64th Southend Easter Chess Congress (Take two)

Photo by Brendan O’Gorman
14th-18th April 2022
Southend Adult Community College, Ambleside Drive, Southend, SS1 2UN

Generously supported by the Essex Chess Association


Chief Arbiter: Adam Raoof

Deputy Chief Arbiter: Rob Hammond

Assistant Arbiters: Lance Leslie-Smith, Norman Went, Michael Flatt, John Bowley

Entries have now closed PDF Entry Form (For information)

Page links: Top | Schedule | Prizes | Entry Fees | Ratings | Narrative


Click the button for Brendan’s eagerly awaited collection. Superb!

Rapid slideshow

Congress slideshow

Congress slideshow key: 1-8 Southend FIDE Open, R4; 9 ECF U1600; 10 ECF U1750; 11-13 FIDE/ECF U1900; 14 U1450; 15 U1600; 16 Southend FIDE Open; 17 Picturesque Southchurch Park near the venue; 18 Essex General Secretary, John Chapman, presents the Essex Minor Trophy; 19 Essex Champion, FM David Haydon; 20 Southend FIDE Open winner, Joakim Nilsson; 21 SCCU President, Mark Murrell (right) presents the SCCU Individual Championship trophy to SCCU Champion David Maycock; 22 FIDE Arbiter norms earned by (left) Rob Hammond and (right) Lance Leslie-Smith; 23 Organisers and Arbiters: l to r – John Chapman, Rob Hammond, Lance Leslie-Smith, Adam Raoof, Norman Went and Mike Flatt; 24 Organisers and Arbiters: l to r – Ian Hunnable, Rob Hammond, Lance Leslie-Smith, Adam Raoof, Norman Went and Mike Flatt.


    • Thu 14 April – 6 Rounds, G25+5;
    • Three sections – Open/Major/Minor
      Sections determined on final entries entries;
    • Closing date for entries: 10.00 pm 13 April – NO entries on the day;
    • Fri 15 April to Mon 18 April;
    • Southend FIDE Open – British Championship Qualifying event;
    • “Leigh-on-Sea” FIDE and ECF Under 1900;
    • “Westcliff” ECF Under 1750;
    • “Southchurch” ECF Under 1600;
    • “Thorpe Bay” ECF Under 1450.
The SCCU Individual Championship 2022

The SCCU Individual Championship 2022 will be awarded to the highest placed eligible player in the Southend FIDE Open. The SCCU title carries with it a British Championship Qualifying Place. More details

The Essex Championship 2021-22

The title of Essex Champion will be awarded to the highest placed eligible player in the Southend FIDE Open. The holder (2019) is John Moore (Writtle).

The Essex Minor Championship 2021-22

The title Essex Minor Champion will be awarded to the highest placed eligible player in the Leigh on Sea U1900. The holder (2019) is Elie Gamal (Brentwood).

Ratings all sections

Eligibility and pairings: April 2022 lists. Players who are no longer eligible in April for the section they have entered, may have to be moved.

Links: FIDE ratings | ECF ratings | Online Entry | PDF Entry Form | Entries

Other Features

  • Bookstall by Chess & Bridge who kindly supply the equipment for the Congress
  • yElena’s Cafeteria
  • Live Games – top three boards in the FIDE Open

Page links: Top | Schedule | Prizes | Entry Fees | Ratings | Narrative


Thursday 14th April – 6 Rounds – 10.30 am Start – Finish by 6.00 pm
Time control: G25+5
All moves in 25 minutes + 5 seconds per move increment.

Games in the FIDE Rapid will be submitted for rating by FIDE and the ECF.


Friday 15th April – Round 1 at 11:00 am and Round 2 at 4:00 pm
Saturday 16th April – Round 3 at 11:00 am and Round 4 at 4:00 pm
Sunday 17th April – Round 5 at 11:00 am and Round 6 at 4:00 pm
Monday 18th April – Final Round 7 at 11:00 am

Time control ALL 7-Round tournaments – G90+30
All moves in 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move increment.
Players please note: in accordance with the FIDE Laws of Chess, when the increment per move is 30 seconds or more, all moves have to be recorded, even if your remaining time dips under 5 minutes.

All events are ECF graded and the FIDE Open and FIDE U1900 are also FIDE rated.

Links: FIDE ratings | ECF ratings | PDF Entry Form | Entries

Page links: Top | Schedule | Prizes | Entry Fees | Ratings | Narrative


The Prize Fund for the Congress is a guaranteed minimum of £3,000. To this guaranteed minimum will be added any surplus of income over expenses, when all income has been received and all expenses have been met, or for which a reserve is retained, to make the Congress Prize Fund (“CPF“).

The prize fund for each section is expressed as a percentage of the CPF and the individual prizes as a percentage of the section. The eventual total prize money available will be published on the website in due course. As a guide, the minimum figures are included below based on a CPF of £3,000 (which may be increased).

Where ties occur, prize money will be shared. Ties for any trophies will be resolved by the Sum of Progressive Scores and, if necessary, the Sum of Opponents’ Scores.

Prizes per section


FIDE Rapid, 3 sections
Open/Major/Minor – 5% of CPF for each section
Prizes each section: split 70%, 30%
Minimum each section: 1st £105, 2nd £45.

7-Round sections

FIDE Open – 37% of CPF split 50%, 30%, 15%, Rating 5%
Minimum: 1st £555, 2nd £333, 3rd £167, Rating £56.

FIDE Under 1900 – 21% of CPF split 50%, 30%, 15% Rating 5%
Minimum: 1st £315, 2nd £189, 3rd £95, Rating £32.

*ECF, 3 Sections – 9% of CPF sections, split 50%, 30%, 15% Rating 5%
Minimum U1750 and U1450: 1st £135, 2nd £81, 3rd £41, Rating £14
Minimum U1600: 1st £185, 2nd £111, 3rd £56, Rating £19.
*The U1600 section includes, in addition, the Frank Sealey Prize (£100)

NB In due course, these minima will be replaced by actual figures when income and expenditure (net of prizes) is known.

Additional prizes

The following prizes are additional to the main prize fund.

David Wood Junior Prize

In addition to other prizes the sum of £75 will be awarded by the David Wood Memorial Trust, for the best performances by Essex Juniors (Under 18 on 31 Aug 2021).

The Frank Sealey Prize

In memory of Thurrock player, the late Frank Sealey, a prize of £100 has been generously donated, “to the section in which Frank would have played”. Frank’s grade hovered around the 100 mark, sometimes below sometimes above. His last published grade was 102, which translated on conversion to 1465. Furthermore, in 2018, the last Southend Congress he played in, Frank played in the U120, even though his grade (83) would have been eligible for the U95. Consequently, the Frank Sealey Prize will be added to the U1600 section prize fund.

Links: FIDE ratings | ECF ratings | PDF Entry Form | Entries

Page links: Top | Schedule | Prizes | Entry Fees | Ratings | Narrative


Southend FIDE Open and U1900

• Rated: £ 45.00 GBP
• Unrated: £ 50.00 GBP
• Senior 60+ £ 40.00 GBP
• Open Junior U16: £ 30.00 GBP


• Silver+ Members £ 40.00
• Bronze / Non-Members £ 49.00

Links: FIDE ratings | ECF ratings | PDF Entry Form | Entries

Note re ECF Membership ENG entrants in the FIDE Open and FIDE & ECF U1900 must be ECF Gold or Platinum members. Silver membership or better is required for the ECF sections. However, Bronze members or non-members may play on payment of £9 Pay to Play fee, which is included in the £49 Entry Fee for those categories. For Bronze members, the £9 Pay to Play will be used to upgrade Bronze to Silver membership. Non-members should note that, while the £9 Pay to Play fee (part of £49 entry) will allow you to enter, if you play more chess in the year (1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022) you may end up paying more than the cost of Silver membership. If you later take out ECF membership, previously paid Pay to Play fees will NOT be taken into account; the cost of membership then will be additional. See ECF Pay to Play

Page links: Top | Schedule | Prizes | Entry Fees | Ratings | Narrative


For all sections, players’ ratings in lists at 1 April 2022 will be used. Players who enter a rating-limited section and, after publication of the April lists, are no longer eligible for the section they have entered, may be moved to another section. If this eventuality occurs to you and you do not wish to play in the higher section, entry fees will be refunded in full should you then wish to withdraw.

