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 shaffer1022@gmail.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,

Jeff Aldrich

President, Michigan Chess Association