Saturday, May 03, 2008

English Chess in Trouble?

Our friends over at the Streatham & Brixton Chess Club blog are reporting on some big developments within the English Chess Federation. The CEO, Martin Regan, along with the international director, Peter Sowray, and director of Junior Chess, Claire Summerscale have all resigned!

Here's a quote from Peter Sowray:

My starting assumption is that English chess is in decline. Lots of evidence for this. Just as an example, I went into my local branch of Waterstones today. They have quite a large section devoted to ‘Indoor Games’. There was one chess book. Yes, one. We are way behind poker, bridge, backgammon, sudoku, etc. With a concerted effort, we may one day draw level with ‘join the dots’. Partly it’s down to social changes, but it’s much worse here than in other countries.

Background information is available here (with a link to what appears to be England's main chess forum) and also here.

Definitely interesting reading for local Aussie chess fans. See especially all that talk of money and reform.


Anonymous said...

The upshot of this on a quick look is that chess administration is not an easy matter as we have England, Canada, the USA and, I dare to say, to a much lesser extent, Australia, having problems. I mention that Leonard Barden in his "Guardian" chess column, has been remarking on the bleak future for English chess because of the lack of talented young players. That is something that we in Australia are not yet experiencing but it may well be part of the problem that the ECF is having.


Chaos said...

Interesting there appears to be more trouble brewing with our english friends: GM Nigel Davis threaten them with legal action:

Anonymous said...

OK, so a few changes at the top of English chess administration took place. What do we do about it? Surely that does not spell the decline of chess in England. People come; people go; they have their reasons.

Has anyone checked out what is happening locally though? Who else advertises awareness of chess? What are you other chess teachers and promoters doing? When will I see, hear and read regular reports about chess? Who would like to help me plan and organise a campaign to get more children and young people learning to play chess? Are we ever going to see 'chess in our parks', like in New York central?

Who was it that said, "teach the children." Well, I cannot do it all by myself. I need some help over here in South East London.