Call to Action

Free registration until 30 November

Does chess have the best possible online events? What are the hidden costs of cheating and anti-cheating? Is the chess community telling the right stories to reach a larger audience? These questions and many more are discussed at the ChessTech 2020 online conference on 5 and 6 December.

ChessTech Conference Topics
ChessTech Conference Topics

ChessTech 2020 is the new online brand of what was the London Chess Conference from 2013 to 2019 and during those years part of the London Chess Classic. Prior themes will be revisited. Following up on „Chess and Female Empowerment“ (2019) there is a session on online projects for girls and women. Among the speakers is Bianca de Jong-Muhren who will become chairwoman of the Dutch Chess Federation on 28 November.

Even if the emphasis of the conference shifts to technology there will still be sessions in the field of education, including a special programme Beyond Chess with two sessions about strategy games, many of which can be played on the chess board.

As in 2019, when Jonathan Rowson discussed „The Moves that Matter“, there will be book presentations: „The Complete Chess Swindler“ has been awarded as Book of the Year 2020 by the English Chess Federation. David Smerdon who was keynote speaker at the 2018 conference returns as award-winner to talk about saving lost positions and to answer questions. Noam Manella will present prime examples from „Think Like a Machine“.

David Smerdon will present his award-winning new book and discuss cheating.
David Smerdon will present his award-winning new book and discuss cheating. (photo: private)

The conference would have coincided with the final days of the world’s first e-chess open, if it would not have had to be canceled due to the second wave of Covid-19 and lockdowns in several countries where arbiter-supervised tournament halls were planned. Combining otb and online chess or, as we call it: Hybridisation of chess remains a hot session topic nonetheless, not least because of its promise to decrease the ecological footprint of chess, leading to the workshop: Let’s make chess greener!

Some workshops require a professional ticket. The experienced Dutch coach Jop Delemarre will share secrets of online training. Veteran chess teacher Sean Marsh will address online didactics for classroom chess. If you run online events you should not miss the workshop Online Arbitration with Shohreh Bayat, who didn’t return after arbitering the women’s world championship to Iran when she feared to be sanctioned after hardliners criticized how she wore her scarf in Russia.

Stay tuned for a separate announcement on a business competition. In order to pitch for an award or to attend the pitch and vote on the winner, you also need a professional ticket. Much more is yet to be announced on the conference website. Several sessions will address the all-important issue of cheating, including from ankles that you haven’t noticed before. Platforms, app and software developpers will demonstrate their latest improvements.

Shohreh Bayat will codirect a workshop on online arbitration
Shohreh Bayat will codirect a workshop on online arbitration (photo: private)

The conference is organised by ChessPlus in close cooperation with ChessTech thanks to a continental grant from FIDE. Tornelo, ChessKid and GameAhead Consulting have joined as sponsors. More sponsors and exhibitors will be announced later.

Registration is open. Basic admission is free, but be aware that from 1 December a late fee of GBP 10 will apply and not all sessions will be accessible with the basic ticket. Professional tickets are moderately prized at GBP 50. They give access to all sessions, to the recordings and to professional networking. Only invited speakers and professional ticket holders will be listed on the website. Representatives of a company or funded interest who want their affiliation to show at the conference, need to have a professional ticket.