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61st Southend Congress

Play started this morning in the 61st Southend Congress, at Southend Adult Community College, Ambleside Drive.

Entries are one up on last year at 124, with 67 competing in the FIDE Open, supported by four ECF graded sections. For the first time, all sections are now 7 rounds, but players who would prefer five rounds as of old for the grading-limited sections (the "Weekenders"), may take up to two half point byes before the last round.

Another new departure is Live Games on the website, the top three boards in the Open being broadcast on the Congress website - find the link below.

Top seed in the Open is GM Timur Gareyev, who recently broke the world record for simultaneous blindfold chess.

Pairings & Results | Live Games

County Championships ECF Final Stage

Essex U100 were ultimately disappointed to miss out on the "nationals" when Kent won their final match to edge Essex into third place.

Four out of five qualifiers, however, represents a remarkably successful SCCU competition for Essex interests. Congratulations for all concerned. The line-ups for the national Quarter Finals are:

Minor Counties: Essex v Lincolnshire, Saturday, 13 May at Peterborough;
U180: Lancashire v Essex, Sunday, 21 May at Derby;
U160: Essex v Nottinghamshire, Saturday, 13 May at OU at Milton Keynes;
U140: Worcestershire v Essex, Saturday, 20 May at OU at Milton Keynes;
U120: Norfolk v Essex, Saturday, 6 May at Chippenham Village Hall.

Dates for later rounds:

Semi-finals: 10 June
Final: 1 July (fixed date) at Warwick Trident College, Trident Park, Poseidon Way, Warwick CV34 6SW.

It is apposite to mention here, that players without a published grade need clearance to play in the ECF Final Stage; prior clearance to play in the SCCU "zonal" stage does not transfer to the ECF Final Stage, separate clearance is needed. Check out Rule c1.2 on the ECF Website, link below.

ECF Website

Wanstead win National Club Major

Since 2013-14 the National Club Championships have been conducted as a weekend event. Initially held at Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport, this year moved to St John's Hotel, Solihull and took place 1-2 April 2017. Teams were four boards, on a squad system, so each match could involve different players. Scoring system: Match Points - win = 2, draw = 1.

Wanstead & Woodford CC has continued to support the National Club and this year entered teams in the Major and the Minor, but not the Intermediate. There were no entries for the Open. While the Minor was supported by 11 teams, the Intermediate had six, but the Major just four.

Read more...

61st Southend Easter Chess Congress

Essex Championships

14-17 April, 2017, at Southend Adult Community College, Ambleside Drive. Just three weeks away. This is where the Essex Championships will be awarded.

The highest placed eligible player in the FIDE Open will be awarded the title Essex Champion and the highest eligible player graded U160 in the Leigh-on-Sea U170 will be awarded the title Essex U160 Champion. Two changes this year for the U160 Championship: firstly the U160 title will be awarded in the U170 (previously was awarded for the Open), secondly the ECF graded sections are this year 7 round events instead of 5. Tie-breaks are: i) sum of progressive scores, then if needed, ii) sum of opponents' scores.

Don't delay - enter today!

Full details and online entry can be found on the Congress website:

Southend 2017

Essex near full house in the nationals

SCCU U180: Essex 9-5 Surrey
At Wanstead. Both sides struggled to fill 16 boards and agreed on a 14-boards egagement. Essex held a clear advantage over the lower boards and made this count to secure second place in the division.

SCCU U140: Essex 8-8 Surrey
At Wanstead. The U140 squad had to show character to come back after Surrey established an early lead. Fluctuating fortunes made this a tense affair, with all three results possible at various times, before the draw was secured.

Mark Murrell sums up Essex success for the nationals: "Joining the SCCU Champions U160 squad in the National Stages are our Minor Counties, U180, U140 and U120 teams, making this one of our most successful qualifying campaigns in recent years. The fate of the U100 squad is in the hands of others, when Kent play Surrey next Saturday.  Congratulations to all of the players concerned and in particular skippers Peter Nickals, Gavin Hughes, Charlton Siddo and Malcolm Crane."

U180 | U140 | Aggregates

Simultaneous Display – Robert Brown Memorial Charity Fundraiser

Reminder: 'Robert Brown' simul - a simultaneous chess display for up to 50 players by top ranking chess experts Grand Master Simon Williams and International Master Richard Bates. Further details below (see the article on 14 February).

This event is to raise money for Robert’s chosen charity, the British Lung Foundation. Wanstead House is providing the accommodation free of charge and the two Masters are providing their services free of charge. All proceeds from entry will go to the charity.

Date – Friday 10th March 2017 – 19.15 for 19.30 start.

Venue – Wanstead House Community Centre, 21 The Green, Wanstead E11 2NT – just by Wanstead Central Line Station. The large hall in the back garden. There will be a cash bar and cafe available in the hall.

Cost – £12 adults  £8 Juniors.

Contact Chingford Chess Club asap – first come first served for tickets:

Brian Spear:
Robin Oakley:

Essex Chess Association

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