This page of the website is to both promote and report on Congresses held in Dorset. The county currently has a major weekend congress each year – the Open held in March. The Dorset Closed has been revived as a 1 day event, now in July. And there is a one day Rapidplay each year in March. Finally, there is a Dorset Blitz 1 day tournament run at Furzebrook each September. All are “open” competitions except the Dorset Closed. There are also junior chess congresses, but this is covered and reported under “Junior Chess” on the main menu above. Martin Simons is exploring running another Dorset Grand, possibly in 2020 in Bournemouth.

Michael Adams British Chess Champion

And of course, in 2016, there was 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 53rd Dorset Open took place the weekend of Oct 12-14 ’18 at the Elstead Hotel in Bournemouth. There were an excellent 100 entrants. For results, please click below on “Dorset Open”.

It is hoped the 5th Bournemouth Grand, Dorset’s largest congress will next take place in 2020. 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 in March at Ringwood.

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.

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.