Clubs and Covid-19: Advice – Updated 1st October 2020

        As we all know, the situation due to Covid-19 in Wales is being constantly reviewed by the Welsh
        Government, with the guidance and rules changing almost on a weekly basis. We have seen in
        September that the predicted second wave is now happening. Consequently, there have been stricter
        regulations imposed across many counties. This fluctuating, unpredictable situation, makes it
        impossible for the WCU to construct any formal guidance on a return to OTB chess for the
        foreseeable future.

        The key message at present is (taken from Welsh Government website):

      “Keep Wales safe:

  • Always observe social distancing (also known as physical distancing) – stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from others, indoors and outdoors
  • wash your hands regularly
  • if you meet another household, outside your extended household, stay outdoors
  • work from home if you can
  • Meet in well ventilated rooms

          Stay at home if you, anyone you live with or anyone in your extended household has symptoms”.

          Since 14th September the following regulation is also in place

  • The general rule is that you cannot meet socially with people who aren’t in your extended household indoors. In addition, as of 14 September, meetings or gatherings indoors even within your extended household must be limited to 6 people (not including any children aged under 11). This applies in places like pubs and restaurants as well as in people’s homes.

          Our understanding is that the measures will be enforceable in law.

          It is the WCU’s view that the new measures are going to make it very difficult, if not impossible, for
         chess clubs, leagues, congresses and other bodies to organise over the board chess events for the
         following reasons in particular –

  1. Although there are some exceptions to the measures, none seem to cover the situation of chess clubs, leagues, congresses and other bodies
  2. Chess is not recognised as a sport within the UK, and so, it is the WCU’s view that chess clubs fall within the definition of ‘social gatherings’ rather than within the Welsh Government’s ‘Sport, Recreation and Leisure’ definition. After consulting with the officers of the Welsh Sports Association, they are of this opinion too.
  3. The Government measures make it clear that wherever you live in Wales you must be following those restrictions that are in place for your area at that time. These may differ from region to region.
  4. As stated above, WCU members must comply with Welsh Government regulations at all times.Actions:

    The WCU has asked all clubs / zones to appoint a Covid-19 Officer. Before reopening this person must complete an online Covid-19 awareness course offered by the Welsh Sports Association which is available until 31st December 2020. The WCU has bulked bought a number of places on this course. Anyone (one per club) requiring a link should contact the Home Director ( 

    In summary, the WCU’s stance at this time continues to be that any return to OTB chess will only happen after we have had clear instructions from the Welsh Government that it is safe to do so and what conditions need to be in place for the safe return of clubs and competition. The WCU will continue to monitor and take direction from the Welsh Government and update the advice as and when necessary.

    Given the nature of the Welsh Government regulations, because each club’s circumstances are different and also with differing local restrictions, this makes it impractical to formulate a National policy. However, the WCU will insist that any club reopening must operate within Welsh Government regulations in place at the time. 

    Registered clubs are covered by the WCU’s Insurance for Public Liability. As stated, any club considering reopening should wait for WCU approval. Not to meet within the guidelines would, in the opinion of the WCU, invalidate the insurance cover for that club.