Rapid Play Chess Match Coming To Downpatrick

Downpatrick to host first ever international chess tournament

Downpatrick to host first ever international chess tournament

On Saturday 17th September, chess players from far and wide will descend on Downpatrick for its first ever international chess competition.

The ‘rapid-play’ will consist of 10 rounds with each player having 15 minutes per game to make all their moves.

The tournament will take place from 10am to 5pm at the Church of Ireland Parish Hall at 4 Church Ave. 

Event organiser Brendan Jamison, a National Arbiter with the International Chess Federation (FIDE), said: “We are very excited to bring a chess tournament to Downpatrick.

David Obasi (left) v David Hill (right) at the launch of the NI Rapid Grand Prix at Groomsport on Saturday 3rd September

“This is part of the ‘NI Rapid Grand Prix’ special series of events taking place in 10 different towns and cities across the province.

“Some of the leading lights playing include Louiseon Fuchs, a very talented 13 year old girl from France and Gatis Barbals from Latvia.

Also playing is Andrzej Wesolowski and Gerard Obasi, both from Poland.

“And there will be many local chess champions such as Gareth Annesley (Ballynahinch), Adam Rushe (Ards), Chris Dorrian (Greenisland), Conor Spackman (Belfast) and Richard Morrow (Bangor).”

The NI Rapid Grand Prix will see players compete at 10 different venues. The series kicked off at Groomsport on Saturday 3rd September (photo) with Downpatrick as the 2nd event.

This will be followed by Belfast on Friday 23rd September, Newry on 9th October, Greenisland on 23th October and Omagh on Saturday 3rd December.

The final four tournaments will take place in early 2023. Each competition operates in its own right and is rated by FIDE and the Ulster Chess Union.

However, players competing in the entire Grand Prix get points if they finish in the top ten at each event. The overall winner receives a large engraved cup.

The Downpatrick event costs £12 per player but entry is free for additional players from the same family.

There are 5 engraved trophies, cups and shields up for grabs.

Entrants need to book and pay for a place online in advance as space is limited. Chess tournaments always get oversubscribed.

To check if there’s still room left in the competition, email Brendan Jamison at: