6 rounds, 1 round per week – commencing 19th April 2021

Open to Manchester chess players only. All players will need to be affiliated with an MCF club and ECF Members/Supporters. 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 7:00 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.

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

  • While the standard time is 7:00 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:

Registration is now closed, but late entries can be accepted via e-mail.


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 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 7:00pm on Monday, how?
A. The rounds draw will be made available on Saturday. 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.

Players must not use any assistance during a match (computers, databases, books, friends etc.)

The tournament is run under the MCF's fair play policy, which can be viewed here:

All you really need to know is don't cheat (i.e. use any assistance) and should you suspect that another player is using assistance please raise directly with the tournament organisers. Experience from the past 12 months is that use of assistance gets noticed and does nothing other than cause unnecessary pain, especially for those people getting caught.



MCF has adopted the ECF Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. If you need to report a safeguarding matter contact the MCF Safeguarding Officer. The MCF Safeguarding Officer is Julian Clissold available at