Year 2020 was a challenging one for chess, to say the least. For the majority of its duration our game lost its over-the-board tournaments and moving online had its own share of troubles.
The beginning was bright though. ACP secured special conditions and prizes for its Premium Members at the Gibraltar Open held in January. We also signed a Letter of Understanding with ECU to have 5 prizes (1000 eur each) for our Premiums at the European Individial Championships (open and women).
When the pandemic hit the world ACP issued an open letter expressing concern about FIDE’s decision to stage the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg. Our position was largely approved by the chess community. ACP also issued an open letter to all organiser and national federations, urging them to stop or postpone their planned over-the-board events.
With OTB chess cancelled, in July ACP organised an online event (ACP-Chessbase Knockout) in cooperation with Chessbase that was held on the Playchess platform. We wanted to help our members since everybody who participated in our event got a prize. We received a generous donation from the James Eade Foundation that helped increase the prize fund.
After the shocking final of the Online Olympiad ACP published its view on online chess, touching a lot of sensitive aspects of this form of chess.
We ran two polls – one was what we called “pandemic poll,” aimed to better understand the situation of the chess professionals during the worst months of the pandemic. The other one was more of a public opinion survey about FIDE President’s idea to limit the participation of chess players to only one league.
In November ACP published a proposal for the World Championship cycle, advocating an inclusion of open tournaments into the cycle. The idea was met with general approval.
I took part in the online conference “What Future for Professional Chess” organised by ChessTech. The conference led to very interesting discussions and it included GMs Peter-Heine Nielsen, Ivan Salgado, Noel Studer and Mohamad Al-Mudahka.
By the end of the year ACP announced its Twitch channel with the idea to function as a platform for discussion of all topics and to promote the game of chess.
ACP was very active in this turbulent year. I cannot say that the future is bright, but ACP will continue to strive to make it better.