This page of the website is to both promote and report on Congresses held in Dorset. The county has 2 major weekend congresses each year – the Grand held in early summer and the Dorset Open usually in the Autumn. And there is a one day Rapidplay each year in March. All three are “open” competitions. There are also junior chess congresses, but this is covered and reported under “Junior Chess” on the main menu above.

Michael Adams British Chess Champion

And of course, last year, 2016, there were the highly successful British Championships in Bournemouth, which started in July at the Pavilion. This was a huge boost for Dorset chess – the last time the British Championships had come to our area was in 1936. Martin Simons and Ian Clark worked tirelessly to bring this about and Dorset chess clubs generously provided some necessary financial spport. In the picture alongside, Mickey Adams receives the British Championship trophy from Martin Simons, August 2016

The 51st Dorset Open took place the weekend of Dec 2-4 ’16 at the Ocean View Hotel in Bournemouth. There were an excellent 101 entrants. For results, please click below on “Dorset Open”. The Dorset Closed, which has produced a Dorset County Champion each year, is now amalgamated into the Open, so it is not now run as a separate competition.

It is hoped the 5th Bournemouth Grand, Dorset’s largest congress will next take place in 2018. There was no event in 2016, partly because of the British Championships took place around the same time.

2016 Dorset Rapidplay Ringwood

Finally, there is the Dorset Rapidplay held each year on a Sunday at Ringwood. The 22nd Rapidplay took place on Sunday, 12 March 2017.

A feature of each Rapidplay is the wide distribution of prizes throughout the entrants. For example, at this last event there were 23 cash prizes, plus 5 book prizes. Just under 60% of all completing players won a prize.

For historic information, please go to the Rapidplay website But everything to do with the 2018 competition being held on Sunday, 12 March will be on this website under “Congresses” and then “Rapidplay”.

Report on the 50th Dorset Open Congress (30 Oct – 1 Nov ’15)

There were over 100 entrants for this congress which ran at the Carrington House Hotel, Bournemouth, 30 October to 1 November 2015. To celebrate the golden anniversary, the prize money had been increased substantially. The organiser was Ian Clark, Dorset County Chess Association President.



First A. Cherniaev 5.0

Second K. Gregory 3.5

P. Helbig 3.5

D. Reynolds 3.5

Under 180 M. Clancy 3.0

K. Harman 3.0

S. Pierson 3.0

Under 165 M. Staniforth 2.5

Open Cross Table


First R. Desmedt 4.0

Second A. Heard 3.5

J. Macdonald 3.5

N. Mills 3.5

A. Papier 3.5

Grading ( Under 145) C. Wilson 3.5

Major Cross Table


Winner A. Pitcher 4.5

Second T. Jones 4.0

Third R. Hunt 3.5

T. Greenaway 3.5

T. Joyce 3.5

M. Plumb 3.5

Grading ( Under 128 ) J. Barnett 3.0

P. Foster 3.0

Intermediate Cross Table


First M. Whitworth 4.5

W. Curry 4.5

Third D. Bramley 4.0

Grading ( Under 104 ) M. Maber ( 103 ) 4.0

Grading ( Under 95 ) O. Stubbs 3.0

G. Jelliss 3.0

Minor Cross Table

Auction of Drueke Chess Set and Board

Matthew Stanniforth chessIan Clark thanked Matthew Staniforth for his generous bid of £3000 for the Drueke Chess Set and Board with proceeds going towards junior chess in Dorset.