UK Open Blitz Championship 2019 qualifying events

There were eight 15-round qualifying Swiss tournaments played over the weekends of 7th and 14th September as below …

8th September
Bristol – Bristol Grammar School, University Road, Bristol BS8 1SR

14th September
London – The Rugby Portobello, 221 Walmer Road, London W11 4EY
Manchester – Ukrainian Social Club, 99 Castle Street, Bolton BL2 1JP

7th September
Birmingham – Quinborne Community Centre, Ridgacre Road, Quinton, Birmingham B32 2TW
Newcastle – The Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4DX
Cardiff – The Cardiff North Hotel by AccorHotels, Circle Way East, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff CF23 9XF
Edinburgh – Broughton High School, 29 East Fettes Avenue, Edinburgh EH4 1EG
Belfast – Ormeau Bowling Club, Ormeau Park, Park Road,Belfast BT7 4NA

List of Qualifiers [4/10/19]

BelfastOpen: Stephen Rush; Jonathan Pein; Women: WFM Diana Mirza
BirminghamOpen: IM Ameet K Ghasi; FM Jonah Willow; Women: WGM Katarzyna Toma; WFM Sarah N Longson; Anita Somton
BristolOpen: GM Matthew Turner; GM Keith Arkell; Women: WFM Louise Head; WFM Rasa Norinkeviciute
CardiffOpen: IM Jose Camacho Collados; IM James T Sherwin; Women: Madara Orlovska; Madeleine Smith
EdinburghOpen: GM Justin Hy Tan; IM Andrew Greet; Women: WGM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant; Ali Roy
LondonOpen: IM John-Paul Wallace; IM Thomas E Rendle; Women: Alaa Gamal; Asha Jina
ManchesterOpen: IM James R Adair; Allan W Beardsworth; Women: Mahima Raghavendra; Dawn Supatan
NewcastleOpen: GM Daniel W Gormally; IM Lorin D’Costa; Women: Rayelynn Posadas; Prachi Arora

Qualifiers Report
The first two weekends of September saw 8 qualifying tournaments take place for the UK Open Blitz Championship with the Open and Women’s finals to be held in November. 

Many IMs and three GMs took part in the qualifiers, possibly lured by the opportunity to win the £1,000 first prize in Solihull on Saturday, November 16th. There were also a number of WGMs and WFMs competing for qualifying places in the Women’s final.

Jonathan Pein (Durham) travelled over to Belfast and qualified for the Open Final on 13/15 along with Steve Rush (Queen’s University), while in Birmingham Ameet Ghasi (Sutton Coldfield) amassed a perfect score, with Jonah Willow (Nottingham) also qualifying, albeit back on 12½/15. In Bristol the two competing grandmasters both qualified, Matthew Turner (Glastonbury) racking up 13½/15, while Keith Arkell (Paignton) also went through on 12, despite a last-round defeat at the hands of our Executive Editor. That may explain why Bristol blitz expert James Sherwin headed west and qualified in Cardiff on 13½/15, despite finishing half a point behind fellow, and local, IM Jose Camacho Collados, with one of the stars of last year’s Blitz Final, Marcus Harvey, only able to finish third.

WGM Katarzyna Toma (Wood Green) was the highest placed female in the Birmingham event following on from her recent win at the English Women’s Championship, with WFM Sarah Longson (Stockport) finishing second highest and both players finishing on 9/15. First and second highest women’s places in the Bristol event went to WFM Louise Head with 8.5/15 and WFM Rasa Norinkeviciute with 8/15, and WFM Diana Mirza was the highest placed female in the Belfast event with 9/15.

The finals will be held at the St John’s Hotel, Solihull with separate Open and Women’s Finals each running as a 16 player all-play-all event with 15 rounds of blitz games to decide the UK Open and Women’s Blitz Champions.

The above report has been made available with support from CHESS Magazine and extracts will be appearing in the October issue of CHESS with a photograph from the Bristol event – see

Full results and final cross-tables can be found at the links below …

Full Qualifiers results
Results were as follows –
Belfast –
Birmingham –
Bristol –
Cardiff –
Edinburgh –
London –
Manchester –
Newcastle –

Details of the events and a full list of entrants can be found here