Enter online
Last day to enter online2024-02-07
Entries after 2024-02-05£5 late fee

Friday 9th February to Sunday 11th February 2024
The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool,
Lancashire. FY1 2HB

Imperial hotel accommodation at reduced rates including free parking at the hotel (otherwise £9 per day) can also be booked on the website; www.blackpoolchess.org.uk. Players booking an Imperial room get £10 off entry fee for one entrant (a booking reference number will be required), and free car parking ( Please put your booking reference number in the Imperial Booking number box, if not booked please enter 0). Full entry form for postal entries can also be downloaded via the same website.


The 47th annual Blackpool Chess Conference will be held over the dates 9th - 11th February 2024. It is a 5 round Swiss congress, one round on Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. The congress is an ECF Graded event.


SectionThe Lancashire OpenThe Imperial Major U2050The Intermediate U1850The Minor U1700The Standard U1550
Entry Fee£41(£50 for English players Bronze or non members)£38(£47 Bronze or non ECF members)£36(£45 Bronze or non ECF members)£36(£45 Bronze or non ECF members)£33(£42 Bronze or non ECF members)
First Prize£700£500£500£500£400
Second Prize£400£300£200£200£200
Third Prize£200 £100
Grading Prize3 prizes of £1005 prizes of £1004 prizes of £1004 prizes of £1004 prizes of £50
Best Veteran£100£100£100£100 £50
Best Junior£30£30£30£30 £30

Please enter early. A late payment fee becomes payable on all entries received after 05 Feb 2024. There is no entry on the day.

Time Table

Opening CeremonyFriday18:55
Round 1Friday19:00 - 23:00
Round 2Saturday09:30 - 13:30
Round 3Saturday14:15 - 18:15
Round 4Sunday09:30 - 13:30
Round 5Sunday14:15 - 18:15

30 minutes after the start of each round, a new pairing may be made for any player whose opponent has not arrived or for any player who was initially awarded a bye. Missing players will be defaulted after 30 minutes.


The January 2024 ECF grading list will be used unless players without a grade in this list have a grade in the August 2023 list. Grading history and other sources may be used to place a player in a higher section. Players without a current grade must give their last published grade and the year of publication. Failure to disclose will result in disqualification. The highest published grade must be used for Yorkshire / Non-English players, ECF ‘F’ grades have a lower priority. Adult players (over 18 years of age) without a grade/history may only enter the Open section. Ungraded Juniors must give a full indication of their strength. Players with grades/ratings that are not in the public domain must supply a signed photo-copy of their grading/rating. The Director reserves the right to place any entry whose grade cannot be verified into the section of their choice. It is a condition of entry that players agree to their grading information being published on the ECF Website. Players not wishing to have their details published on the ECF Website should contact the ECF Office directly. All results will be sent to the ECF for grading in the ECF Grading List. The last date for online entry is Wednesday February 7th 2024. Players should check the website to confirm entry. No entries accepted after this date.

Conditions of Entry

The organisers reserve the right to:
  • Refuse any entry without stating a reason
  • Transfer entrants between events
  • Withhold prizes from ungraded players if they play in events below their known strength
  • Redistribute in whole or in part a prize won by a competitor who has won or shared a prize
  • The organiser reserves the right to reduce the prize fund or cancel the event in the event of a low number of entries

Rate of Play and Pairings

All games must be completed in 1 hour 50 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. Swiss Manager will be used to pair the rounds using January 2024 published ratings.


Players who withdraw and request a refund must do so in writing before 1st February 2024. If a refund is approved by the organisers, the entry fee may be returned less a £5 administration fee. Withdrawals after this date will not be eligible for a refund.


We thank you for previous year’s donations which have been used to fund veteran prizes. All donations from this year’s event will be used to provide veteran prizes at the next Blackpool Chess Conference.

Sharon Furlong Trophy

Highest scoring lady overall will receive the Sharon Furlong Trophy.

Mike O'Hara Memorial Trophy

To be awarded to the best performance by a Junior in the Open.

Veteran Prizes

To be awarded to the highest scoring veteran in each section. (60 or over on 09 Feb 2024).

Junior Prizes

To be awarded to the highest scoring Junior in each section. (U18 on 09 Feb 2024).

Chess Essentials

There will be a chess stall provided by Chess Essentials during the event. Supplying chess boards, chess sets, clocks, books, DVDs, stationery and chess novelties. Please ring or email for items which you wish to pre-order such as stationery. email: chessbooksuk@hotmail.co.uk Tel.: 01422 292 392

The Admin Team

  • Congress Director is Bill O'Rourke
  • Chief Controller is Alex McFarlane
  • ECF Arbiters are Peter Purland, Fiona Green and Glynis Purland
  • Website maintained by Peter Hurn
  • Backroom staff is David Clayton
  • Congress set-up assistance by Con and Von.
  • email: blackpoolchessconference@virginmedia.com