London Chess Conference

Sunday 6th Dec - Day 2

Programme sessions are in GMT (London time)

09:00 - 10:00

Alessandro Dominici (Alfiere Bianco)

Giulia Tonel (Le Due Torri) 

To introduce the new version of Victor’s Chess House. It has been rewritten from Flash to JavaScript so that it is widely available in four languages – Italian, English, German and Spanish. It was designed to be used by teachers and children age 7-10. Victor’s Chess House helps teachers to learn chess alongside their pupils. Victor’s Chess House is the only classroom software which is optimised for single focus (watch and listen) rather than reading instructions (double focus). It was originally developed by Alfiere Bianco from 2007 and enhanced during the Erasmus+ CASTLE Project (2014-2017). It is part of the new Erasmus+ CGS project 2020 – 2023.

Castle Project Victor’s Chess House

European Commission Video on Castle Project (Officially recognised by the European Union Erasmus+ programme as “Success Story”).

C.A.S.T.L.E.: a chess path to develop students’ skills

Victor’s Chess House (English, subtitles in Spanish/Italian)

09:00 - 10:00

The ChessCube platform founded by Mark Levitt in 2007 attracted 1.4 million users. It pioneered video and wagering features but it never became profitable. Volunteers kept the platform going until January 2020. Levitt had moved on to other ventures in 2011, but he learned valuable lessons from the ChessCube saga that he is now ready to share with Sasa Radic. 

This session is different from the others.  First, we will play a short pre-recorded interview segment with Sasa after Mark will answer questions one by one from the audience using a client service app called Waitroom – which is Mark’s new project.

09:00 - 11:00

Barry Hymer (Chessable Science Consultant)
Fernand Gobet (LSE)
Andrea Brancaccio (University of Padua)
Dainis Zegners (Rotterdam School of Management)
Christian Seel (Maastricht University)

What is the the role of chess for science? And what role does science play in chess? Psychologists, economists and other social scientists have analysed chess data for their research. Particularly chess ratings and game databases make great sources for scientific studies. After a general introduction by Barry Hymer, Fernand Gobet and Andrea Brancaccio will give a quick tour of recent research. Dainis Zegners and Christian Seel will present their latest chess-related papers.    

The session is hosted by Stefan Löffler (ChessTech).

10:00 - 11:00

Daniel King


There are dozens of chess channels on Youtube (explorewith more than 100,000 followers. What is required to produce high quality videos? How can content be promoted? How does Youtube generate income for chess content creators? 

Daniel King runs the popular channel PowerPlayChess 

11:00 - 12:00

José Camacho Collados (Cardiff University)

Alice O´Gorman (ECU Women´s Commission)
David Smerdon (University of Queensland) 
Tom Stafford (Sheffield University)

To what degree can the low representation of women in top chess be explained by their lower participation rate? Do female-only competitions help to decrease the gap? Are women underperforming or overperforming against men, or as psychologists would have it: is there stereotype threat in chess? What are the implications for women´s chess?

Host: Eric van Reem

11:00 - 12:00

Based on the experience of numerous nationwide club and scholastic chess projects, I will demonstrate how a large-scale, online education project can be configured rapidly. I will also present our new and exciting developments in chess and technology.

In the presentation:
– I will explain the main challenges of planning and setting up a large-scale online educational project.
– Take a look at our unique Central Management system in action, which is the key component of our nationwide and school district projects.
– Experience the ease of managing teachers and students in a large-scale system.
– Find and export teachers’ and students’ performance statistics from the system.
– Study and rank thousands of students in your chess clubs and schools using LearningChess.

