Chess Activities Online

Advice for Parents about online chess for their children

If parents are interested in allowing their children to play chess online there are lots of sites available, many of which are free to use.  However there are a number of features of which they should be aware with regard to Safeguarding.  Some of the sites offer games against a chess computer or engine; others offer games against other players.  If opting for the latter then make sure you supervise your child when they are online to ensure there is no inappropriate “chat” or choose a site that does not allow “chat”.  One such website is plenty of videos and puzzles plus games against the chess engine and against other players, but no “chat” facility.  The only communication a player can have with their opponent is to click on a selection of icons that say “Thanks” or “Good move”, for example.  The website is free to a certain level and then $50 (approx £35) for an annual subscription.  The WCU have no commercial arrangement with but parents should satisfy themselves of the Safeguarding features of this and any other website that they allow their child to access unsupervised.

FIDE is also planning some other activities, like weekly lectures. For those parents who are now in shelter-in-place with their kids and developing an improvised “homeschooling” program, FIDE will produce and distribute some basic chess-teaching materials. And FIDE will start a digital library on the FIDE website, giving access to all chess lovers to selective chess books, which authors are kindly granting permission to reproduce digitally.

2020 Chess Olympiad cancelled

FIDE have just issued a statement confirming the cancellation of the 2020 Olympiad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More details can be found here.

4NCL League Online

We’re hoping to set up a new 4NCL online chess league very soon (the next couple of weeks latest) – named, funnily enough, 4NCL Online.

4NCL Online will be based not only on existing 4NCL teams who are interested in participating, but also any new teams that wish to apply to join the league including existing OTB clubs across the four nations.

1. The format will be a (probably) regionally based group stage, after which the top teams from each group will qualify for a final stage.

2. Matches will be between teams of four players using (probably) a 45 mins/15 sec time control.

3. Matches will take place on weekday evenings at around (probably) fortnightly intervals.

4. The exact format will depend on numbers of teams entering.

5. There’s no entry fee, and (if funds permit) we’ll arrange some trophies for winning teams.

If you’re interested in entering a team/teams, could you contact Mike Truran ( ) as soon as you can so that we can get an idea of likely interest? Any thoughts on formats or other arrangements would be very welcome.

Mark Adams

Executive Director

William Davies Evans Correspondence Cup

The Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation and Welsh Chess Union are pleased to announce the William Davies Evans Correspondence Cup.

With the widespread disruption of Over the Board Chess events due to the Covid-19 Virus, we are partnering to organise a server-based Correspondence Chess Tournament.

The event will be held utilising the Silli Tournament system, where each player will play 8 simultaneous games against players drawn from a pool of all competitors.  

An example of this is:

Entry is open to members of either the WCCF or WCU, who are either resident in Wales or play under the Welsh Flag. In all cases players will be required to register on (which is both free and where the games will be played)

The tournament will be Engine Free (on an honour basis) and unrated and played at a rate of 3 days per move plus a 10 day buffer, otherwise played under ICCF Tournament rules.

To support this event a series on articles on how to play Engine-Free Correspondence Chess will be published on

Entries will be accepted until 28th March, with an expected start date of 29th March 2020.

The winner of the event will be awarded with a small trophy.

If you are interested in entering the event please contact Russell Sherwood, WCCF Treasurer at 


In view of the current situation it has been decided to postpone the Welsh Championships (10-13 April) and also the Welsh Rapidplay and Blitz Championships (24-25 April). All entry fees received for the Welsh Championship will be refunded in full over the next couple of weeks.

Following the postponement of the WCPL and Under 1850 League this weekend (21st March) the remainder of the season is suspended.

An announcement on any rescheduling will be made at a later date.
Kevin Staveley
Director of Home Chess


Chess Activities and COVID-19

Junior Events

Contrary to current Government advice on school activities, we have decided to cancel the impending Welsh Junior Championship. The conditions affecting our Junior events are rather different from those seen in individual schools. As well as bringing together juniors from different schools, the tournament also requires the services of our volunteers – some of whom would be in an “at risk” category. Others may have family members who may be at risk. In these circumstances we feel we cannot expose our volunteers to any risk, nor do we wish them to have to make a difficult decision between attending the event or staying at home. Accordingly, we have decided to cancel the Junior championship this season. 

Adult tournaments

Similar considerations apply to adult (especially senior) tournaments. For these there is the additional consideration we have to pay significant deposits in advance, and these may be lost if there were to be Government or other advice forcing us to cancel at a later stage. 

Accordingly, we are considering cancelling the South Wales International for this season, and have suspended the WCPL – this could be restarted at a later date if conditions are suitable. We will review other events shortly, including WCU participation in international tournaments.

League matches

We have also discussed the situation of our normal zone league programmes, where there are different concerns.  It is likely that the normal club venues will not all provide the increased washing and sanitisation facilities that may be required. In addition, it is clear that the average age of our membership population is increasing, to the extent that a significant proportion falls within the “at risk” category. This will vary from club to club and will affect some zones in a different way to others. It is likely that those clubs with “at risk” members will find their activities disrupted, and this could well affect a club’s participation or performance in the league.  It does not seem equitable that a club’s standing should be affected by the composition or health of its members. However, circumstances vary from zone to zone.

We have already strongly recommended to zone executives that each should urgently consider the advisability of suspending league matches:

  • To minimise the risks associated with bringing different teams and players together
  • To ensure that a club’s standing in the league will not be unfairly affected if its teams are compromised by the absence of one or two “at risk” players
  • To take away the personal decision needed for each player, in each match – and minimise the risk to others

This will also obviate any problem in the league if a team is unable to field a full complement or to fulfil its league obligations. However, this must be a decision for each Zone management committee.

The WCU Management Board will continue to monitor the situation, and will post updates onto this website as circumstances change.

Paul Scott

Deputy Executive Director


Event Cancellations

In view of the current coronavirus situation we have decided to

(a)   Postpone both the Welsh Premier League and Under 1850 League to be held on 21st March. A decision on rearrangement and future fixtures will be taken shortly.

(b)   Cancel the Welsh Junior Championships to be held on 28th and 29th March. For this event any entry fees paid will be refunded.    


Welsh Junior Championships, 14th and 15th March – The Cathedral School, Cardiff

In view of the ongoing Coronavirus situation we have taken the decision to cancel these Championships. All entry fees will be refunded and should further information be needed to do this you will be contacted next week. We will repay all entry fees by 23rd March.

Please consult the Welsh Chess Union website for up to date information on other upcoming events.

Welsh Junior Championships – The Cathedral School, Cardiff – this weekend

During this weekend at the Junior Championships 
  • We ask all players not to shake hands at the beginning or end of games
  • Throughout the Chanpionships there will be hand wipes available and would encourage all players to use these before games (and during games if necessary).
  • The only refreshments on sale will be tea. coffee, soft drinks and individually wrapped chocolates etc. THERE WILL BE NO SANDWICHES FOR SALE.
  • Players/parents can bring along packed lunches but we ask all to dispose of wrapping etc in bins provided.

Visiting Chess Tutuor for Early Years Pupils (Aged 5-7)

A vacancy has arisen for a Visiting Chess Tutor for Early Years Pupils at St John’s College, William Nicholls Drive, Cardiff, CF35YX from September 2020 onwards.

More info here.