Chess In The Rule Of Six
Article by Phil Morgan
The rule limiting the size of social gatherings in England took effect on 14, September, 2020. Over The Board Chess was suspended in March. On 24th March, I joined the Lichess.org on-line Chess site, to play in the first 4NCL on-line League. I had previously been playing on other sites. I viewed on-line play as a good form of practice for Proper Chess, as a golfer might use a driving range.
I am only now appreciating the facilities within the site and starting to make fuller use of these. We can view all the games we and other members have played, with the assistance of computer analysis, I have played 636 games at time of writing. My time spent playing is 9 days, 8 hours and 39 minutes. I made the mistake of sharing this with my partner, who doesn’t regard this as a particularly gainful form of employment. The site sets out analytical insights e.g. results rates with particular openings, a marvellous learning tool. We can play froma variety of time controls, Rapid Blitz or Classical. My preferred choice is not Blitz, but I have taken part in some 7 minutes + 3 seconds Blitz events, and surprised myself. My ability to play under time pressure has probably improved with practice. When you are playing an opponent you have played before, the board shows your previous game/personal match scores.
Season 2 of 4NCL Online has recently started. Four teams play under the Ashfield banner. An hour before the game , we receive the pairings. In my most recent game, I was paired with a young junior, who had played over a 1,000 games on lichess.
From being a form of practice for Proper Chess, on-line play has for now at all levels, effectively replaced Over The Board Chess. For now it is the nearest we can get to the real thing. There are players and clubs who want no part of this Brave, New World. We don’t know when OTB Chess will return. Chess Clubs face challenges to their existence. Standing Still in any competitive area of activity, can mean Moving Backwards.