LearningChess demonstration

LearningChess Contact Form

12:00 - 13:00

Ullrich Paquet (Google DeepMind)

Nenad Tomasev (Google DeepMind)

Mike Klein (Chesskid)

Knowledge of modern chess has evolved over hundreds of years. But is the game too equal? Would chess look very different, if there were other early perturbations to the rules? With help from AlphaZero and Vladimir Kramnik, this talk will attempt to answer such questions! Ulrich Paquet and Nenad Tomase tell a story of how the changes allow for novel strategic and tactical patterns to emerge, while keeping the games close to the original. By learning near-optimal strategies for each variant with AlphaZero, an artificial intelligence system, they determine what games between strong human players might look like if these variants were adopted. Qualitatively, several variants are very dynamic. Quantitatively, piece values change and it can be seen where opening theory fluctuates. AlphaZero shows that there are rich possibilities that lie beyond the rules of modern chess! More details here developed a platform for several of the variants that were explored.

12:00 - 13:30

Sanjoy Banerjee (chess24)

Lars Drygajlo (German Youth Chess Association)

Ljubica Lazarevic (Kingston Chess Club)

Online training for groups. Virtual club tooms. A club member app. Discord. Video chat. Learn about tools that can bring your club through the pandemic. Meet managers of clubs that even found new members since March.  

Host:  Sean Marsh

12:00 - 13:00

Jop Delemarre

An experienced online tutor explains how to develop the talents of your clients. He shows how to use online tools effectively to create structured material and design an individual learning programme.

13:00 - 14:00

Mike Klein (Chesskid)

David Cordover (Tornelo)

Aris Marghetis (International Arbiter)

When championships cannot take place over the board, federations and clubs have to rethink their championships before they can  bring them online. They need a different expertise and platforms to partner with. On the positive side, online competitions can be profitable and sustain structures.   

13:00 - 14:00

Kaja Snare (Play Magnus)

Dylan Loeb McClain

Alojzije Jankovic (Croatian TV)

Delia Duca (Romanian TV)

Fernando Offermann (freelance writer)

A Netflix series has ignited huge interest in chess. Two journalists and three TV presenters discuss how chess should be communicated, how chess events should be staged , and what stories are worth telling now to catch a wider audience and keep it hooked.

The round table is hosted by Ulrich Stock from the German weekly DIE ZEIT. 

14:00 - 15:30

Jennifer Shahade (US Chess)

Adia Onyango  (US Chess)

Bianca de Jong-Muhren (Dutch Chess Federation)

Polina Otto (Swedish Chess Federation) 

Teresa Munoz (Catalan Chess Federation) 

Lilli Hahn (German Youth Chess Association)

“Chess and Female Empowerment” was the theme of our conference in 2019, which we revisit with a look at online chess projects that are specifically for girls and women. Several such initiatives have started during the pandemic. Activists from the Catalan, Dutch, German, Swedish and US federations share what they have done and learned. They share thoughts on projects, policies and grant programmes dedicated to girls and women.  

Chair: Alice O’Gorman (ECU Women´s Commission)

14:00 - 15:00

Raghuraman S (Chesslang)

Niels van der Mark (Chesser)

Host: Sean Marsh (CSC)

This session features new technology developed by two young companies. Chesslang will present its tools for online chess academies. Chesser demonstrates its digital demo board. 

14:00 - 17:00

Mit Dijana Dengler 

Paul Meyer-Dunker (Berliner Schachverband)

Lars Drygajlo (Deutsche Schachjugend)

Helge Frowein (Deutsche Schachjugend)

Conrad Schormann (ChessTech)

Frank Bicker (

und weiteren Gästen. 

Hier treffen sich deutschsprachige Vortragende und Teilnehmer der Konferenz zu Vorträgen und um Neuigkeiten und Ideen der Konferenz weiter zu diskutieren.

Zwischen 14 und 15 Uhr GMT (15-16 Uhr in Mitteleuropa) liegt der Schwerpunkt auf Schulschach und neuer Lernsoftware

Zwischen 15 und 16 Uhr GMT soll es um Onlineschach (Betrug, Plattformen, neue Formate) gehen

Von 16 bis 17 Uhr darum, was Vereine jetzt tun können, um gut durch die Corona-Zeit zu kommen, etwa eine eigene Vereins-App aufsetzen. Unterstützt wird diese Session von der Deutschen Schachjugend.

