How to restart OTB Chess activities?

European Chess Union organised a forum-meeting for representatives of National Chess Federations affiliated to ECU, on Thursday, 21st of May at with the main topic: Covid19 and Chess Protocols “How to restart over the board Chess activities” ?

Five Doctors & Scientists, familiar with the chess activities took part in the meeting: Dr Hsu Li Yang (SGP), Dr Araz Bayramov (AZE), Dr Jeremy Lim (SGP) and Dr Elene Azmaiparashvili (GEO), Thomas Michos (GRE). They introduced health guidelines which could be followed to restart the Chess over board activities, firstly in National Level, and then in the International level.

The Doctors presentations and reports from different geographical parts of Europe have been uploaded in the ECU Youtube Channel.

Summarising the common points of the meeting:

  • Chess activities may restart in National Level under specific measures & protocols applying internationally but mainly locally.
  • It is recommended to start with small scale events with limited participants (f.e. round robin tournaments).
  • It is recommended participants to sign a declaration about possible symptoms.
  • Space per player in playing halls shall be increased to cover at least the requirement of 1.5 m distance between the players.
  • The indoor playing hall must be ventilated regularly and efficiently before, during and after the rounds. It is not recommended any tournaments in rooms with no proper ventilation.
  • Outdoor chess activities are recommended. Upon entering or exiting the playing hall, during the breaks participants must wash or disinfect their hands. 
  • The Room pieces, clocks, chess boards, tables and chairs must be properly disinfected beforehand and after each round.
  • Face surgical mask is strongly recommended for all players and arbiters but no gloves.
  • In the toilet facilities, adequate cleaning and disinfection of the premises and constant ventilation must be ensured. Participants should move in such a way that a distance of 1,5 m is observed at all times.
  • In the tournament hall shall be present only players and tournament staff. Players shall leave the playing hall by the end of their game.
  • Covid19 tests is not a practical and reliable solution for chess events participants especially in national level and in mass competitions.
  • It is foreseen that would be difficult to hold mass and especially international youth events in 2020, however there is possibility to hold professional events’ as the European Individual Championships (Open & Women) the last 3 months of 2020.

European Chess Union will share information and chess health protocols to with the chess federations.