This year we have moved online in keeping with the theme of the Conference: Chess and Technology. We are inviting industry leaders, pioneers and startups alike. We are expecting 400+ attendees, mostly decision-makers, technologists and multipliers, and 25+ businesses to be present. In 30+ sessions of different formats, the conference will reflect on the fast developments since the start of the pandemic and offer glimpses of what we can expect in the near future. We also offer opportunities to exhibit products and to network. For more information, visit ChessTech2020.
The London Chess Conference 2020 will be held online under the title ChessTech2020.
Please go to the new conference website
When I heard that the theme of this year’s London Chess Conference was going to be ‘Chess and Female Empowerment,’ I wanted to be there. I didn’t know what chess and female empowerment was, exactly, but it sounded intriguing. The organisers accepted my proposal to give a talk called ‘Chess is My Passport’, about how chess had taken me all over the world and brought me into contact with interesting people, who sometimes gave me non-chess career opportunities.
Once the other opening talks were under way I started to feel that I hadn’t taken the subject seriously enough. Other speakers had devoted years to bringing more girls into chess. I had only tried to get my daughter to play chess at primary school, and she gave up. But that makes her one of the majority of girls who try chess and give up at age 11, as we learned from the presentations. The question was why?
Participants from more than thirty countries are confirmed, and we expect to have up to forty countries present. We have always had a higher share of women than other not gender-segregated chess events, and female participation will be even higher this year thanks to our theme Chess and Female Empowerment. We are fairly optimistic that the tickets will be selling out, so we recommend you to register before it is too late. If you are a contributor you are prompted to register, so please check your e-mails.
Besides our usual keynotes, workshops, debates and software presentations, not to mention all the side meetings and training courses before and after the conference, our most diverse conference programme so far will introduce book presentations and film screenings. In the exhibition we are adding a book table. Another first is that we will present our main findings to the public on the Monday at 11 at the London Chess Classic together with our Honorary Director Judit Polgar, with Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, who switched profession from chess to politics, and with other speakers.
Our opening session will feature female perspectives on chess in education and its competitive version. We will invite you to World Café style debates on propositions ranging from “Should Every Chess Team Have a Female Player?” to “How Can Chess (and This Conference) Become Greener?”. Three round tables are scheduled. Their topics are inclusion, FIDE and women’s chess. We have close to twenty workshops. As each will have two or more presenters you can imagine the richness and diversity of
Our programme table is so rich that we are adding lunchbreak offerings. On our first day Jonathan Rowson will talk and answer questions about his new book, while on day two we will screen a new documentary on the four Georgian women who dominated women’s chess before the Polgar sisters took over.
We can still accomodate select contributions: Are you up to present the debate, if women chess titles should be abandoned, or if chess federations should focus on improving the performance of female players or on increasing their membership numbers? We can still accomodate a presenter or two in our workshops on “The Parents´ Role”, “Chess Programmes for Girls” and “Online Teacher Trainings”. Please write us at email@example.com
We are pleased and honoured to reveal that Judit Polgar is part of the London Chess Conference as its Honorary Director. She has been consulting us on various aspects of the conference, its programme and its communications. As she will receive a Golden Pawn Award from the European Chess Union in Monte Carlo on 30 November, she will join the conference on the second day. She will be a discussant at the concluding round table “A Century of Women´s Chess: What have we Learned?”.
The best-ever female chess player has strong views on chess and gender. These are well-founded in her experience from growing up in a chess family to a successful career as a professional player. Even though she lead the women´s rating list for 25 years, she never aspired to win women´s titles. Instead she strived to compete with the very best regardless of gender. At her peak she was among the ten best players in the world. In the media limelight from a young age, she has sharpened her views over many interviews (one was just published on chess.com a few days ago) and public appearances.
She excelled as the main commentator of the last two world championships in 2016 in New York and in 2018 in London. The last time she participated in the London Chess Classic was in 2012 when she was interviewed by The Guardian.
Judit lobbied the European Parliament to support the introduction of chess in the education system and her country to make chess an optional subject, and most Hungarian primary schools have introduced it. Since ending her competitive career she has been promoting chess. She built a foundation and developed acclaimed teaching materials with her team. The Chess Palace Programme is already in practice for the seventh school year. Among its special features is artwork contributed by her sister Zsófia.
