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Re: The DeMontford Bell Kings Place Chess Festival

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:22 pm
by Adam Raoof
This year's 5th edition is filling up fast! Get your entry in soon as we will definitely be closing entries a few days before the event.

SAT 8 JUL, 10.30am – 6.30pm

The DeMontford Bell Kings Place Chess Festival is back for a fifth year, bringing together hundreds of competitors for six games of chess. Whether they be serious contenders or young hopefuls they will enjoy one of the best chess tournaments in London, and perhaps the UK.

Join one of five sections depending on your experience level, based on English Chess Federation (ECF) rapidplay grades: Open (for more experienced players), Major Under 170, Minor Under 145 and Amateur Under 120. The top four sections are FIDE (Internationally) rated and all sections are ECF graded.

This year will also see the return of the My First Chess Tournament Under 85. Six games of tournament chess – ECF graded, no membership of a chess club is required; ideal for your first foray into the world of competitive chess. Get a grade in one tournament!

For any additional queries, please email organiser Adam Raoof at A copy of the tournament rules will be available on the day and all entries need to be submitted before the day.

Limited availability. Early booking advised. Sponsored by DeMontford Bell.

Re: The DeMontford Bell Kings Place Chess Festival

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:44 pm
by Lee Bullock
Due to the success and popularity of this tournament it amazes me more of these types of huge rapid events are not more common in the UK?

Especially the u85 section. As like some people on this forum I teach kids chess. And this tournament is the only one in the country bar a few others where I feel I can send my players along and they will stand a chance of not getting 0 and at least compete.

Many kids develop late. And getting this early confidence can be of huge boost to there self confidence and set them on there way to being a regular chess player. Many of my players are not good enough to go straight into u120s. I have always been worried sending them to these.

I currently have a few players who I am confident can compete in the u120s and we will see if my worries were accurate or not. Of course it is not all about winning. And I teach this more than anything. But sending a kid who you know is gonna probably lose 5 or 6 from 6 is not what I think some of them can handle.

But it has taken me a while to build up the kids I teach in a primary school to now the year 4,5 and 6s I think are capable of playing at a decent level. Before the best kids in each age group were just not ready.

Anyway getting back to my main point why cant we have more rapids for u100 or u80 level players. To encourage them. to give them that platform and confidence. That introduction to Chess. Calling it My First Chess Tournament also I think is a great way to encourage kids and adults to attend.
Saw many adults of beginner level also playing in this event because of the u85 grading bracket.

Thoughts and views welcome why this is not done by other events all over the country?

Re: The DeMontford Bell Kings Place Chess Festival

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:56 pm
by Christopher Kreuzer
Probably location (London can sustain huge tournaments like that; other areas can do big tournaments but maybe not as reliably). It also takes time to build up an event like this. And you need an organiser of the calibre of Adam Raoof and the others involved in the organisation of this event. There is also a question of demand. The demand for events like this is not limitless (both geographically and within the calendar), and if you have a bad year or poor organisation, I suspect a lot of money can be lost. You may not know that you have hit such a limit until you hit it. Organisers will be cautious and build up gradually over a number of years. Some places will allow you to be flexible depending on how many entries you get. Yes, there could and should be more events like this. But you need to have solid backing, both financially and in terms of people organising it.

(EDIT: This is actually one of the events I've always thought I should go to, but haven't managed to go to yet!)

Re: The DeMontford Bell Kings Place Chess Festival

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:09 pm
by Adam Raoof
The problem with most of the venues that I use is that they are too small to sustain an extra section. If I could find a venue in London that would accommodate 200 players in comfort and at a practical cost, I would certainly organise rapid play tournaments in five or more sections

Incidentally, a lovely venue like Kings Place is not cheap (sponsors needed) and is very popular as a concert venue (hard to get dates)- otherwise I would certainly have more than one KP event in the year, or even just an event restricted to juniors.

Re: The DeMontford Bell Kings Place Chess Festival

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:19 pm
by Lee Bullock
Thanks for comments. And Chris I was more on about there being a lower section than the usual 120 in many rapid events.

And yeah Adam I am sure that space is one of the issues but looking at your last GG event for example you had 45 players in the u120 section.

Why not limit the amount in the bottom 2 sections to say 60 players. And create a u80 or u90 or u85. This will also stop the huge ability differences in the u120 that you can get in the early pairings. And I really feel kids and even some adults need this stepping stone of playing in a section weaker than a 120.

I see so many players each year (at Kings place) who are totally new or playing in there very first event. And you never see them again till maybe the next year. They dont get the chance to get the Chess bug or addiction. As we all know Chess can be so addictive and many players dont get to feel this.

Tournaments can be the best springboard to encourage new players and beginner players. We all know how winning an event can make you feel. And how it can encourage you to play more. Having more of these beginner sections I think will develop more players and encourage more juniors from a younger age and who may just be late developers.

I cant be the only Coach who feels there students are not good enough for certain events and we dont want to destroy there interest by putting them into an event thats too strong.

Just look at the entrants for the British u100 this year. 46!! The first time the British has re introduced the u100 section. Its a great idea and gives many players that incentive and feeling of they can compete and have a chance.

Surely you can get a u100 or u90 section Adam for your GG and Hampstead events? I know for sure I would bring many more players if these sections were added. Its taken me 4 years at one school to get a few kids I now feel confident of bringing them to these events.

If there was a u90/u85 all this time I would of been more confident of bringing players along and many may of surprised me and developed from it and got the Chess bug.

Re: The DeMontford Bell Kings Place Chess Festival

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:35 am
by Adam Raoof
This year's 6th event is shaping up to be really strong!

You can see a preview of the tournaments at where I talk about the favourite Luke McShane and the lunchtime concert by Petr Limonov which will be a new departure for me. Petr has said that he will stay on stage to do a Q&A after the performance with Chris Ward and Nick Murphy. I hope to develop that in future, with more chess-playing musicians and others on stage.

I'm doing another live stream next week and talking about the (on paper) second seed Matthew Sadler and him amazing blog, and showing a couple of my favourite Sadler games. Check out the calendar at for dates. ... -festival/

Incidentally now the rapid at Golders Green moved to a new lovely venue, we have more space and I am thinking of adding a SIXTH section - basically splitting the Under 120 in two...