over the next few months.

There are some immediate questions to answer, though. Our online tournaments have continued, but have not been all that well supported by our members. Not everyone is free every evening, and, while younger and higher rated players prefer faster time limits, older and lower rated players will only play at slower speeds. We’ve also been running teams in the Surrey Online League. Again, not many have taken part, but those who have done so seem to have enjoyed themselves.

Should we continue our arenas on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or should we aim to meet up in real life, over a pint of beer, a glass of wine or whatever drink you prefer? Or perhaps we should do both, on different evenings. Do let me know what you think.

Please email me at to let me know your views.