Merseyside Chess Association

Newsletter No. 1 July 2020

Message from the MCA Secretary

We are introducing this monthly newsletter as a way of keeping in touch with the MCA league clubs and their  members during these difficult times. All contributions welcome. As with most elements of day to day life,  normal chess community life has changed dramatically and the impacts of Coronovirus on the game are numerous. In this initial newsletter, we will  update you on the outcome of the committee’s decision with regards resolving the 2019-20 season and start the conversation on planning for a 2020-21 season, if that proves possible. I don’t need to tell you haw complex and uncertain future planning has become as a result of the virus’ impact on society so do bear with us as the conversation progresses!

In good news I know a few of the clubs have taken up internet chess in matches with each other and reports I’ve heard back have been that they’ve been good fun. Even I (technophobia is deffo one of my flaws!) have attempted a blitz match with Liverpool Chess Cub recently and whilst I was enormously rusty having not played properly for months, I can certainly see the appeal more now that I’ve tried it so would encourage others to do the same. It’s worth giving it a go if you can, even if you’re an over-the-board player at heart like me. It’s easier to connect in from a computer or mobile phone than I’d expected and it could help prevent you getting as rusty as I am! Do get in touch if your club is running internet chess matches and we can start to pool the relevant info to share with other clubs via this newsletter or other means.

I would very much like to gain more understanding of the different MCA clubs positions at the moment, in regards things such as likely levels of interest in internet chess; how your home venues are getting on in terms of re-opening plans and their position in relation to clubs attending; the general appetite and confidence levels of membership as it relates to playing in person next season subject to rules & regs etc. I will be in touch with club secretaries by phone by the end of this month to start these informal conversations. My email box is a pretty depressing place right now (!) so calls will likely work better than emails if that suits everyone. Also I would like to talk to some human beings that aren’t in my immediate circle please!

I hope that you and yours are weathering the storm and most importantly staying healthy. I very much look forward to a time when we will be able to be and play together again.

Message from the MCA President & Treasurer

2019-2020 Season

The majority opinion of the clubs which responded to our consultation on how to wrap up last years season is that the past season should be considered cancelled and no trophies awarded in all league and cup competitions.

We appreciate this is really hard for some, particularly those who were looking strong for winning their divisions. It was a difficult decision to take.

2020-2021 Season

We are not able to start the new season until we, and English Chess, determine how to play over the board chess in a manner that is covid safe, complies with government regulations and with which players feel confident. The ECF has published a statement here – for your information.

From the date we agree it is possible to restart, we will need approximately 8 weeks to organise the league into divisions, prepare the fixtures and arrange a limited AGM.

Currently, the earliest date we can envisage making the decision to restart is 1st September, 2020 which would mean a likely league start date of about 1st November. This date is, of course, speculative and could be delayed.

At this stage it is difficult to foresee the make-up of the league for the coming season. We will possibly lose players, teams and even clubs from the previous season.

We ask clubs to begin assessment of how many teams they are likely to enter next season so that when a decision is made to restart we receive entries quickly and speed up the start date.

If clubs feel that any of their teams should be promoted on the basis of last season’s performance, please let the secretary know in writing.

We welcome input into how the decision to restart will be made.

Internet Chess

In the meantime, we are looking to start an internet chess league. In order to start this league as soon as possible please consider your club’s position and likely entry.


The treasurer will be happy to collect trophies to ensure we keep tracks of their whereabouts for next year. Please could clubs contact the treasurer direct to arrange.

Dave & Leon