Sheffield & District Chess Association

Established 1883







Vox Populi


Now that friendly over-the-board matches seem likely to be arranged between clubs, the nitty-gritty of match conditions is likely to arise.  As Alan McIntosh has mentioned to other members of the Executive, “Those willing to play may expect normal chess conditions, with no Covid restrictions, but those thinking of returning may be hoping for some measures such as the wearing of a mask.”  Others may prefer to stick to on-line chess, or neither.


This sort of topic has been addressed by the Derbyshire Contract Bridge Association via on-line questionnaires.  The bridge world uses “F2F” for “face-to-face”, corresponding to the chess world’s “OTB” for “over-the-board”.  The following are links to these questionnaires lest you wish to take a peek:


The following list of questions is based in part on the DCBA questionnaires.  Clubs could implement such a questionnaire to see how their members felt about things.  Equally clubs within an Association could be ask to complete it, or something similar, in preparation for re-launching their league.


Preference for OTB and/or On-line Matches



Tick which Apply

I want to play only OTB matches


I want to play only on-line matches


I want  to play both OTB and on‑line matches


I want to play OTB but wish to wait until its safer


I will not be playing regularly




Covid Vaccination Status



Tick which Applies

I have had no Covid vaccination


I have had the first of 2 required initial doses


I have had both of 2 required initial doses


I have had a third (booster) dose


I have had 1 dose, and require only the 1 dose


I have had the 1 and only required dose, and a booster


I prefer not to say




Requirement for Vaccination or Testing




If all players were required to have 2 vaccination doses

or to have a negative Covid test within last 48 hours,

would you be more or less likely to play in OTB matches?




Face Masks At or Near the Board



Tick which Apply

I am prepared to wear a face mask if required by law


I am prepared to wear a face mask if required by competition rules, even if not by law


I am prepared to wear a face mask if required by the opponents’ premises, even if not by law


I am prepared to wear a face mask if required by the opponents’ club rules, even if not by law or the premises




Remember, face masks are primarily to help stop the wearer infecting others,

and only secondarily to offer some protection to the wearer.

Saying your opponent “has the choice” is missing the point as to why some people might wish masks to be required by competition or club rules.


Players might want boards to be well spaced.  Players might also be worried about whether pieces had been sanitised and so on.  (Yes, you can wear gloves.)  Players might expect hand sanitising facilities to be provided by the home club or the venue.  (Yes, you can take your own.)



Steve Mann