CHESS: For U3A players whatever your level!

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    Recently received on the Website, a suggestion to launch a
    National Online (email) Chess Challenge. I thought it might be worth copying it here…….

    U3a National Chess by email
    By: Dick Chapman Watford U3a  email:  [url=][/url]

    I have played email chess for many years with my old school pal who lives in America and it struck me that such a form of playing chess could be ideal nationally for U3a members.
    Basically, my pal and I have our own chess boards set up and send and receive emails of each other?s moves.
    Why might it suit U3a members nationally?
    1. It provides the opportunity to play a form of chess which has the following differences to ?across the board? chess:
    a) you have as much time as you want  to think about each  move – resulting in improved moves which carry through to ?across the board? play improvement.
    b) through a grading system, you have the opportunity to always play someone of similar strength.
    c) you don?t have to concentrate for hours on end- only for the time span of the next move.
    d) games can be played at any time of the day desired.
    e) you can play more frequently, if desired i.e. you are not limited to the particular day that ?across the board? chess is played.
    2. It is ideal either as a complement to, or a substitute for, ?across the board? chess (e.g for those members who cannot make their local U3a Group?s chess day).
    3. U3a members would have the same aims and approach i.e. they want to have fun, whilst doing their best without being too competitive.  U3a members, for example, would stick to the rule that they do not use a computer to work out their next move for them.
    How would it operate?
    There would be a page made available on the U3a National Website to enable you to find the email address of an equal- strength player to whom you get in contact with and suggest a game. To set the page up, you would simply email Dick Chapman with a minimum of your name, grade  email address, U3a attending and chess profile ( experience of chess- played for school? clubs? county? etc)
    There would be a few rules, which are common sense ones e.g. note the moves of your game down and double check your position before emailing your move ( because you?ll have moved the pieces around in working out your move and want to be sure they are back in their correct position); agree to play two games with an opponent so that you can play with both black and white pieces; no monitoring of results is planned; be prepared to ?refine? your grade with experience i.e email Dick Chapman with any change you want; expect a game to last between one and three weeks.

    Notes re grading: The English Chess Federation  have a grading system which some of you are probably familiar with as it is used in chess clubs.  The following is their guide:  ?The weakest adult Chess Club members come in at a grade of about 40. A three figure grade is a source of prestige among casual players, while those who seriously study the game may try to break 150.? If you have played Club chess before, then you?ll have a good idea of your grade, or your U3a Chess Group Leader would know, or you might have to estimate and refine from experience.

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