Coronavirus Consultation Questions and Answers
Question: Why has a Consultation Document been issued now when it is clear that any return to competitive face-to-face chess is neither permitted now nor is it likely to be permitted in the near future? Should we not be doing this exercise when there is more certainty, relevance and clarity?
Answer: The Consultation Document is not a formal decision making document but has been introduced at this stage as the UK Government is starting to lift lockdown restrictions when players might start to ask questions about a possible return. It is designed to raise awareness of the issues, and to initiate a healthy informal discussion on the options for when we do return and to consider any better alternative options. It may help to speed up our decision making process when the appropriate time arrives. Finally, we are also trying to keep our clubs and members informed on a regular basis and to keep them actively engaged.
Question: When are we likely to return to playing face-to-face competitive league matches?
Answer: We will not be returning to league chess until it is safe to do so as advised by the UK Government. Current government guidance (to take effect from the 4th July) states that there cannot be more than two households for indoor gatherings. At the moment this makes the playing of league chess matches impossible. The return to competitve face-to-face chess will also need to take account of any guidance from the English Chess Federation (ECF) and be approved by the B&DCL and DCCA for their respective leagues. There may also be restrictions imposed by local landlords of playing venues.
Question: Are we likely to complete this season’s 2019/20 league fixtures?
Answer: In the Consultation Document there are five options which clubs and their members are being asked to carefully consider and to provide feedback (including if there might be an even better option). This will help guide the B&DCL and DCCA when making their final decisions.
Question: Will there be any restrictions when we eventually return?
Answer: Depending on when it is considered safe to return and what the Government’s Covid-19 Alert Level is for the UK at this time, there may need to be some adjustments made including the maximum number of players permitted in a room, any social distancing requirements, the need for any personal protective equipment, sanitisation of equipment, the possible use of two boards per game to avoid any cross contamination etc. It is also possible that some B&DCL rules may need to be relaxed to accommodate the expected reduction in available players and change in team structures for the B&DCL league matches.
Question: What would happen if there is a second wave (or no reduction in the current infection rates) and it is looking likely that there may be no competitive over the board chess during 2020/21?
Answer: Within the Consultation Document one of the safest options for us to consider is Option E which is to finish the 2019/20 season online.