August 2020 Update
With COVID-19 still persisting, the MCA has moved our activities online. Since May, we have been running a weekly free USCF rated tournament on Thursday evenings at Chess.com. These events are G/10;d0 so they are actually Blitz Rated at USCF, so current MCA membership is required to participate. Typically, we get about 15-25 players each week. We want to continue to grow these events, so please join us for an event. You will need to join the Michigan Chess Association group on Chess.com.
We will also now hold an online chess club arena event on Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00pm with Blitz time controls of G/5+2s. This is an Arena style event, so you can join or leave at any point and play any many games as you can during the allotted time. Earn points for winning streaks to see who can accumulate the most points. These events are for fun and not USCF rated, so memberships are not required. Bryan Wilson is also running Arena style events for kids most weekday afternoons on Lichess.org. Details for these events can be found online at michiganjuniorchessarena.com.
The MCA board held a meeting on August 7 to discuss the future of over-the-board (OTB) events that were scheduled this year and we have decided to cancel all upcoming events for 2020 that were scheduled and to be played in person. This includes the following events:
2020 Michigan Open – September 4-7 – Wyndham Gardens, Ann Arbor
2020 Bottom Half Class – October 17-18 - Wyndham Gardens, Ann Arbor
2020 Michigan Action – December 5 – Pierpont Commons, Ann Arbor
We normally host the MCA General Membership meeting at the Michigan Open where hold elections for new board members. We are working to hold this membership meeting online this year. A new date will be announced as we do not want to hold the meeting over Labor Day weekend independently. Check the MCA website (www.michess.org) calendar or MCA Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/445536465842064/) page for details on how to join.
Some events can be re-worked as online events, such as the Speed Championship and Action Championship. Other types events that work better online are in the works. We are planning a new Michigan Correspondence Championship and will be running other Daily tournaments at Chess.com.
There is also a “States Cup” that is being organized as a team event to compete with other states. Only players that reside in Michigan can compete for Michigan. We will submit a line-up of 4 players each week. The average team rating must be under 2200 and players under 1800 counts as 1800 for average rating. Time control is G/15+2 with 4 games played against each player of the state we will compete against. Some of the details are still being worked but I want sense of which players would be interested. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jeff Aldrich (firstname.lastname@example.org). Bryan Wilson will provide Streaming of the event as required by the organizer.
Please stay safe and connect with the Michigan Chess community online. We will meet over the board soon.
May 2020 Update
Dear Michigan Chess Association Community,
I wanted to send out an update to let you what is happening with MCA during these unprecedented times. Chess clubs have stopped meeting and many tournaments through the summer have already been cancelled. MCA has had a focus on over the board chess over the years and it is still unclear when we will be able to resume playing chess in person. Governor Whitmer has issued a 6-phase plan (https://www.michigan.gov/documents/whitmer/MI_SAFE_START_PLAN_689875_7.pdf) for re-opening the state.
As of this writing, we are currently in phase 3 and we will not be able to resume over the board chess tournaments until phase 6 is reached. Because of the uncertainty around when we will reach this final phase, it will be impossible to plan for future events until we reach this phase.
During the initial uncertainty back in March, we postponed the Michigan Junior and moved it to the May 30-31 dates originally planned for the Michigan Amateur. Unfortunately, we will be unable to hold this event and the 2020 Michigan Junior is cancelled with no plans to reschedule. The Michigan Senior and Michigan Amateur are also cancelled.
For our future events, we currently have contracts in place for the following events.
2020 Michigan Open in September
2020 Michigan Bottom Half Class in October
2020 Michigan Action in December
2021 Michigan Class in January
We were in the process of identifying dates and locations for the 2020 Michigan Scholastic Club and 2020 Michigan Women’s Championship when the lockdown was put in place. If we reach the Post-Pandemic phase, then we will work to have these events as scheduled but will need new protocols to ensure everyone’s safety. It will take time to develop these new protocols and I would expect that we will see guidelines also come from USCF.
In the meantime, there is an opportunity to stay connected via online chess events. Social Media Committee Chair, Bryan Wilson has been running free daily blitz events for junior players on https://lichess.org/. He also set up a team event that we will use as a trial to put together something bigger, so keep an eye out online for more details. USCF has approved the running of rated events on https://www.chess.com/ - note that they have separate ratings for online play so your standard OTB rating will not be impacted.
We also want to make sure we have the latest information for the local chess clubs on our website. If you are a chess club contact, please confirm your information with Samanatha Shaffer at email@example.com so that people know whom to contact upon the return of chess clubs to over the board play. Also, if your chess club is staying connected via online play, you can provide that information and we will publish online play options on our website’s chess club page. If you are looking for a place to play online with people you know from your local club or perhaps someone looking for a new place to play, check out our club page for the latest online information.
This time can also give us the opportunity to revive correspondence chess (multiple days to make a move) which is typically played online. US Chess has a selection of events found here: http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12023/397/. And if you are interested in obtaining official correspondence titles from CCE to GM to World Champion, then check out the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF): https://www.iccf.com/.
Please stay tuned to the MCA website (www.michess.org) or the MCA Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/445536465842064/) for the latest details. I hope to see you online soon and in person once it is safe to do so.
Thanks for your patience,
President, Michigan Chess Association