The Gazette - February 2010

Sponsored by The Primary Club
Edited by Guy Whitehouse
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

Castle and Spectrum Chess

All the following events are weekend Swiss tournaments, held in very pleasant hotels with idyllic surroundings. All the prices listed are for single rooms, prices for double/twin rooms can be found on the booking forms or obtained from the organisers/hotel. For events where evening meals are not included in the price, you will normally find these will average at about £10, again please check with organiser/hotel.

Castle Chess

Castle Chess is mainly run by Tony Corfe and his wife, Barbara, who you will find both friendly and helpful. The rate of play for all the Castle Chess events listed is 36 moves in 90 minutes plus 15 minutes to complete the game. Apart from the Portsmouth Congress, the tournaments are played over five rounds, three games on Saturday and two on Sunday. Castle Chess now have three categories; the Open, the Major (grade 160 and below), and the Minor (grade 120 and below). The entry fee of £30 is included in the price of the rooms and will be deducted for any companions not playing chess. To ensure best prices, please make all bookings with the organiser Tony Corfe.

19th – 21st February the Portsmouth Congress

The Queen’s Hotel, Clarence Parade, Osbourne Road, Southsea PO5 3LJ.

The Portsmouth Congress is traditionally played over six rounds; one on Friday evening, three on Saturday and two on Sunday. Although I haven’t been to this hotel, I hear it’s very good and popular with the chess players.

1 night half board £112, 2 nights half board £192, 3 nights half board £272.

24th – 25th April the Hereford Congress

The Green Dragon Hotel, Broad Street, Hereford HR4 9BG.

You will find this Victorian hotel full of character. The hotel is also no stranger to chess masters, as the English chess legend, Blackburn, once played and won a congress here back in 1885.

1 night bed and breakfast £70, 2 nights bed and breakfast £110, 3 nights bed and breakfast £150.

17th -18th July the Bideford Congress

The Tantons Hotel, New Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 2HR. As yet no prices for this are available.

Spectrum Chess

Spectrum Chess is mainly run by Norman Went and his wife, Yelena, both of whom you will find friendly and helpful. The rate of play for Spectrum Chess congresses is 36 moves in 90 minutes plus 15 minutes to complete the game. All the Spectrum Chess congresses listed are played over five rounds, three games on Saturday and two on Sunday. There are two categories; the Major (grade 155 and below), and the Minor (grade 115 and below). The £30 entry fee is included in the price of the accommodation and will be deducted for non-chessplaying companions. To ensure best prices, please make all bookings through the organiser Norman Went.

20th -21st February the Clackton Congress

The Laxfield Hotel, 3 Beach Road, Clackton-On-Sea, Essex CO15 1UG.

Unfortunately, this has clashed with the Portsmouth Congress. However, if you’ve over-budgeted at Christmas, the prices for this congress look very attractive, but I think this is a new venue so I can’t comment on the quality.

1 night bed and breakfast £53, 2 nights bed and breakfast £78, 3 nights bed and breakfast £103.

20th -21st March The Purfleet Congress

The Royal Hotel, High Street, London Road, Purfleet, Essex RM19 1QA.

This again is another congress I have not yet had the pleasure of attending. The only thing I can say is that I’ve attended quite a few Spectrum Chess events and have never found reason to complain.

1 night bed and breakfast £68, 2 nights bed and breakfast £110, 3 nights bed and breakfast £152; (evening meal just £7 or £10 for two).

As Congress Coordinator for the BCA, if anybody would like to register their bookings for mainstream congresses, including overseas congresses (both mainstream and VI events), or if you would like to enquire about BCA attendance of any such event, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Gary Wickett.