14:00 - 15:00

Judit Sztaray (Mechanics Chess Club San Francisco)

David Cordover (Tornelo)

Stefan Löffler (ChessTech, chair)

Most online play and competitions suffer from a sameness in format and time control. Blitz prevails to keep the attention and to reduce cheating. There could be much more variety. This session reflects upon alternative ways of running online chess competitions. It explores how a spirit of experimentation can be promoted and how new formats should be properly evaluated.

15:00 - 16:00

Jop Delemarre

An experienced online tutor explains how to develop the talents of your clients. He shows how to use online tools effectively to create structured material and design an individual learning programme.

15:00 - 16:30

Reid McElroy-Young (University of Toronto)

Ashton Anderson (University of Toronto)

Martin Bennedik (

Delia Duca (University of Brasov)

Pawel Kacprzak (Chessvision)

Albert Silver (ChessBase)

Machine learning and big data drive new developments in research and chess software. This session starts with a presentation of MaiaChess and is reserved for scientists and developers to discuss tools, share ideas and connect for joint projects.

15:00 - 16:00

James Canty III (US)

Sasha Starr (Canada)

Ljubica Lazarevic (UK)

Chess streamers are a colourful crowd, younger and more often female than the average tournament player. On the streaming platform Twitch chess has grown enormously in 2020 and not only in English. What equipment and softwares do streamers need? How can they earn money? What formats work well? Our panelists are quite diverse and will have different answers, but they are all experts of this new craft.      

Chair: Stefan Löffler

15:00 - 16:00

Elizabeth Spiegel (I.S. 318 Brooklyn)

Andrew Varney (Acornchess)

Host: Dijana Dengler

Teaching online is quite different from teaching in the classroom. Elizabeth Spiegel, US Chess Educator of the Year 2019, shares some methods that she found efficient during the last months. Beginners should not do without minigames. Few had been digitalized and available in an educational context, before Acornchess came out a few months ago. Acornchess will show its online teaching system based on minigames and tutor control.

Host: Dijana Dengler is currently a chess teacher in Singapore. She built the Munich Chess Foundation and worked in the Munich Chess Academy for ten years. She represented Bosnia and Herzegovina in 12 Chess Olympiads and is a member of the FIDE Education Commission.

16:00 - 17:00

While the pandemic has presented difficult education challenges, it has also created opportunities to grow chess with scholastic youth around the world.  Whether your school is meeting face-to-face, online, or using a hybrid approach, in tbhis workshop you can learn how regular classroom teachers can integrate the e-learning tools of to make chess fun, accessible and educational to children aged 5-15. 

16:00 - 17:00

With access to schools limited during the COVID emergency, Chief Trainer Sean Marsh explains how he trained sixty CSC tutors in the art of online chess delivery.


16:00 - 17:00

Ben Johnson (Perpetual Chess)

John Hartmann (Chess Life)

Dylan Loeb McClain (The Check Weekly)

Host: Eric van Reem

Our media reception is changing. Most chess journalism is online now, and the share of audio or audiovisual is increasing. Chess Life editor John Hartmann will explain how the magazine is adapting print materials for online readers and viewers. Dylan Loeb McClain, a veteran news journalist, has recently started “The Check Weekly” videos and will talk about the ideas behind it. Ben Johnson will present the “Perpetual Chess” podcast that inspired others to try out talking chess. For instance Eric van Reem, who recently created “Let´s Talk About Chess” and facilitates this session.

17:00 - 19:00

Dr. Alexey Root, author of Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators, presents about psychological issues and chess. She provides discussion questions for participants. Those include: What might parents, educators, and children answer if asked “why chess?” What makes a great player? Why do children quit chess? How do the questions we ask when teaching affect girls and boys? Why do people cheat at chess? How might psychology help us answer these questions?

Chess Café

Tired of Zoom meetings

Drop-in for a video chat.

This is where you can make friends and influence people.


Don’t be in a Zoom session at the same time.