On 15 March, I sent out an announcement that over-the-board play in the Suffolk League and Cup competitions would be suspended until further notice. As the season comes to an end on 30 June we are no nearer to knowing when play will resume as necessary precautions against contracting Covid-19 remain in place. The SCCA Committee has deliberated on how best to deal with the unfinished matches in the 2019/20 competitions as well as considering other outstanding business that required resolution before the start of the new chess year.
The Committee approved the following proposals:
- That the 2019/2020 season be truncated because, with the best prediction of the coronavirus situation we have to hand, it will be unsafe to play face to face chess before the start of the 2020/2021 season.
- That the positions of the teams at the time the 2019/2020 season was suspended become the final position of the teams for 2019/2020.
- That no awards shall be made for the 2019/20 season, nor shall any promotions and relegations be applied for the 2020/21 season based on the final league tables.
- That, exceptionally, the 2019/20 AGM be cancelled. The next AGM to be held in May or June of 2021, but if the Committee or a sufficient number of members request it (in accordance with rule 6.4 of the Constitution) an EGM may be convened at an earlier date.
- That the SCCA switch from the C4 results system which is closing down to the ECF League Management System with immediate effect.
- That an archive of the SCCA data on the C4 results system be created and stored on an SCCA owned website.
- That the Suffolk Chess.org website be adopted by the SCCA and if possible moved to a host that will allow documents to be uploaded and will host the substitutions control system currently under development by Sam Gaffney.
- That the post of Internet Officer be created, and that Steve Lovell be appointed to this post.
- That the following appointments be made with immediate effect (with all other officers re-elected): Vice-President (Stephen Lewis); Treasurer (David Green); and Competitions Secretary (Sam Gaffney)
- That no decision be made about resumption of over-the-board chess, specifically about when the 2020/21 season will commence, until safety concerns are fully addressed and appropriate measures implemented.
The 2019/20 season has now been formally concluded. As we enter into the off season, we are beginning to plan for the 2020/21 competitions, although we cannot at this stage confirm when they will start. It may be in September, as usual, that we re-commence, but there is a strong likelihood that resumption of over-the-board play will be delayed. We shall be guided by, and act in conformity with, decisions made locally and nationally by other chess associations.
Nevertheless, we are proceeding on the assumption that there will be over-the-board chess in 2020/21. Clubs will be kept fully informed about preparations for next season and the proposed schedule. Meanwhile, entries for the 2020/21 season should still be notified to the Competitions Secretary by 31 July. The issue of promotion and relegation between divisions still needs to be resolved. The SCCA Committee will discuss this matter and expect to arrive at a decision before the end of July. Comments and recommendations from the individual clubs are welcomed, but in order to be taken into consideration these should be received by 14 July.
29 June 2020