The FIDE Rapid, the FIDE Open and the FIDE U1900 results will be submitted for FIDE rating. All sections, including the FIDE Rapdi, FIDE Open and FIDE U1900, will be submitted for ECF rating.

Page links: Top | Schedule | Prizes | Entry Fees | Ratings | Narrative


The story so far: the Southend Easter Chess Congress was first run in 1957 by the Southend-on-Sea Chess Club (link to the previous Congresses in the menu bar above). While the Club made the momentous decision in 2015 to end the sequence, an independent band of organisers stepped in to keep it going. The Congress had therefore been run every year 1957-2019 – 63 Congresses – until a microscopic organism, measuring just 2.5 microns (that’s 2.5 thousandths of a millimetre), brought the entire planet to a standstill. Including the Southend Easter Chess Congress.

The 2020 Congress, that would have been the 64th, was in progress of collecting entries. Having signed up 36 players, the entries dried up as the import of the pandemic grabbed everyone’s attention. Including that of the Congress organisers. The 2020 Congress was cancelled on 13 March 2020, which happens to have been a Friday – just days before the country went into Lockdown 1 – and all Entry Fees were returned.

With the pandemic having put paid to a Congress in 2021 too, we now pick up the threads with a renewed hope and a second attempt to run the 64th Southend Easter Chess Congress. The “Expression of Interest” form we placed in our recent post on the website to announce the return of the “Southend Easter” has had a most encouraging response, for which we thank those players who took a few moments to give us the message “Yes! Bring it on!”.

While attempting to assess whether the Congress could return in 2022, the organisers were confronted with a significant increase in the cost of the venue. Fortunately, we are able to carry forward some sponsorship advanced in 2019, “towards the next Congress”. Also, a number of players who had entered 2020 before it was cancelled, generously said, when we returned their entry fees, “please keep the donation”. Without these expressions of generosity, we would undoubtedly have needed to increase the entry fees this year. Instead, we have managed – touch wood – a break-even budget while retaining a £3,000 guaranteed minimum Prize Fund. It is to retain flexibility, that in the Entry Form we have expressed prizes in percentage terms rather than leave ourselves open, in these uncertain times, to become hostages of fortune by stating exact amounts. (We have, as a guide, given above the minimum amounts in hard cash, because those can be calulated.) In due course, when all the entries have been received and we can give a final figure for the Congress Prize Fund, we will publish here and in the Congress venue (it will probably not be until the Congress is under way, but in advance of the last round) the amounts on offer for all sections.

In the meantime, the ECF has seamlessly introduced the change from 3-digit Clarke grades to 4-digit Elo-style ratings, the change over to Elo coinciding with the time when over-the-board chess had for a while ceased and no games were being played.

Four-digit ratings all round makes our list of events a mite tidier. But a word of caution here: there is a difference between FIDE ratings and ECF ratings. The “U1900” section requires entrants to be U1900 in both lists. The three ECF sections will be based on ECF ratings. All ratings will be those in the lists of 1 April 2022.

The picture on this page, also on the home page of the website and on the front of our 2022 Entry Form is by Brendan O’Gorman, whose Gallery of the 2019 Congress you can find linked from the 2019 page (main menu above). We are grateful to Brendan for use of this splendid image, readily granted without restriction.

Links: FIDE ratings | ECF ratings | PDF Entry Form | Entries

Page links: Top | Schedule | Prizes | Entry Fees | Ratings | Narrative

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