The Online English Counties Championships started in earnest on 13th June following a preliminary familiarisation round the Saturday before. The first championships was held in 1908 and the 2020 Online Championships have a different feel to the 100 years that have gone before.
This was a new online competition and not a substitute of course. A seeded Divisional format replaced regional qualifiers, feeding 6 Championships for the Finals stage in August.
The rules can be found here:
More information including county contacts for interested players can be found on the ECF LMS for the competition, and the Competition club on Chess.com, where there are a series of help articles in the activity section.
- Open – Lincolnshire’s strength in depth proved too much for determined Norfolk resistance
- Open – Seeded to meet in the Final and almost evenly matched on all but 2 boards where Middlesex A had the paper edge, Northumberland dominate the top boards to reach the final
- Major – Devon and Yorkshire swept Essex and Greater Manchester aside
- Challengers – Middlesex B, a traditional ‘minor counties’ team with no head or tail continue their march against one county team opposition as Shropshire fall, whilst Oxfordshire only just made their lower board advantage count against Cumbria
- Minor – Gloucestershire match Somerset at the top against the odds but not enough to cause an upset, whilst disaster for Berkshire with a double default gifting the tie to Worcestershire despite a top 4 clean sweep
- U1825 – Essex and Lincolnshire hold their nerve to survive two knife edge matches against Northumberland and Middlesex, to make it an all East Coast affair for both the Open and U1825 Championships, where Lincolnshire are looking to pull off a remarkable double
- U1825 Challengers – Greater Manchester too strong for embattled Surrey in stark contrast to Norfolk’s reliance on the tie break to prevail over Oxfordshire
The English Counties finals took place at 18-30 on Saturday 22nd August on chess.com, with commentary from GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan on their game changer channel here:
There were more than 1,000 players across the various stages of the event leading to the finals. The results of the finals are all in LMS with Northumbria becoming the first Online Open Counties Champions with Lincolnshire as the runners up.
Open – https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/60384/efixtures
Major Open – https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/60385/efixturesOpen Challengers – https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/60386/efixtures
Minor Open – https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/60387/efixtures