Tuesday 16 August 2022

National Recognition for League Chairman Colin Green


On behalf of everyone involved with the CDCL, we'd like to wish our warmest congratulations to Colin Green, after recently being awarded the English Chess Federation 'President's Award for Services to Chess'. 

The award is richly deserved, following over 40 years of loyal service and dedication to chess in the Warwickshire area. Though Colin is a modest and selfless man, we are sure he will graciously appreciate this national recognition, alongside the hope it inspires those that follow in his footsteps. With that in mind, we'd like to take this moment to highlight some of Colin's incredible work.

During the 80's and 90's, he served as the county's Junior Chess Organiser, enabling young players to successfully compete on both a regional and national scale. His contribution helped to nurture a generation of talent, several of whom remain active in the chess scene. This unwavering commitment and passion towards widening junior participation has never faded; which was particularly evident in the past few years. 

Whilst Chairman of the CDCL, over the pandemic Colin was instrumental in almost everything we achieved. This began with the willingness to commit many hours of his own time each week to ensure a seamless transition to our first ever online competition. Even from the initial 'trial' season, the online league proved an overwhelming success, eventually attracting 30 teams. Despite the increase in organisation required, Colin lead excellently throughout, with the integrity and enthusiasm for which he is so well known. 

Perhaps the most significant part of this expansion was facilitating the introduction of nearby schools and Universities who would not ordinarily be suited to traditional evening league matches. Furthermore, this opened the door for an outreach scheme whereby volunteers would virtually teach local juniors, and distribute coaching resources. Colin's initiative and foresight in promoting online chess was truly admirable, seizing the opportunity to make the best of challenging circumstances. Furthermore, it is clear that the online league was crucial in securing a prosperous long-term future for the CDCL, for which we are extremely grateful.

As Colin now steps down from his role as chair, this seems a fitting moment to once again thank him for all that he has done for us as clubs and individuals, all connected by our common love for chess. Fortunately, he will continue sharing the joy of our beautiful game with members and close friends at his club, Nuneaton.

At Nuneaton, Colin is affectionately considered a club legend and treasure, with the same tireless application described above. It is also at his home club where Colin's warm and caring nature shines through brightest. He encourages all equally, regardless of age, ability, gender and race, building personal relationships along the journey. In fact, it is these which should be valued most fondly, both on and off the board.

Congratulations Colin, and best wishes!

To read a more detailed piece on Colin's impact, some of those closest to him within chess have written some wonderful and touching words in the full nomination, which can be found here:


Monday 8 August 2022

CDCL's Warwick University Receives National Award

Warmest wishes to the University of Warwick, who have been presented the 2022 English Chess Federation Award for Contribution to the Chess Community. The League congratulates the University, and recognizes the Chess Society's achievements and contributions to the wider community. Special mention goes to the University's efforts growing online chess engagement, significantly supported by the CDCL's online leagues. This was the springboard for the University's outreach experiment, whereby students volunteered to virtually coach local juniors of participating CDCL clubs.

Later on, the return of in-person chess saw the annual Warwick Rapidplay back for its 4th edition. As always, it was entirely student-run, and catered to players of all abilities across 3 closely-fought sections. The tournament reached far further than the Warwickshire area, attracting entrants from all corners of the country to share the enjoyment of over-the-board chess once more. 

The academic year was also a landmark one for women's chess with the introduction of Women's Chess Officers, who hosted female-only training, club-nights and social events. It also saw the official formation of the Warwick Chess Alumni Association, reconnecting generations of students across the country and the world.

With in-person chess returning, the University took the opportunity to spread chess beyond its members, to the wider campus community. 'Don't Stress Play Chess' was a weekly feature on the central Piazza during exam season, finishing with a 24-hour chess marathon raising £300 for charity. 

Hopefully the University continue their passionate and often innovative community contributions - congratulations again!

The University's submission to the ECF, its Annual Report for 2021-22, can be read on issuu.com: Link here.