The superb new venue for the 2019 Northumbria Masters – Novotel Newcastle Airport, Ponteland Lane, Kenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 3HZ – is situated just 400 metres from the A1 motorway and is 5 miles from Newcastle train station.

Please note: Although the hotel is Novotel Newcastle Airport, in fact it is 3.2 miles from Newcastle International Airport.

How to get to the venue:

By Car

Novotel Newcastle Airport is on Ponteland Road, Kenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 3HZ.  Travelling Northbound on the A1 (M), take the 2nd exit at the Kenton Bar Roundabout, onto Ponteland Road (B6918) and after 200 metres Novotel Newcastle Airport is on your right.

Travelling Southbound on the A1 (M), take the 4th exit at the Kenton Bar roundabout, again taking Ponteland Road and after 200 metres the hotel is on your right.

From Newcastle City Centre, take the A167 to Kenton Bar roundabout.

From Newcastle International Airport, take the A696 Southbound to Kenton Bar roundabout.

By Metro

From Newcastle Central Station, take the Green Line metro (to the Airport) to Kingston Park. Turn right onto Brunton Lane. Walk along Brunton Lane for 10 minutes (past Asda and Currys PC Word) and you will come to Novotel Newcastle Airport.

From Newcastle International Airport, take the Green Line (to South Hylton) to Kingston Park. Novotel is 10 minutes’ walk along Brunton Lane.

Facilities at Novotel Newcastle Airport:

  • Ample free car parking (register your car at Reception as a visitor to Northumbria Masters)
  • 126 en suite rooms
  • Restaurant and café, featuring international cuisine
  • Licensed bar
  • Picturesque picnic area adjacent to the hotel
  • Close to shopping, cafes and restaurants
  • 10 minutes’ walk from Kingston Park metro
  • Check-in from 14:00, checkout time 12:00
  • Free WiFi available
  • Laundry service
  • 24-hour reception


 Novotel Newcastle Airport Ponteland Road Kenton

Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 3HZ 

Tel: (+44) (0) 191 2140303

You are cordially invited to a special lecture by Russian Grandmaster Alex Raetsky at Forest Hall Chess Club on Friday 30 August, from 7pm-10pm. GM Alex Raetsky, a highly acclaimed chess coach and author, is in Newcastle for the Northumbria Masters (at Novotel Newcastle Airport, 23-27 August).

The lecture – ‘Chess Secrets from Russia‘ – will be aimed at club players of all ages and standards. Last year, Alex’s entertaining and instructive talk was described by club members as “the best ever.”

As a taster, here is an interview with Alex, where he talks about the chess festival he has organised in Voronezh, Russia, for the last 23 years:

The cost of the lecture is £10 per person (£8 for Under 18s / unwaged / OAPs), payable on the door. To book your place in advance, please write to me at:

We look forward to seeing you there!

As part of this year’s Northumbria Masters, we are organising 3 special excursions to some of North East England’s most attractive tourist destinations. 

These trips will be led by myself and my good friend Paul Robson, whom many of you will know well from various chess events. Between us, we know plenty of interesting stories about these historic attractions!

If you would like to join us on these trips, please let me know by email to: which trips you would like to make, and for which rounds you require a half point bye.


  1. Half point byes should be booked with me before the end of the previous round. Once pairings are published, we are not allowed to change them, according to FIDE rules.
  2. You are responsible for booking your own tickets to Bamburgh Castle, The Tempest theatre tickets, Vindolanda Fort & Roman Army Museum and Durham Castle.
  3. The Northumbria Masters takes no responsibility for these tickets, but we will take you free of charge by car from the venue, Novotel Newcastle Airport, to these destinations (and get you back in good time for the next round). If you prefer to take your own car, you are also welcome to join us on the excursions.

Here are the details of the trips:

Excursion 1: Bamburgh Castle & ‘The Tempest’

Saturday 24th August, 2:00pm-9:00pm

(Bye required for Round 3)

Visit to Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, & Performance of ‘The Tempest’

Including: Tour of Bamburgh Castle, the home of Uhtred of Bebbanburgh in ‘The Last Kingdom’.


