We are pleased to announce the lineups for the 1st EJCOA Forest Hall Invitational, which comprises two 10-player all-play-all tournaments – one for IM, WGM and WIM norms, and the other aimed at promising young players.

The tournaments are the first in a regular series of all-play-all events planned in Newcastle upon Tyne, Yorkshire and other locations around the UK, aimed at providing opportunities for aspiring players.

We have now filled all the places in the IM norm and Under 2200 All-Play-Alls. If you would like to be considered as a reserve for either event, you can get in touch by writing to: timpeterwall@gmail.com

The event is being supported by the English Junior Coaches and Organisers Association (EJCOA) as part of its programme of training events and tournaments for 2021-22.

Venue: Forest Hall Social Club, Great Lime Road, Palmersville, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 9DQ

All-play-all A (10 players, eligible for IM, WGM, WIM norms)
IM norm: 7/9
Entry fee for non-IMs: £150
Prizes: £200, £150, £100

1. FM Jonah B. Willow (ENG) (2353)
2. IM David Fitzsimons (IRL) (2334)
3. FM Tarun Kanyamarala (IRL) (2309)
4. FM Yichen Han (NED) (2306)
5. IM Michael Basman (ENG) (2273)
6. IM Roderick M McKay (SCO) (2243)
7. Steven Jones (ENG) (2231)
8. Trisha Kanyamarala (IRL) (2081)
9. Thomas Eggleston (ENG) (2175)
10. Mikhail Sedykh (ENG) (2120)

Average rating of opponents for highest rated norm seeker: 2230.3.
Reserve player: IM Brandon Clarke (ENG) (2442)

Games in the IM norm all-play-all will be transmitted live on Chess24 using DGT Smartboards.

All-play-all B (10 players, all players FIDE-rated)
Qualification: You need to have a standard-play FIDE rating. Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Entry fee for all players: £50
Prizes: £150, £100, £50

1. Paul Dargan (ENG) (2075)
2. Andrew Ward (SCO) (1873)
3. Bernard Sheng Liang Chan (MAS) (1869)
4. Nicolas Skettos (CYP) (1862)
5. Kyle Pelling (ENG) (1706)
6.. Diego Anton Cordova-Lopez (ENG) (1668)
7. Adam Walkowiak (SCO) (1588)
8. Anuurai Sainbayar (ENG) (1530)
9. Shir Bar Tal (ISR) (1338)
10. Prachi Arora (ENG)

Reserve: Stuart Skelsey (ENG) (1915)

Playing schedule for both tournaments:
Round 1: Mon 25 October, 11:00am-3:00pm
Round 2: Mon 25 October, 4:00pm-8:00pm
Round 3: Tue 26 October, 9:00am-1:00pm
Round 4: Tue 26 October, 2:00pm-6:00pm
Round 5: Wed 27 October, 11:00am-3:00pm
Round 6: Wed 27 October, 4:00pm-8:00pm
Round 7: Thurs 28 October, 11:00am-3:00pm
Round 8: Thurs 28 October, 4:00pm-8:00pm
Round 9: Fri 29 October, 10:00am-2:00pm
Time control: All moves in 90 minutes, plus 30 seconds per move.

Tournament Director: FIDE International Organiser Tim Wall
Arbiters: Brian Towers (IA), Tim Wall (NA)

For more information, please contact: timpeterwall@gmail.com

Entry fees should be paid by bank transfer to:
UK Chess Events Ltd
Barclays 20-59-43
Acct 2344 1954

A grand total of five players scored international title norms at the Northumbria Masters Congress, held 26-30 August at the Marriott MetroCentre, Gateshead. The congress was sponsored by Chess in Schools and Communities and the English Chess Federation, plus other chess organisations.

The Northumbria Masters GM tournament was won jointly by two 22-year-olds: Ravi Haria of Wood Green, and Conor Murphy, of Charlton, with 6.5 points out of 9.

Both scored a Grandmaster norm – for Ravi, it was his third, and he now just has to reach a 2500 rating to become England’s next Grandmaster. Conor’s GM norm was his first, and comes just three weeks after he qualified as Ireland’s next IM.

Callum Kilpatrick, of Dulwich, scored 5/9, making his third IM norm and passing the 2400 rating marker required to become England’s newest International Master.

Marcus Harvey, of Witney, scored a 4th IM norm – just a week after qualifying as an IM with his 3rd norm at the Wood Green Invitational in Stafford.

In the IM all-play-all tournament, 18-year-old WIM Zala Urh of Slovenia won with 6.5/9, half a point ahead of Newcastle player James Moreby, 18, of Gosforth. Zala’s result gave her a first IM norm.

The Northumbria Masters Open, which attracted 80 players, was won by IM Brandon Clarke (Wood Green) with 7.5/9, ahead of GMs Danny Gormally, Marian Petrov, Keith Arkell and Peter Wells on 7.

With a total of 211 players taking part, including 61 junior players aged 18 or under and 15 female players, the Northumbria Masters Congress is the biggest international tournament held in the UK to date this year. It was also the first held after the full lifting of Covid restrictions in July, which meant that, while players were recommended to wear a face covering during play, it was a personal choice whether to do so. Happily, the congress reached its conclusion without any reported cases of Covid infections.

In the Congress as a whole, there were 20 different national chess federations represented – despite the fact that only a handful of players travelled from abroad to play in the congress due to Covid travel restrictions.

Sponsorship from CSC and the ECF crucial

Tim Wall, director of the Northumbria Masters Congress, said: “We are delighted that the congress has been such a brilliant success, both in terms of helping English players achieve title norms and in safely bringing the chess community back together over the board after this forced hiatus. The generous sponsorship we have received from a range of different chess organisations, particularly from Chess in Schools and Communities and the ECF, has been crucial in enabling us to go ahead.”

Chess in Schools and Communities gave a grant of £4,000 to the Congress, and the ECF donated £650. Other sponsors included the Friends of Chess (£500), Northumberland Chess Association (£500) and the Northumbria Junior Chess Association (£250).

The John Robinson Youth Chess Trust also made a great contribution to the success of the congress, providing a total of £2,800 in free entries to players under 21.

The next Northumbria Masters Congress is planned for 25-29 August, 2022. More information will be available shortly at: https://northumbriamasters.com/