ONLINE CHESS

Chess Western Province

ONLINE CHESS STRATEGY

The current national lockdown in South Africa in response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the suspension of all over the board (OTB) chess events. This however presents us with an ideal opportunity to explore online chess and develop a strategy relating online chess. If implemented correctly, online chess will complement our OTB chess offering.

The Chess Western Province (CWP) online chess strategy does not intend to replace any traditional OTB chess events but online chess events should be an additional permanent feature on the CWP events calendar.

There is a significant underlying risk that online chess may eventually overtake and replace OTB chess, however this may be inevitable given the rate of technological development and the adoption of technological alternatives throughout the world. Instead of resisting change, CWP should rather adopt a strategy that enables us to better understand and exploit the opportunities provided by new technologies. The inevitable change on our environment requires us to adopt to this new environment or else we risk being left behind in the digital revolution.

As an organisation with an objective to direct, develop and administer the sport of chess within the Cape Town Metro region and also to promote chess as a sport, recreational and educational activity, it is imperative that CWP extends the scope of its activities to also include the regulation and administration of the online chess activities of its members. Failure to do so may result in the mushrooming of uncoordinated activities, the commercialisation of the sport to the extent that it may become the exclusive domain of persons with access to financial resources, the potential exploitation of players, and the development of conflicts amongst players and administrators in an unregulated environment.

The lack of access to financial resources that will enable equitable access for chess players to online chess activities will be one of the main challenges that CWP will have to confront and address. CWP should endeavour to assist clubs and players that do not have adequate financial means to participate in online chess activities through the apportionment of its own fund as well as to raising funding from corporate and government entities, private sector sponsorship and fundraising events.

It should be accepted that not every person that used to play OTB chess will be able to, or would want to, migrate onto the online chess platforms. The objective of CWP to simply to ensure that as many chess players as possible can access and participate on the online chess platforms. By establishing a core group of online chess players within a regulated online environment would allow us to leverage of that base to further develop and enhance our product offering relating to chess competitions, training, administration and development initiatives through the effective use of current and future technological applications.

For online chess to evolve in a sustainable manner, it is imperative that a proper business model be developed to incentivise player participation, fund the logistical activities of online events and also cater for the online chess development initiatives.

Our priority will be to ensure that we get the maximum number of players and all CWP clubs active in online chess through the hosting of blitz and rapid online events. Only once a critical mass of online players has been established will this programme be expanded to include standard format chess matches.

The participation of our chess players and administrators in online chess activities is expected to result them being enabled to also explore other non-chess technological applications which will assist youth players in developing knowledge and skills needed in the economies of the future and may also facilitate the re-skilling process for older persons.

Our journey into online chess will be one where we will encounter numerous challenges and face many risks. It is therefore important that CWP thoroughly plan its journey to enable us to navigate around all the challenges and implement measures to effectively mitigate the risks.

This venture into online chess will only be a success if we are able to enhance the chess experience of our members, produce chess players of a higher calibre than what our current systems has been delivering and significantly increase the number of active chess players in our region.

ONLINE CHESS STRATEGY AND POLICIES

CWP Online Chess Strategy
(Draft)

CWP Online Events 2020 [28-May-2020] (Draft)

CWP Online Chess Committee:
Terms of Reference (Draft)

CWP Player Code of Conduct
(Draft)

CHESS SOUTH AFRICA RATING OF ONLINE CHESS

Chess SA Online Chess Regulations
[17-Jul-2020]

CWP Comments on
Chess SA Online Chess Regulations

WCCA Position on
Chess SA Online Chess Regulations