Rotherham online: the first year
When we were first told to stay at home on 23 March 2020, I had a funny feeling we might be stuck inside for a bit longer than three weeks.
Sheffield chess had already entered its own lockdown the week beforehand, so that night, as the Prime Minister spoke, I created a workspace on Slack. Three weeks seemed hopelessly optimistic, but surely it'd all blow over in a couple of months' time. I started planning to run a six-week tournament. I'd played in the lichess4545 online leagues before and thought I could put something similar together that would work on a local level. At that point, I had never organised a chess tournament, didn't own a facemask, and Pfizer and AstraZeneca were not yet household names.
Here we are, a year and 20 tournaments later... with 5 events currently running. The first Online Championship started on 1 April 2020 and since that time 147 players have played over 1,600 games in the various competitions.
S&DCA Online League
The Sheffield association's online league is well underway. It's a five-round team Swiss played over 4 boards on Thursday nights.
The Rotherham squad consists of stalwarts Oli, Nat and John, along with former Rotherhamite Pete Catt and new signing Rich Dennis. As I write we are top of the league table thanks to victories over Sheffield Deaf and Woodseats A.
There are three rounds remaining and our next match will be on 7th January at 7.30pm. If you want to watch (or even better, play) get in touch with Oli.
2019/20 season closes
The S&DCA executive decided to declare the 2019/20 league season closed and award final placings based on average points per match.
On this metric, Rotherham A retained their 6th place in Division 2, just clear of relegation. A mid-table switcheroo in Division 3 meant Rotherham B dropped down to 5th place, having lost their game in hand.