Welsh Chess Union Online League

There is still time to join this competition


OPEN: Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Morriston, White Knights

UNDER 1800: Barry, De La Beche Pawns, De La Beche Rooks, North Cardiff, North Cardiff Penguins

WCU and FIDE Survey on Anti-Cheating Rules

FIDE has sent out a questionnaire to all Federations to gauge opinion on anti-cheating rules and sanctions in order to form policy. Members can reply individually to anticheating@fide.com, or can use the WCU survey. We will pass on the results on behalf of members.

WCU Survey 

FIDE Notification

Wales at the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad – August 2020 by Jason Garcia

Every 2 years FIDE organises a world team championship event and this was due to be played in August 2020 in Russia over a two and a half week period.  Unfortunately, due to Covid 19 this event was cancelled and instead FIDE organised an online event. This event was organised at very different time limit of 15 mins each plus 5 second increments for each game.  This was certainly a challenge for the players who are used to playing much longer time limits in such competitions.

163 countries entered this event and in July 2020 I had the surprise and honour to be invited to represent Wales for the first time.  I have always dreamt of representing my country and this invitation is certainly a highlight of my chess career.  Normally these events are separated into a Men’s, Women’s, Boy’s and Girl’ s events but FIDE decided to have one mixed team online event.  A squad of 11 players were selected including 4 men – Grzegorz Tocsek, Tim Kett, Jason Garcia and Bill Hewitt, 3 women – Olivia Smith, Kimberly Chong and Julie Wilson, 2 junior male players being Ifan Rathbone-Jones and Hugo Fowler and 2 junior females being Venetia Sivarajasingam and Shayanna Sivarajasingam.  It came as an even greater honour to be invited to captain the team and it did not take me long to accept this offer.

We were ranked 80th of the 163 countries and were placed in Division 3 of the competition which started on Friday 7th August 2020. The 50 teams in Division 3 were put into 5 groups of ten teams. 

We played 3 games each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday against the other 9 countries being Jordan, Belgium, Malta, Iraq, Kosovo, Madagascar, Zambia, Lebanon and Thailand.  To progress to Division 2 we needed to finish in the top 3 teams in our section.

Each match included 6 players being 2 men, 2 women, 1 junior male and 1 junior female and they played against their equivalent from the other countries.  The pools were a straight forward league structure with 2 points for each match you win and 1 point for each match you draw.

As captain I had to quickly get up to speed on the technical requirements of the competition.  It can be so easy for a player to use a chess computer to tell them what moves to play in such a competition.  FIDE did all they could to avoid cheating. All games were played whilst on webcam and we were not allowed to have any books, papers or other electrical devices in the room whilst the match was being played.  We could not have our desk facing a window in case someone was outside the window giving us messages and we were not allowed to leave our desk whilst the game was ongoing.  No one was allowed to enter the room either and we were observed by an independent arbiter for the duration of the match.  After each game we had to make ourselves available to be interviewed by the arbiter if required to explain why we played certain moves. 

Some of the matches were commented on by Grandmasters on the Chess.com website which was a particular privelege for individuals. Continue reading Wales at the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad – August 2020 by Jason Garcia

Annual General Meeting 6th September 2020

Set out below and available for download are:

  • Agenda for the meeting
  • Minutes of the previous AGM (February 2019)
  • Schedule of officers standing for re-election.

Procedures for the online meeting will inevitably be different, but we will endeavour to keep them as structured and as formal as possible. However, it is inevitable there will be some changes:

  1. Those members wishing to attend the online meeting (via Zoom) are asked to email a request to the Executive Director asap.
  2. All voting will be done online, using Zoom facilities.
  3. You will see from the schedule of officers that there are a number of resignations…. And we do not have new candidates in all cases. We invite those interested in helping to run the WCU in these challenging days to get in touch with the Executive or Deputy Executive Director as soon as possible. We need new blood (but please do not take that literally!).
  4. If you are attending the AGM, please ensure you have read the 2019 minutes (below) and any further papers and reports we will issue in advance of the meeting. That will assist us to run the online event more smoothly.