Cars depart from Novotel to Bamburgh Castle (55 mins, 47 miles): 2:00pm

Bamburgh Castle visit: 3:00pm-5:00pm

The Tempest performance: 5:30pm

Arrive back at Novotel: About 9:00pm

Castle tickets: Adults £11, children £5.50 (family and other discounts available)

PLUS: Highly entertaining performance of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ by The Handle Bards, an acclaimed all-female cycling theatrical troupe, at Bamburgh Castle, Saturday August 24, 5:30pm

Poster for The Handlebards’ production of ‘The Tempest’ (image courtesy of The Handlebards)

Buy tickets here:

Prices: Adults: £16.00, Children (10-18 years) £10.00  

The Handelbards on tour (Image courtesy of The Handlebards)

Excursion 2: Vindolanda Roman Fort & Roman Army Museum

Sunday 25th August: 9:15am-2:00pm

(Bye required for Round 4)

Vindolanda Roman Fort, part of the Hadrian’s Wall fortifications (Wikicommons)


Cars depart from Novotel: 9:15am

Return to Novotel by 2:00pm

32 miles from Novotel Newcastle Airport, travel time 40 minutes

Please note: You can buy joint tickets to see both Vindolanda Fort and the Roman Army Museum: Adult £11.60, Child £6.85 (family & other discounts available)

Excursion 3: Durham Castle & Cathedral

Monday 26th August, 9:00am-2:00pm

(Bye required for Round 6)

The Gatehouse to Durham Castle, the traditional home of the Bishops of Durham since the Norman Conquest (Wikicommons)


Cars depart Novotel: 9:15am

Travel time 35 minutes, 22 miles

Guided Tour of Durham Castle: 10:15am-11:15am

Walk around Durham Cathedral (200 metres from Durham Castle) & Durham’s historic city centre 11:15am-1:00pm

Return to Novotel by 2:00pm

Tickets to Durham Castle can be booked in advance by calling: +44 (0)191 334 2932 or email:

The magnificent interior of Durham Cathedral (Wikicommons)

I look forward to welcoming you to the Northumbria Masters tournament and invite you to join us on an excursion or two – if you are either taking a break from the chess, or are accompanying players at the tournament.

I am sure you will enjoy your stay in the beautiful and historic North East of England!

To book your place on any of the excursions, please contact Tournament Director Tim Wall at:

Mobile (also SMS and What’sApp): +44 (0) 750 3722366

There is still time to enter the 2019 Northumbria Masters, where a total of 6 GMs and 7 IMs lead the field at what promises to be one of the UK’s most exciting International Opens this year.

To avoid a late entry fee, it’s best to enter before Friday 16th August.

The top seed and reigning champion, Alexander Donchenko (GER, 2615), faces a tough challenge from a bevy of GMs, including Dutchman Roeland Pruijssers, Australian Justin Tan, Ukraine’s Andrei Maksimenko, England’s Danny Gormally and Russia’s Alexander Raetsky.

Other players to watch out for include English IMs James Adair, Alan Merry, Brandon Clarke and Gary Quillan, plus the world’s second-highest rated 12-year-old, Siddarth Jagadeesh of Singapore.

Apart from GM Danny Gormally, the local North East England contingent includes IM David Eggleston, FM Charlie Storey, fresh from his IM norm at the British Championship, and Dutch-born Yichen Han of Newcastle, the highest rated junior for his age resident in the UK.

As of August 9, entries for the Northumbria Masters stood at 42 players, of which 16 represent national federations other than England.

In the Challengers (Under 2050 FIDE & Under 180 ECF) event, there were 20 entries.

And in the Major (Under 1825 FIDE and Under 150 ECF), there were a total of 22 entries.

There are also plenty of places left in the Junior Rapidplay, which is the first-ever FIDE-rated Rapidplay for juniors in the North East England.

To enter the Masters, Challengers, Major or Junior Rapidplay, simply fill in the online entry form and pay via PayPal or Credit/Debit card to secure your place.

All queries are welcome to the Tournament Director, Tim Wall, at: or +44 (0) 750 372 2366.

We look forward to seeing you at Novotel Newcastle Airport on Friday 23rd August! And remember, if you’re planning to enter, don’t leave it until the last minute – a late entry fee of £10 will be payable for anyone entering after Friday 16th August.