10 February 2021

Members may remember the online National Clubs Championship last June when Limewood’s team played a Cornish team, the Bude Surfers, that Included GM John Nunn and John’s wife Petra (a Fide Master). [Our report here]

John Nunn has now written a feature ‘Chess under Covid‘ in the Chessbase online magazine. In it he refers to the paradox that, while club chess has been badly affected, online chess has reached new peaks. He concludes that much chess will switch permanently online even when OTB chess is able to resume because, he says, for many people the pros of online chess outweigh the cons.

John comments that the international chess world has adapted well to the present situation and that the ECF has been actively switching events to online.

What he says provides great scope for serious debate about how organised chess will develop in the future – for example, how OTB and online chess will co-exist; can clubs and local chess associations share in the increased popularity of chess as a whole or will they will shrink to a shadow of their former glory in the same way that high street shops have suffered from the move to online shopping?

John Nunn in the 1980s
John Nunn in the 2020s

For your idle amusement: here is a puzzle that John Nunn gave to one of his visitors while out for a walk in the Cornwall coast. It is said to be quite easy:

Suppose there is an ant on every square of a 7×9 chessboard, and at some moment all the ants crawl to an orthogonally adjacent square, that is left, right, up or down — but not diagonally. Prove that after this there must be at least one empty square.

Wednesday night at the Lichess pub

There were 21 players.
4 of them were from Limewood.
83 games were played.
White won 48% of them.
5,738 moves were made.

That’s it, really.