03 July 2020

An Unusual Week in Chess

T1331 : 'The Week in Chess 1331, 11th May 2020'

In the previous post, No Online Chess Yahoos (June 2020), I presented the chart shown above and noted,

In the T1331 chart, the three main playing sites from the T1323 chart show at least double the number of online events reported in TWIC, and there are two newcomers to the list, PlayChess and Europe-Chess. [...] Cataloging the events reported by TWIC is another matter. I'll leave that for another time.

Since T1332 (The Week in Chess 1332, 18th May 2020) shows the largest number of events across the eight issues of TWIC in the chart, let's look at them. In any issue of TWIC, Mark Crowther generally lists the events according to his opinion of their relative importance. The first and last items in the list always look something like this:-

1) Introduction
17) Forthcoming Events and Links

The T1332 'Introduction' said,

Much online chess was announced this week. Magnus Carlsen announced a rapid series that will take place until the Autumn this starts tomorrow with the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge and that runs for the rest of May and into early June. Saint Louis dipped their toe in with a new Clutch Chess Format and an event at the end of the month, FIDE have said they want 2000 online events in the coming months.

This week we had Alexander Grischuk playing the Chessbrahs event as well as the Steinitz Memorial one after the other for a couple of days, this didn't go well. However earlier in the week Grischuk did win the very strong Play For Russia tournament beating Tomashevsky in the final. [...]

Each and every one of the events reported by TWIC were held online. Here's the complete list of events sorted by the online site where they were played:-

Place: chess.com
4) Chessbrah Invitational May 2020
5) IM Not A GM Speed Chess 2020
6) English Online Blitz 2020
7) Titled Tuesday Blitz 12th May 2020
8) FISCA Online U14 Open 2020
9) PNWCC Online Blitz - Jackpot X 2020
11) European Online Chess Championship 2020
12) Battle of the Gladiators 2020
13) Ramadan Masters 2020
14) Sukooon Resort 1st Indian Chess.com League
15) UKR vs RUS LCWL 2020

Place: chess24.com
2) FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial 2020

Place: lichess.org
3) Play for Russia 2020
16) 4NCL Online 2020

Place: Europe-Chess
10) ch-FRA Blitz Online 2020

The difference between the number of events listed above and the number in the chart are mostly due to 'Forthcoming Events and Links'. Chess.com, for example, had seven forthcoming events.

While I was preparing this post I received the July 2020 issue of Chess Life (CL). One of the feature articles -- eight pages long -- was 'Back To The Future?', subtitled 'GM Jon Tisdall returns to Chess Life to explore the explosion of online chess in 2020', which covered online events from May 2020. Will this become a regular feature in CL?

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