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2020 FAQs

Why is the 2020 competition being held online?

Due to the covid-19 outbreak any over the board chess is impossible for the time being. At the time of making the decision (May 2020) it was impossible to say with any certainty when it might be possible to resume over the board play so we felt it was best for participants to have some certainty regarding the tournament structure and dates and hosting it online was the only way we could do that.

Is playing chess online as good as the real thing?

Well there are pros and cons for sure. Whilst we can’t replicate the experience of feeling the pieces and meeting friends face to face there are some significant benefits to playing online.

Such as…?

  • Convenience of playing from home
  • Much less waiting time in between rounds
  • All games are automatically recorded so you can replay and see where you went wrong (perhaps with the help of a coach)
  • Able to efficiently run lots of different types of events
  • Real time rating system so you get feedback on your progress immediately (as opposed to ECF grades which take 6 months)!

Why did you choose lichess?

Honestly as chess players ourselves we feel lichess simply provides the best playing experience – from the simple user interface, multitude of time controls and variants on offer and the ever improving learning tools (including “studies”). Best of all it is completely free to use all the features which makes it rather unique.

Is it safe for children to use

Yes it is – but as responsible parents you should assess for yourselves what features you want your child to have access to and how much supervision they will need. Unlike lichess isn’t built specifically for children – so for example there is a free form chat facility and the ability to message members. However there is a “kid mode” which we reccomend you use if you have concerns.

How do I enable “Kid Mode”

When you purchase a registration ticket we will send full “onboarding instructions” including how to enable Kid Mode. You simply click on the username (top right) and click on ‘preferences’. Kid mode is the 5th option in the left hand menu.

Should we be worried about cheating?

It is true that there have been instances of cheating in online chess (as with over the board chess) though it is less prevalent than many people assume. We are doing what we can to discourage all forms of cheating and to fairly deal with such cases. Please see our fair play policy for further details.