Congress Details

The Berks & Bucks is played over the August Bank Holiday weekend. This year, the tournament dates are Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August. The tournament is held over six rounds, with two rounds being played each day. Please see the playing schedule for details of round times.

There is on-site parking at the venue, and refreshments (provided by Hackett’s Food and Drink) and a bookstall (provided by Francis Bowers Chess Supplies) will be available.

Sections

Participants play in sections of between 12 and 16, organised according to ability. The top two sections (the Championship and the Challengers) are FIDE-rated, and all sections are ECF-graded. There are usually five or six sections.

The Championship and Challengers sections are open to all FIDE-rated players, and to unrated players with ECF grades of 150 or above, or an equivalent national ELO rating of over 1800.

The Reserves sections are open to unrated players, and rated players with ratings below 1900.

Subject to these provisions, players will be allocated to sections according to their rating/grade.

British Championship Qualifying Place

The highest-placed eligible player in the Championship who has not already qualified for the 2016 British Chess Championship will receive an unfunded qualifying place (subject to receiving a minimum of 20 entries across the FIDE-rated sections).

Berkshire Individual Championship

The highest-placed Berkshire player in the tournament will hold the Berkshire Individual Championship cup for one year.

Venue

St Piran’s School, Gringer Hill, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7LZ. See the venue page for a map.

Please note that this is a non-smoking venue.

Time Control

The rate of play in all sections is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then an additional 20 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30 second cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move. This equates to an approximate five-hour playing session.

Players arriving more than one hour late will be defaulted.

Prizes

First prize in each section is £60, second is £48, and third is £36. There are also trophies for all section winners, and most second and third-placed players, as well as the Mrs Stean Cup, which is presented to the top player aged under fourteen.

Refreshments

Hacketts Food and Drink Company are providing the refreshments for the Congress, and will have croissants, sausage rolls, sandwiches, wraps, baguettes and will be able to toast Panini on the day. They will also have snacks, crisps, chocolate, cakes and soft drinks. Tea, coffee, and hot chocolate will be available all day.

Entry fee

£25 for entries postmarked on or before Monday 21 August, and £28 thereafter.

Under the rules of the English Chess Federation, English players in the FIDE-rated sections who are not ECF Platinum or Gold members will be required to pay an ECF surcharge of £10. All players in the Reserves sections who are not ECF Platinum, Gold, or Silver members will be required to pay a £7 surcharge (under 18s £5).

Mobile Telephones

Any player whose mobile phone emits a noise or is found to be turned on during a game will be defaulted. However, players will not be defaulted merely for having a switched-off mobile phone in their possession during the game.

How do I enter?

Click here to enter online. Alternatively, entries can be made by e-mail to liamvarnam@yahoo.co.uk, or by post using the congress entry form, which can be downloaded here.

Accommodation

For those players coming from further afield, details of local accommodation are available here.

You haven’t answered all my questions!

If you have any other questions, they may be answered in the entry form. Otherwise, please contact the tournament organisers.