2nd XYChess Closed, Malta, 9-15 January 2015

Venue: The Imperial Hotel, Sliema
Another in our successful series of 10 player all-play-all tournaments for FIDE rating and ECF grading (only for ECF Gold+ Members who opt in). Organised by XYChess and Chess England.   It is possible to achieve a full FIDE rating from scratch in these events.

Pricing will appear on the website soon. Please contact Adam Raoof (adam@chessengland.com) or Clarence Psaila (Clarence_247@yahoo.co.uk) if you are interested in the GM/IM events. 

Time Control:
90 minutes + 30 seconds / move

Coat of Arms of Sliema Local Council (Malta)
Coat of Arms of Sliema: Wikipedia
XYChess Malta International 

10 player all-play-all Rating Events Schedule:

Friday 9th January – Round 1 at 5pm-9pm
Saturday 10th January – Rounds 2 & 3 at 10am-2pm and 3pm-7pm
Sunday 11th January - Rounds 4 & 5 at 10am-2pm and 3pm-7pm
Monday 12th January – Round 6 at 5pm-9pm
Tuesday 13th January – Round 7 at 5pm-9pm
Wednesday 14th - Round 8 at 5pm-9pm
Thursday 15th January - Round 9 at 5pm-9pm
Friday 16th January - departure
10 player GM and IM Norm Events Schedule:

Friday 9th January – Round 1 at 5pm-9pm
Saturday 10th January – Rounds 2 & 3 at 10am-2pm and 3pm-7pm
Sunday 11th January – Round 4 at 5pm-9pm
Monday 12th January - Rounds 5 & 6 at 10am-2pm and 3pm-7pm
Tuesday 13th January – Round 7 at 5pm-9pm
Wednesday 14th January - Round 8 at 5pm-9pm
Thursday 15th January - Round 9 at 5pm-9pm
Friday 16th January - departure

Map of Malta with the council of Sliema shaded.
Malta with Sliema shaded. (Wikipedia)

Kings Place Festival 2014: Final Standings and Prizes

Videos of the commentary by Grandmaster Chris Ward and featuring overall winner Grandmaster Matthew Sadler, compered by Nick Murphy.

A Chess Microbase file of the top games is now available!   See below, or click here.

"Dear Adam,

This was my first ever chess tournament (since the London Boys in 1952!) and I wanted to say a big thank you to you and your team. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on Saturday and hope to join in on other occasions."

Congratulations to Grandmaster Matthew Sadler, who won the first prize of £1,000 with 5.5/6.  Grandmaster Mark Hebden finished second with 5/6 and won £500.

Sponsored by Kings Place and chessengland.com

"Matthew Sadler shows he is back in the game" (ChessBase)

The Kent Junior Chess Association report is here.

More photographs of the event are at Flickr, right here.

Click on the link for the crosstable for each event.  


MAJOR Under 170

MINOR Under 145

AMATEUR Under 120

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Chess in Malta

Right now I am lucky enough to be in Sliema, Malta, at the Imperial Hotel where the first XYChess is taking place. I'm the arbiter, and my co-organiser Clarence Psaila is a tour de force in Maltese chess - he not only put this FIDE rated event together, but is also taking part - and was the first to finish today! 

There are four groups of ten players, the top event being an IM norm tournament. Clarence also organises the local league - which is also FIDE rated - and competes in tournaments in the UK and Europe. If you want to follow the results you can look at Chess Results

I'm sure this will be the first of many successful events.

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5th International Chess Festival “Terre degli Elimi” in Sicily

This summer in Sicily there will be a nice international chess festival: the 5th "Terre degli Elimi". It will be one chess week in July never to be forgotten. Erice is a magic ancient place and in the afternoons you are free to visit places of incomparable beauty and charm as Segesta, the Egadi Islands, Zingaro, Scopello.

Erice in western Sicily (Italy) is 15 km away from 'airport "Vincenzo Florio" in Trapani (Ryanair Hub), is a true and proper tourist pearl of Sicily, located about 700 meters above sea level overlooking the sea and, this, from almost every corner you can enjoy breathtaking views and even see Mount Etna in the distance. To arrive in Erice, can reach Trapani by plane (airport Vincenzo Florio) with daily Ryanair flights offering connections from leading Italian and European airports at very cheap prices.

And all this without suffering from the summer sultriness thanks to the microclimate of the mountaintop!

Our partner hotel offers unbeatable prices:

- Stay in a single room for seven days costs 175 € per person!

- Stay in a double room for seven days costs € 135 per person!

- Stay in a triple room for seven days costs € 127 per person!

Our partner restaurant “La Pentolaccia” in Erice offers great meals of delicious Sicilian cuisine at only 10 € !!

We rent furnished apartments complete with everything for 4/6 people at unbeatable prices!

Write to Alessandro Monaco to webmaster@ericescacchi.it or contact him on facebook as “Alessandro Monaco”.

The Festival includes:

- a main tournament A Open of 9 rounds, for players rated >1800;

- a secondary B Open e B Open over 9 rounds too for players <1900 br="">
- a C Open over 7 rounds, for players < 1500.

The tournaments will be held July 19 to 25 in the halls of the Sales palace at Erice.

The Open A will be valid for international norms of FM, IM and GM. The total prize money will be more than 3500 €.

If you have never been to Erice this may finally be the right time! 

See you soon!


How do I get my first #chess grade?

If you've just started playing chess in tournaments, then you may have noticed that the more experienced competitors have little numbers next to their names, like this;

This means they have an English Chess Federation grade.  The list is published twice a year in July (for games played between 1st January and 30th June) and January (for games played between 1st July and 31st December).

You can look up anyone's grade on the ECF Grading Database.  You can see who you have played and what the result was. You can also look up any games that have been submitted for grading that will be included in your next grading calculation.

From left to right you can see the ECF grading code, the player's name, their ECF membership category, gender, the age (if a junior), the club(s) they belong to, the ECF standard / previous standard / ECF rapid grade / previous rapid grade.  

The letters denote categories of grade.  X indicates you have played more than 30 games in the current grading period.

If you join as a member of the ECF you may not have a grade yet, but you will get that important grading code which helps organisers identify you - and you should quote that when entering tournaments. This is different from a FIDE ID number or FIN, which you'll get if you play in any FIDE rated events.

How do I get a grade?

Simple: play 9 graded games during the grading period in graded tournaments or for a club in a graded league.  You can see a list of tournaments on the ECF website in their calendar. There are separate lists for games played at standard rates of play and rapidplay.  The world chess federation FIDE has lists for standard, rapidplay and blitz!

Any event I run is usually graded and part of the ECF Grand Prix, and FIDE rated in the appropriate list.

How are grades calculated?

This is quite complicated. The following lovely explanation is taken from the official ECF grading database (click the 'help' button to see the full text).

The basic method of calculation is as described in the next few paragraphs. For juniors, however, there are differences as described further down.

Here is a list of FIDE registered tournaments in England. There will be a separate entry for each section of each event (e.g. Golders Green Rapidplay = 4 sections, 4 registrations). If you see any of mine missing, do let me know! 

Scroll down to the bottom to access the archive of events. 

Only games where at least one of the players has a published standard FIDE rating will be rated, and included in the rating calculations of the unrated player. Where both players are rated, the game will affect both players and will be included in the calculations for both players.

previously on chess circuit...

Chess in Hampstead