Paul Scott

Deputy Executive Director


Minutes of 2019 AGM

Election of Officers

The 1st Welsh Chess Union Online League 2020 including Rules

With the continued lack of over the board opportunities to play chess due to the continuing Covid-19 Pandemic the Welsh Chess Union is organising an on line league to begin in September 2020. 

There is no entry fee for competing in this event.

There will be two sections, Open and Under 1800. All players in the under 1800 League must be rated under 1800 on the WCU July 2020 list or other National Bodies latest published list.

The event will not be used for over the board ratings. However, these will be used to determine qualification for the Under 1800 section and also board order (see below)

Further instructions regarding team lists for each match, how to join games, etc will be sent to the Captains of the teams competing in early September. Continue reading The 1st Welsh Chess Union Online League 2020 including Rules

2020 Online Olympiad

Our team starts tomorrow (7/8/20) to compete in an 11 -team all-play-all.

The results can be found here:

Annual General Meeting – Election of Officers

An important element of the AGM to be held online on 6 September 2020 is the election of officers. This democratic process is even more important this year as we seek to deal with the coronavirus crisis, to ensure that chess in Wales remains and continues in a healthy state. It would be good to see a new, younger generation of volunteers taking an active role in the governance and management of chess in Wales.

We need volunteers to stand for election to the following offices; if you are interested and think you can make a worthwhile contribution to the WCU, please let me know (email to deputyexecutivedirector@welshchessunion.uk) by 24 August.


  1. The post of Development Director may be split into two – for North and South Wales
  2. The positions of Commercial Director and Manager of Online Chess are appointments by the management Board and not subject to election.

Paul Scott

Deputy Executive Director

COVID-19 and WCU Annual Membership Fees

The July meeting of the Management Board discussed the continuing coronavirus crisis and its effect on chess activity. It was agreed that priority will be given to creating a programme of online events for WCU members.

The MB also discussed the resumption of over the board activities, and clearly there is much uncertainty over when and in what circumstance OTB chess can be resumed. These discussions are ongoing in consultation with the Welsh Sports Association, and recommendations/ decisions/actions will be notified as soon as we are able.

WCU membership fees for season 2020/21 would normally be due by 30 November 2020. However, in the absence of OTB chess, the MB has agreed to defer collection of fees until 1 January 2021 at the earliest. The MB will have further discussion on the timing and recommended amount of fees before then, taking account of the ongoing situation.

Paul Scott

Deputy Executive Director

Glorney Gilbert 2020

Ian Eustis writes:

This year the tournament was meant to be held in France, but Covid 19 soon put paid to that.

Eventually an offer to hold the tournament on line from Alex Holowczak, the Director of Junior Chess for England, was accepted. 

Paradoxically, France then declined to participate. (They had rearranged their junior championships to coincide with the date of the tournament). Belgium accepted an invitation to enter and so we had a five round all play all, as has become normal in recent years. Being on line necessitated slight changes to the rules of the competition, one of which was that all teams were allowed up to two playing reserves.

Being  a total stranger to online chess, as I am, I asked Nicholas Evans to act as team manager for all four of our teams and he did an excellent job, greatly encouraging and enthusing all the players, enabling them to enjoy the tournament.  Continue reading Glorney Gilbert 2020

2020 Online Olympiad News (3/8/20)

Our FIDE online olympiad team has just found out who we have been paired against in division 3 of this event.  We have been paired with 9 other countries which are shown below in the attached link.  Our matches will start at 12pm utc time on friday august 7th and we will play 3 matches over 6 boards including 2 men, 2 women, 1 junior male and 1 junior female between 12pm and 3pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  In order to progress to division 2 of the olympiad we need to finish in the top 3 teams in our group. There will be coverage of the games on the chess.com website.  I would like to wish all the players the best of luck for this event.
Jason Garcia