6 rounds, 1 round per week – commencing 24th August

Open to Manchester chess players only. All players will need to be affiliated with an MCF club. Please see Q&A below for further info.

Tournament format:

  • Time control: 60 mins + 15 seconds per move

  • Number of rounds: 6

  • Format: Swiss system – single open section

  • To be played on: Lichess website

  • Cost: Free to take part (no cash prizes)

  • Sections: Single Open section

  • Standard round time: Monday evenings at 6:30 pm.

Please note the following points to make the tournament more accessible:

  • There will be support available for players with little experience of online chess or Lichess.

  • Participants do not need to be ECF members and the games will not be ECF online graded.

  • Players can request up to three byes
    (Therefore the minimum commitment is only 3 games over 6 weeks).

  • While the standard time is 6:30 pm on Monday, if the players can agree a time that works better for them, they can play at any point during the week.

If you have any queries please e-mail:

To register please use this link. Please sign up with Lichess first, unless you’d like help with this (in which case contact us). Please register by 11am 22nd August.


There is no entry fee, so no cash, but there are a range of prizes to fight for:

Individual prizes

  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd places

  • Grading prizes

  • Brilliancy prizes (one per round, show us your best moves!)

  • Best game prizes (one per round, let's see your masterpieces)

Joint prize

  • Best fight prize (one per round, for the epic struggles that hang in the balance and keep the spectators on their toes. The prize is shared by both players.)

Team prizes

  • Most points: The club whose affiliated players accumulate the most points.

  • Elite team: The club whose three highest scoring players accumulate the most points.

Q & A

Q. Why run the tournament, who is it for?
A. Due to the biggest global pandemic of our lifetime over-the-board rated games (or real chess, as we like to call it) is currently on hold. This tournament is aimed at players missing real chess and players who haven't yet played real chess, but who want to gain experience of playing longer games.
Q. I’ve not played online chess before how can I get involved?
A. We’ll be happy to help. We can provide further information by e-mail and talk through the process on the phone.
Q. I hear there is a lot of cheating online, will this be an issue?
A. Lichess has its own anti-cheating software, and the tournament team will also separately review the games. Most MCF players will not cheat, and anyone tempted will be running a big reputational risk. Cheaters will be reported to their club as well as being barred from this and future MCF events.
Q. How will the tournament controllers contact me, how will I know what I need to do and when?
A. We will e-mail players throughout the tournament, but there will also be supporting website developed to ensure players have two ways to access all the information needed.
Q. The MCF is also setting up a team competition, what is the main difference?
A. The team competition will be at rapid-play time controls.
Q. Why are the games not ECF online graded?
A. This is the first MCF online tournament, we don’t want to turn any Manchester player away.
Q. Why run it as a single open section rather than having sections?
A. Partially as we don’t know how many players will be interested, and partially as a single open enables players to play opponents of a wide range of standards.
Q. Who is eligible? What counts as a Manchester Chess Player?
A. All players will need to be affiliated with a MCF club. Players don’t need to be currently Manchester based if they have played in the league in recent seasons, however conversely, someone who is affiliated with a MCF club, but does not live in Manchester and has never played in the league is not viewed as being eligible.
Q. You say that players can agree a time instead of playing 6:30pm on Monday, how?
A. The rounds draw will be made available on Sunday morning. Players then have a day and half to message their opponents on Lichess and agree a new time, or confirm the standard time. Players can play at any point during the week (including Saturday).
Q. Who was Jody Heaton?
A. Jody was a player and friend who played at Manchester Social and Eccles Chess Clubs. He passed away earlier in the year and we’d like to use this tournament to remember his friendship.


The tournament adopts the MCF/ECF Safeguarding Policy. The tournament Safeguarding Officer is Julian Clissold. Parents of Juniors will be sent further information keeping children safe online ahead of the tournament. Safeguarding processes will be updated on the website and e-mailed to participants ahead of the tournament starting.

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