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Welsh teams competing in the European Seniors Team Championship in Vienna, 12th -20th July

Wales has two teams competing in this event, namely Wales Dyfed and Wales Gwent.

 

The composition of the teams is as follows:

 

Wales Dyfed - Iolo Jones (Capt), Pat Bennett, Rudy van Kemennade, Peter Bevan and Colin Gilbert

 

Wales Gwent - Richard Miles (Capt), David James, Lloyd Powell, John Thornton and John Bowers.

 

It is anticipated that Peter Bevan will provide daily updates during the tournament.

European Seniors Team Championships 2015, Vienna, 11th July to 20th July 2015

This note follows up our earlier note on handling Welsh entries to international seniors’ team championships and asks:

  1. a)those seeking to organise club or regional sides for the 2015 event; and

b) those who are either

  1. a)unconnected with those prospective teams or
  2. b)would prefer in any case to play in Vienna for a national team rather than such a side

to get in touch with Howard Williams ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) copying in Tom Brown ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) as soon as possible and in any case by 28 February 2015.

 

Background

 

The tournament website is at http://www.europechess.org/european-senior-team-championship-2015-in-vienna/ and contains a link to the invitation document with details of the schedule, format, deadlines, the cost of accommodation etc.  In essence, the European Chess Union have reverted to the rules of the tournaments in years up to and including 2013 (in which Welsh teams competed successfully) whereby all the male members of a team’s squad had to be over 60.  Unlike the FIDE World Seniors Team Championship to be held in April (in which Wales will not be represented as insufficient players expressed an interest in response to November’s website announcement) men over 50 but under 60 are excluded.

 

Briefly, the championship will be a nine-round Swiss with standard FIDE time limits and one round a day. Teams of four play in any one round but that team may be chosen from a squad of five. Teams may represent either a national federation or ‘any regional structure of a federation’ and there is no limit to the number of teams a federation may enter.  All the members of each team’s squad must be registered by FIDE with the federation which enters them and must be over 60 (men) or 50 (women) as at the end of 2015.

 

In common with all these seniors’ events the Vienna organisers do not pay for the players’ accommodation and also levy a registration fee. That is E40 per player for teams nominated by 31 March and E60 thereafter.  As the WCU is in no position to help with these costs (though the WCU will be willing to pay the separate entry fee of E100 per team to the Europen Chess Union) accommodation and registration costs will have to met by participants (in addition to travelling expenses including  airport transfers).

Welsh teams, captained by Iolo Jones and otherwise comprising players with an average rating of slightly more than 2000, finished about halfway in these enjoyable events in the years 2011-13 (as did the two teams who competed last year when the eligibility rules were different). 

The invitation document can be viewed here.

Welsh Representation in 2015 European and World 'Seniors' Team Championships

This note sets out how the WCU propose to handle participation by Welsh teams in these events for 2015.

 

Background

 

In recent years Welsh teams have participated in the annual European Seniors Team Championship (9-round Swisses for four board teams with the facility for each team to field a five-player squad). Until this year it has been necessary for players to be over 60 at the beginning of the year of the tournment in order to participate. The age threshold changed to under 50 at the end of the year of the tournament in 2014 with further rules that ensured at least one of the four players making up each team in any round was over 65 by the same date. 

 

Recently, an annual World Seniors Team Championship, also over 4 boards, has been set up. Wales did not take part in this year’s event (which was held at short notice in Lithuania and only attracted 18 teams).  Next year’s event is due to take place in Dresden from 24 February to 4 March. See: http://www.schachfestival.de/world-senior-team-championship-2015.html

 

Teams for this event may be composed of players over 50 by the end of 2015, without any requirement about over-65s, but in addition teams composed entirely of players over 65 by the end of 2015 will compete for a separate title.  In FIDE-speak players over 50 are ‘seniors’ and players over 65 are ‘veterans’.  

The 2015 European Seniors Team Championship is due to take place in Vienna from July 11 to July 19. It is not yet known exactly what the eligibility rules for this event will be.

 

But one feature of these events which seems now to be settled is that teams may either represent their country or else ‘any regional structure’ within that country.  In other words, there is effectively no restriction in the number of teams a country may enter, so long as the players are all registered with that country by FIDE.  Another invariable element is that the organisers do not pay for the players’ accommodation and, as the WCU is in no position to do more than contribute something to entry fees, all or nearly all the costs of participating fall on the players.

 

So far the WCU has sought expressions of interest from its qualified members for these events and chosen teams from those responding positively. For the years 2011 to 2013, there were only enough players expressing an interest to comprise one five-player squad.  But in 2014, partly as a result of the reduction in the age threshold, we were able to form two such squads.  In line with the majority view of the players the teams were not split on strength into a first and second team but into two teams of broadly similar strength split roughly on geographical lines. All the Welsh teams in the ESTC have held their own finishing somewhere in the middle of the tournament table.

 

Approach for 2015

 

A large proportion of WCU members are now of an age to participate in these events and to give the maximum number a chance to take part we will be happy to enter club or regional teams and exercise a co-ordination role in putting them together.  The players in those teams must meet the organisers’ eligibility rules (which include the requirement that the players are registered as Welsh by FIDE but, unlike the European Club Cup, nothing on how closely players must be linked with the ‘regional structure’ (club, zone or whatever).  But, just as in the case of players representing Welsh teams in the ECC, the WCU’s own eligibility rules for international representation (see sections 8(c) and 9 of the WCU constitution) will not apply.

 

We will also consider entering one ‘Wales’ team from players who would prefer to represent Wales rather than a club or regional team and who meet the WCU’s eligibility rules as well as those of the organisers. 

 

Next Steps

 

For the World Seniors Team Championship we will shortly be putting a note on the website:

  1. a)asking those seeking to organise club or regional sides, and
  2. b)asking players who are either
    1. i.unconnected with those prospective teams or
    2. ii.would prefer to play for a national team rather than such a side

to get in touch with either Tom Brown ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Howard Williams ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), ideally e-mailing one and copying in the other.

A separate note will be put on the website in due course about participation in the European Seniors Team Championship next July in Vienna.

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