Judit is also the initiator and organiser of the Global Chess Festival in her home town Budapest on which we reported earlier. Among the many aspects of this wonderful festival is a conference. She has spoken about chess and education at numerous conferences and on other occasions in dozens of countries. She repeatedly visited China, where her curriculum and books are now widely in use.
In 2018 she has accepted the position of Honorary Vice President in FIDE with a focus on chess in education and on gender. “I am very pleased to see both topics united in this conference, so I feel that I must be part of it”, Judit told us when she accepted to be Honorary Conference Director.
We have been asked about the structure of our conference. We have parallel streams throughout both conference days on our title theme “Chess and Female Empowerment” as well as on Chess in Education with a bit of overlap. Here is our planned schedule:
|Saturday 30 November|
|11.00-12.45||Opening Plenary: Female Perspectives|
|12.45-14.00|| Lunch |
|14.00-16.00||World Café Debates|
|Round Table Inclusion and Equal Opportunity in Chess|
|18.30-20.30||Games on 8×8 Evening|
|Sunday 1 December|
|11.00-13.00|| Keynotes |
World Café Debates
|14.15-15.30|| Round Table The Woman Question in Chess|
This doesn´t mention the numerous side meetings that are informal or by invitation only nor the planned film screenings.
The world class action in the Grand Chess Tour final will start on the day after the conference on Monday, 2 December. If you participate yourself in the London Chess Classic, your playing schedule will allow you to attend a part of the conference on Saturday, 30 November, and most of it on Sunday, 1 December. Several bus lines run between the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith and the Olympia Kensington. It is just under a mile or twenty minutes to walk. Considering that you won´t be able to attend the conference at full length, as a registered participant of the FIDE Open or Weekender you are eligible to attend the conference on both days with the purchase of one day ticket.
Please keep our call for contributors in mind contact us with your suggested presentation or debate topic.
The London Chess Conference (30 November and 1 December 2019) is looking for your contributions related to the theme of “Chess and Female Empowerment”. Don’t be shy to present or debate. You may contribute an article, a poster about your project, research or experience. We want to have a lively informed debate which
Workshops typically comprise 10-20 participants exploring a topic in detail. You may wish to contribute as a workshop chair or presenter. Potential workshops titles are:
- Making clubs and competitions more welcoming (not only) for women and girls
- Increasing the role of women in chess organisations
- Empowering female teachers in school chess
- The growth mindset in junior chess
- Prejudice, sexism and how to fight it
- Innovation and diversity in chess organisations
- Project evaluation
- Conducting surveys
Another cherished format of the London Chess Conference is the “World Café Debate”. All debates take place simultaneously in the main hall. Each debate is moderated by the same person. The participants will be invited at (30 minute) intervals to move along to another debate. Possible debate topics include:
- Should girls have separate competitions?
- Should women-only titles (WFM, WIM, WGM) be abandoned?
- Policy focus: decrease the performance gap or the participation gap?
- Equal pay for woman players?
We are also planning two round tables with discussants and questions from the audience. Are you up to debate this:
- One century of promoting females in chess: what have we learned?
- Inclusion and equal opportunity in competitive chess
Please contribute your suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that we already have several sessions lined up with speakers and debaters. The call for contributors does not detract from currently planned topics.
Join us on 30th November and 1st December
Please save the date of the next London Chess Conference. Our seventh edition will again coincide with the start of the London Chess Classic on the weekend of 30th November and 1st December 2019. The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith proved to be a popular venue last time and so we will be there again. The theme this year is the topical – “Chess and Female Empowerment”. More information on this will follow soon.
We will also continue our focus on chess in education with parallel streams of presentations, workshops
We are delighted to announce that the Conference is being sponsored by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), the European Chess Union (ECU), Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) and the English Chess Federation (ECF).
Please contact us if you want to suggest a workshop session or debate. If you want to give a presentation please send a title and summary (max. 100 words) by 15 September latest to email@example.com
See also London Chess Classic