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Press Release - Preston Annual Chess Tournament

Preston's annual open chess tournament ran from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th of November, and is took place at a new venue this year, the University of Central Lancashire, Foster Building. We had a total of over 150 players from places such as London, Ipswich, Scotland, Wales, Cockermouth, and 1 from South Africa (the only foreign player). The oldest prize winner was George Ellison 77 (of Poulton Le Fylde) and the youngest prize winners were Jennifer Neil 11 (of Chorley), and Jordan Lewis 10 (of Poulton Le Fylde). The top 4 games in the open section were broadcast live on the internet.

For the last 21 years there has been an annual Preston Chess Congress held in the County Council offices in Pitt Street Preston (near the Railway station). It consists of an Open tournament that usually attracts one or two Grandmasters, and 3 other sections for different playing strengths. There are usually about 150 players of all ages from different parts of the country and sometimes from abroad. It takes place over a weekend in November, on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. This year we were informed by Lancashire County Council that this venue will no longer be available, but luckily uclan have stepped in and rescued the event.

Most major cities run at least one annual chess tournament. For example, Manchester usually hold 3 or 4 tournaments per year, Blackpool host one of the largest in the UK and for the last few years Liverpool has hosted a large international Grandmaster tournament as part of the European City of Culture. For amateur
players and juniors, there is a Grand Prix, run by the English Chess Federation, whereby points can be earned at different tournaments throughout the country contributing to a final score in August.


  • It brings people into Preston to stay, shop and eat. This includes relatives as well as the players themselves.
  • Chess has proven educational benefits. There are numerous studies showing improved concentration and cognitive development amongst children at schools where chess is taught.
  • Chess gives the City a positive Intellectual image
  • Publicity – We produce 1600 leaflets that are distributed at other chess tournaments throughout the country and by post to individual chess players. There is a website, and in the past, games have been shown live on the internet.

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