The ECF has issued a further statement on coronavirus, making the suggestion that all evening chess leagues be suspended.
Notwithstanding that “it is for individual leagues to decide on their own policy and the ECF cannot make decisions for those organisations”, there is clearly an unacceptable legal risk to any volunteer-run organisation that chooses to carry on in the face of such a suggestion by the national governing body.
Therefore, I will no longer expect the following matches to be played on their scheduled dates:
Tynemouth C vs. Gateshead 17th March
Forest Hall E vs. Alnwick 18th March
Gosforth Salters vs. Tynemouth D 23rd March
Leam Lane Bullets vs. South Shields D 24th March
Gosforth Woodbines vs. Forest Hall E 30th March
Morpeth C vs. Forest Hall F 8th April
Alnwick vs. Gosforth Centurions 8th April
South Shields D vs. Forest Hall F 16th April
While it might seem odd to target league matches and allow friendly club nights to carry on, I think the key is that we make sure no-one feels compelled to attend their local club by the prospect of losing league points. Assuming the virus affects Britain the same way it affected Italy, Spain and France, we should probably expect the coming club night to be the last before the venues are asked to close.
Keep calm and wash your hands. My lichess.org handle is Hazyshade, what’s yours?