We are very pleased to announce that the Northumbria Masters is back, and is one of the first major UK events helping to restart over-the-board chess this year as we gradually recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The entry form for the 2021 Northumbria Masters Congress has now been published, and can be downloaded here:


The safety and wellbeing of all chess players and their families is our first concern, so we are happy that our brand new Covid-secure venue, Marriott MetroCentre in Gateshead, is fully equipped to deal with all your needs.

As well as a spacious 330 square metre playing hall, the European Suite, there is a dedicated analysis room nearby. Four large projector screens will allow players to observe the top games in the GM & IM All-Play-Alls and Masters tournaments from anywhere in the playing hall.

The Marriott MetroCentre has 150 luxurious rooms for you to stay in and relax, and we are encouraging players to stay at the hotel and enjoy playing chess again in comfort and style.

A special group room rate is being offered by Marriott MetroCentre of £60 per room (single occupancy) and £70 per room (double occupancy), including breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

The hotel has an extensive bar and restaurant area, including some seating outdoors, offering a full breakfast, lunch and dinner service.

There is also an excellent Fitness Club at the disposal of all guests, with indoor pool, gym and fitness rooms, plus spa and sauna.

Marriott MetroCentre is also less than half a mile from the MetroCentre shopping and leisure complex, where you can find cinema screens, a bowling alley and various other leisure facilities to keep all the family happily occupied.

And of course, the Marriott MetroCentre is perfectly situated for short excursions to the historic city of Durham, Newcastle City Centre, Hadrian’s Wall and the Beamish Open-Air Museum – all within 30 minutes’ drive away. (We have allowed the possibility for players to take up to 3 half-point byes in the first 6 rounds of the congress, so that they and their families and friends can take a break and enjoy these fantastic local tourist attractions.)

Key highlights in this year’s entry form:

Brand new venue:

Marriott MetroCentre,
Marconi Way, Gateshead NE11 9XF

Accommodation can be booked directly with Marriott Metrocentre

Special group room rate (including breakfast):

£60 (single occupancy)

£70 (double occupancy)

Book your group rate here for Northumbria Chess Masters

Please note: Special room rate is only available when you book before July 29. After that date, higher room rates may apply.


Thursday 26th August – Monday 30th August, 2021 (Bank Holiday weekend)

Additional tournaments:

GM norm All-Play-All (10 players, by invitation only)

IM norm All-PLay-All (10 players, by invitation only)

Minor (Under 1500, ECF-rated only)

New ECF Rating system:

The English Chess Federation has now switched to a FIDE-style 4-digit rating system. All 3-digit ECF grades have now been converted into 4-digit ratings.

Rating bands:

The rating bands of the tournaments are:

Masters – Open to all players, regardless of rating (FIDE-rated, eligible for title norms)

Challengers – Under 2000 FIDE & ECF Rating (FIDE-rated)

Major – Under 1750 ECF & FIDE Rating (ECF-rated only)

Minor – Under 1500 ECF & FIDE Rating (ECF-rated only)

Date of age qualification (for various prizes):

Now January 1, 2021 (this simplification fits in with FIDE, which publishes just the year of a player’s birth)

Ways to enter:

1) Online at: https://northumbriamasters.com;

2) By email to timpeterwall@gmail.comwith a copy of the entry form. You will be sent details of how to pay by bank transfer; or

3) By post with an entry form and cheque payable to ‘UK Chess Events Ltd’ to: Tim Wall, 8 Whitfield Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 7LJ, UK.

For more information, including for players wishing to play in the All-Play-All GM norm & IM norm tournaments, Tel./WhatsApp: +44 (0) 750 372 2366 or e-mail: timpeterwall@gmail.com

Final preparations are underway for the announcement that the 2021 Northumbria Masters will be going ahead on Thursday 26th to Monday 30 August at a brand new venue, the Marriott MetroCentre in Gateshead.

Final details are still being worked out with the hotel, which is currently gearing up for the next stage in the easing of lockdown restrictions on May 17. As soon as these arrangements are finalised, the entry form will be published and downloadable via this website, and on the ECF and FIDE Calendars.

This announcement should be made by May 17 at the latest.

All tournaments will be 9 rounds over four and a half days, played at the time control of 90 minutes for all moves, plus 30 seconds per move.

There will be 4 tournaments open for the public to enter: Masters (Open); Challengers (Under 2000); Major (Under 1750) and Minor (under 1500).

Those wishing to enter the tournaments, or to make a hotel room booking at the Marriott MetroCentre at the special rate negotiated through the Northumbria Masters, are kindly asked to wait until this formal announcement is made. All room bookings should be made via this website to secure the special rate.

Thank you for your patience. Hopefully, we will all see each other over the board very soon!

Tim Wall

Tournament Director

Northumbria Masters