Impulses for the Chess Community: The Work4Chess Online Conference

by Stefan Löffler
9/16/2021 – How do you plan chess events with Covid-19 in mind? What to offer non-club players fascinated by online chess and "The Queen's Gambit"? What is hybrid chess good for? The Work4Chess online conference on Saturday, 18 September, tries to answer these and other questions. Access to the online conference is free. | Photos: ChessTech

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An autumn full of chess events has begun. Players and organisers are eager to return to the boards and no one wants to see another season without live chess. However, planning and running tournaments and chess courses is still complicated by the unpredictability of the Covid 19 pandemic and the changes of public policies.


On Saturday, 18 September, Work4Chess is bringing together experts from the international chess community for a one-day conference to help clubs and federations to meet these challenges and to make the most of millions of new players who have discovered online chess during the pandemic or who have been hooked by the Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit".

David Smerdon, behavioural economist and Grandmaster, shows what chess can learn from fraud prevention at universities. 

The English-language conference begins with a discussion by four decision-makers under the age of 30 on how organised chess should continue beyond the pandemic: It's about voice, transparency, diversity, digitalisation and environmental responsibility. This will be followed by keynote presentations on the marketing opportunities facing chess now and in the near future.

Tris-Ann Richards, President of the Saint Lucia Chess Federation, talks with other chess personalities under the age of 30 about the future of chess beyond the pandemic.

The two plenary sessions are followed by workshops divided into two parallel thematic streams. Restart Chess is about season planning, marketing, support for clubs and school chess. Technology includes hybrid chess, prevention of cheating, personalisation in online training and the user experience. There will also be presentations by sponsors Tornelo and Play Magnus Group and other exhibitors.

Celebrated Indian coach R.B. Ramesh reflects with historian Andrea Graus Ferrer on how chess treats its youngest talents. 

Program, 18 September 2021

14:15 - 14:45 Beyond Chess (lunch talk)
15:00 - 15:55 What Clubs Need Now
16:00 - 16:55 School Chess 3.0

17:00 - 18:00 Employment in Chess

The conference title "Work4Chess" is a tribute to all those who work hard in various capacities to spread and develop chess. In the chess community there is a great willingness to work together, but little exchange of experience beyond national borders and few opportunities to network internationally. All recordings will remain accessible to registered participants until 27 September. Registration costs 15 euros.



Stefan Löffler writes the Friday chess column in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and succeeds Arno Nickel as editor of the Chess Calendar. For ChessBase the International Master reports from his adopted country Portugal.


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