The Gazette - November 2010

Sponsored by Sean O'Brien
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 Chess and Spectrum Chess

For those who have never tried a mainstream congress before, you will find both Castle Chess and Spectrum Chess to be a perfect introduction. These events are held in very pleasant hotels and often located in idyllic surroundings, perfect to bring a non-playing chess friend or spouse, or simply just to come alone and have a wonderful weekend of chess. Apart from the Portsmouth Congress, which is traditionally played over six rounds, all the events listed below are five round Swiss tournaments, with three games being played on Saturday and two on Sunday with the offer of a half point bye if required. The rate of play for all tournaments listed is 36 moves in 90 minutes plus 15 minutes to complete the game. Under the Grass Roots scheme, you may even be able to claim £150 to attend such an event, and if you are a novice to mainstream congresses and you qualify under the scheme, this special offer will be extended to a friend or spouse. For more details about the Grass Roots scheme please do not hesitate to contact Stan Lovell, Bill Armstrong or myself.

Once again, I have been unable to give details of prices, however, as a fairly regular attendee of such events, I can highly recommend these tournaments.

Spectrum Chess

Spectrum Chess is mainly run by Norman Went and his wife Yelena, whom you will find both friendly and helpful. Spectrum Chess have three sections: Premier grade 200 and below, Major 160 and below, Minor 120 and below.

29th – 30th January 2011 – Dudley Congress held at the Quality Inn Hotel. Unfortunately, this clashes with Peter and Celia Gibbs’s Windermere Chess Theme Break, but I can guarantee that you will find the Quality Hotel lives up to its name.

12th -13th February 2011 – Clacton Congress held at the Laxfield Hotel.

Purfleet Congress – This will be held in March 2011 at the Royal Hotel but no dates yet have been confirmed.

For more information or to obtain a booking form, please contact Norman Went or visit

Castle Chess

Castle Chess is mainly run by Tony Corfe and his wife Barbara, whom again you will find to be both friendly and helpful. Castle Chess have three sections: Major grade 175 and below, Minor grade 135 and below, Challengers grade 110 and below.

18th -20th February 2011 – Portsmouth Congress held at the Royal Beaches Hotel. This is a six round tournament, with the first round beginning on Friday evening, three rounds on Saturday and two on Sunday.

26th -27th March 2011 – Hereford Congress held at the Green Dragon Hotel.

For more information or to obtain a booking form please contact Tony Corfe or visit

If anybody would like to register their bookings for mainstream congresses, including overseas congresses (both mainstream and VI congresses), or if you would like to inquire about BCA attendance of any congress, please do not hesitate to contact me as congress coordinator for the BCA.

Gary Wickett.