Chess Events



Dorset is a good choice of county in which to play chess! Over 300 players actively take part in regular club matches and competitions. There are 2 major congresses each year, the Grand and the Dorset Open, plus a Rapidplay held in March. On Sunday, 17 September 2017 the 1st Dorset Blitz Championships successfully took place in Wareham. The Controller was Steve Peirson. In July & August 2016, the 103rd British Championships were held in Bournemouth, with record individual entries – very much down to the considerable efforts of Dorset Chess Association officials Martin Simons and Ian Clark. Clubs playing in the Dorset County and Bournemouth & District Leagues also gave generous financial support to help enable the event to take place.

Finally, chess for juniors is highly organised including coaching and several congresses. Dorset Junior Chess Officer is Eric Sachs.

Steve Bailey fund raising
Digital Chess Clock

Time Increments with chess clocks (uploaded 5 Jan '18)

Time Increments seem a popular way to go currently in all kinds of chess competitions, especially congresses and leagues. So, these brief notes are simply intended to help understanding for anyone wanting to learn more. Sometimes it is known as the “Fischer” system (time increments were added in the privately organised Fischer v Spassky 1992 rematch and quickly became popular – and first introduced by FIDE in a World Championship match in 1998)

What does “Time Increments” mean?

The first requirement is to have available digital clocks, like pictured above and capable of calculating increments. Essentially, it means a specified amount of time, such as 10 seconds is given for each move and this is added to whatever is allocated to each player for the whole game – such as 1 hour

What are the advantages?

It is claimed Time Increments allow players more time to think on each move, improve the quality of play and minimise time scrambles. There is also a perceived benefit of making possible longer games in terms of moves played, but not necessarily with time needed. Time Increments remove the need to apply the controversial “2 minute rule” (this rule allows a player with less than 2 minutes on their clock to claim a draw if the opponent is making no effort to win by normal means, or it is not possible to win by normal means)

What are the disadvantages?

There are views that time scrambles are an exciting feature of the game and managing your time properly is part of the game. Also, games with Time Increments would be slightly faster, in the sense of more moves being played in the time available, and some players may not welcome this

Does it make games last longer?

Not necessarily. Much depends on how much time is allowed for each move. Experience over the years has suggested that most games played with increments are slightly shorter than those with a quick-play finish. For example, if each player had, say, 1 hour each and 15 seconds a move, a game of 36 moves would last no more than 2 hours 18 minutes. It would need an unlikely 120 plus moves to have a chance of going over 3 hours.

Would players need to record their moves if time increments are used?

For standard games, players are now required to record all the moves of the game even when they have less than 5 minutes left on their clock if the Time Increment is 30 seconds or more per move. This is clearly an important change, as when there are no Time Increments, FIDE rules state it is permissible to stop recording moves when a player has less than 5 minutes on his or her clock in a time period. The recording of moves in Rapidplay, of course, has never been required.

Are time increments proposed for competitive chess in Dorset?

This is not part of any current plan and also, because digital clocks are not widely available in clubs, it could not be implemented for all matches anyway. However, increments were applied successfully in the last Dorset Open organised by Ian Clark. And in another Dorset Chess Association event where digital clocks are available for each board, the Rapidplay, it could also be potentially applied at some future date.

Invitation to view the new ECF League Management System (LMS)

ECF Grading etc

ECF League Management Software (LMS) 

You may have seen mention that, as Dorset, we have been one of the counties taking part in the ECF initiative to use generic software for league results and the generation of tables etc. We have been participating since the latter part of last season.

Subject to local consultation, it is proposed to use this software next season to provide the fixtures/results and league tables through a link on our current website. You can view this data via the link on the top menu bar (ECF LMS) and select “Dorset” from the list of organisations. No need for a log-in to view the Dorset data. You will see the system allows for listing fixtures by club and other searches are also possible. An important ECF feature is that captains could enter results on-line themselves, thus saving admin time and creating greater immediacy.

The software is still being developed so there will, inevitably, be future changes. For example, it is possible the last three columns in the tables will be suppressed. Please look at the Dorset fixtures and tables and any feedback would be much appreciated. The Project Leader is Phil Wallace, Wimborne’s Secretary and County Grader.

Chess is a great game for everyone!

Dorset Chess Association supports and encourages chess playing throughout the county

To view club details and make contact with secretaries etc, please see details by clicking on B&DCL & Dorset League on main menu above. Some clubs have websites and links to these are through the menu at the foot of this home page.

If you seek social and informal chess during the day, the Bournemouth, Southbourne, Poole & Wimborne clubs run sessions typically in café type settings. Please click on “Relaxed and casual chess” below

Relaxed and casual chess locally

You may be interested in more informal chess and there are currently these weekly opportunities: Monday Kinson Community Centre, Kinson 1.45pm to 5pm Tuesday Ludo Lounge, Southbourne Grove, Bournemouth 2.30pm to 5pm; Wednesday Flirt Café Chess Club, Bournemouth 2.30pm to 5pm, also Wednesday Amberwood Inn, Walkford around 8pm; Thursday Royal British Legion, Wimborne from 10am and also Thursday, Highcliffe Community Association Greystones 1.45pm; Friday The Crooked Book, Boscombe 11am to 1pm

(There are no board fees, but chess players are expected to buy a drink, i.e tea/coffee/soft drink or something to eat)

Laws of Chess

Here is a link to the FIDE website and the laws of chess: Laws of Chess

The laws run into many pages; listed below are a few of the less understood ones:

Extracts from the FIDE Laws of Chess (as at July ’17)

Most recent laws of chess (Jan ’18), in which most recent changes highlighted: Laws_of_Chess_2018_-_EB_approved_-_highlighted_correction_version 

Please also refer to the B&DCL Rules (updated June ’17) and the Captains Notes, both on the website


Dorset Chess
Dorset Chess2 weeks ago
4NCL Sat 10 Feb '18. Wessex continued their very good run in 3A, beating Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg 4-2. The foundation to the win was 3/3 on boards 4-6.

On Sunday, 11 Feb Wessex did not go quite so well, losing to leaders Barnet Knights 1, by 1.5-4.5. But they are still very well placed in 2nd place with an excellent 4 wins and 2 losses.

The 4NCL website is:
Dorset Chess
Dorset Chess shared a link.3 weeks ago
Dorset Chess
Dorset Chess3 weeks ago
12 players took part from our region in this Memorial Congress generously sponsored by Simon Bartlett's partner. Martin Simons reported a pleasant and warm venue, not unlike the Elstead we use in Bournemouth. This Torquay hotel, The Livermead House is on the seafront. In the Open, Ringwood based Peter Anderson beat GM Keith Arkell for an outstanding result on Saturday morning. James Forster was rewarded for playing some very good chess over the 1st 3 rounds, with 2/3, by being paired with GM Keith Arkell in round 4. And although he lost he should feel proud of what he achieved, with an estimate Congress grading performance of 195. Former Southbourne player Walter Braun’s 3.5/5 secured 3rd place. Martin Simons was unbeaten in the Open and finished with 3/5, equal 4th, which included Peter Anderson whose estimated grade was 208 after his win over Keith Arkell. Paul Jackson did well to finish on 2.5/5 in the tough U140 Intermediate. And Paul Errington excelled with 3.5/5 in the U120, and 4th place. David Burt was 3/5. For full score details please go to the Simon Bartlett Congress website
Dorset Chess
Dorset Chess2 months ago
The 53rd Dorset Open Championship will take place at the Elstead Hotel, Bournemouth the weekend of 12-14 October 2018