Chess in times of Corona: An example from Upper Franconia – Chessbase News

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7/9/2020 As is well known, the coronavirus pandemic has brought public chess life to a standstill. But now it is slowly getting back into gear. In Bischofsgrn, the Upper Franconian Senior Championships were played. The social-distance rule was meticulously observed with double boards.

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By Jrgen Wempe

In a lovely valley, not far from Bayreuth, this years Senior Individual Championship of Upper Franconia took place in Bischofsgrn. For a long time it looked as if this chess event would also be prevented by the coronavirus. But it came about that a few days before the event, changes in the restrictions were announced,which promptedfiftyparticipants to beallowed to participate again. All hygiene and distance rules were fulfilled in the Sporthotel Kaiseralm.The tournament hall permitted the development of 18games at a time, with each of thembeing played on twoboards (see photo).

Two-board chess

Social distance

Each player kept the same board and pieces for every round. Thus, a safe and comfortable chess tournament was possible, much to the delight of the 36 chess players whoregistered to participate.

The favourite and winner from 2018, Christian Schatz from Postbauer Heng, had a difficult start and after fourrounds was already a whole point behind Manfred Krncke, who started with 4 out of 4. In round 6, Michael Gihr managed to win against Krncke and so he took the lead. Before the final round,CM Schatz and Gihr were equal in points and tiebreak scores, with Krncke and Manuela Schmitz placed close behind. Since nobody could get a win in the last round, the Buchholz tiebreaker scoredecided who got first place Manfred Gihr had a bit of luck and was declared the winner.

The winners

Besides several hikes e.g. toOchsenkopf (1,024 meters above sea level) the Luisenburg Rock Labyrinthwas also visited. The changing summer weather allowed us to get a good training for body and mind (and the chess muscles).

Greetings from nature

The fact that a successful and safe chess tournament can be held if there is enough space in the hall and not too many players was demonstrated here in an exemplary manner. We can only hope tournament-chess life can soon gain momentum again.

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