English Online Blitz 2020

The English Online Blitz Championships 2020 was held on https://www.chess.com with a group stage on 9th May and the finals on 16th May and the winners becoming English Online Blitz Champions for 2020.

Eligibility – The Championships was open to all ECF members or supporters with entry via the ECF members club on chess.com.

General – The Championships was based on a group stage consisting of two Swiss tournaments, with a final a week later for players qualifying from the group stage events.

Group Stage – The group stage of the English Blitz Championships took place on 9th May based on two Swiss tournaments at 3|2 time control starting at 2-00 pm and then 8-00 pm. Players had the option of playing in one or both tournaments. Both qualifiers were highly competitive with large fields liberally sprinkled with titled players. There were 248 entrants for qualifier 1 in the afternoon, and 216 entrants for the evening event.  You can find full details and final standings on the chess.com tournament result pages here:



Finals – The Open and Women’s finals were played on Saturday 16th May and were be based on a 16 player knockout format with 4 blitz games for each pairing to proceed to the next round. Matches with equal score after four games were determined via an Armageddon time odds match with 5 minutes for white and 4 minutes for black with a draw counting as a win for black. Colours were determined by drawing of lots witnessed by the players based on the ‘wheeldecide’ web site.

The qualifying players were as follows for the two sections:

Open Final

1 GM Gawain Jones 9 FM Sam Chow
2 FM Jonah Willow 10 IM Andrew Greet
3 IM Ameet Ghasi 11 IM Matthew Wadsworth
4 IM Andrew Horton 12 FM David Haydon
5 IM Ravi Haria 13 Henrik Stepanyan
6 GM Daniel Gormally 14 GM Simon Williams
7 FM Marcus Harvey 15 IM Richard Pert
8 FM Koby Kalavannan 16 IM Peter Roberson

Women’s Final

1 Maaike Keetman 9 Imogen Dicen
2 WFM Svetlana Sucikova 10 Elis Dicen
3 Ekaterina Diakonova 11 Rayelynn Posadas
4 Anita Somton 12 Nina Pert
5 Zoe Varney 13 Niamh Bridgeman
6 Eugenia Karas14 Alaa Gamal
7 WFM Sarah Longson 15 Julie Oh
8 WFM Shohreh Bayat 16 WFM Rasa Norinkeviciute

(For info GM Justin Tan was one of the Open Section qualifiers, but decided not to play as he has the final exam for his course early next week).

Pairings and Results – The full set of pairings and results are shown here:



The Open semi-finals saw IM Andrew Horton beat GM Gawain Jones and FM Marcus Harvey beating IM Ameet Ghasi. They were both very close contests with some excellent chess. In the end, it was FM Marcus Harvey who won the final against IM Andrew Horton. Many congratulations to Marcus who becomes the English Online Blitz Champion for 2020 and to runners up Andrew in second, and Gawain and Ameet in joint third.

In the semi-finals of the Women’s Championships WFM Shohreh Bayat beat Anita Somton and WFM Svetlana Sucikova overcame Ekaterina Diakonova. It was Svetlana who won the final against Shohreh. Many congratulations to Svetlana who becomes the English Online Blitz Champion for 2020 and to runners up Shohreh in second, and Anita and Ekaterina in joint third.

pgns for the Final

A full set of pgns can be found here for the two sections of the finals:


Streaming Commentary

GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan provided a stream for Rounds 1 (last 16), 3 (semi-finals) and 4 (the final)  on their gamechanger youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/gamechangerchess  

IM Adam Taylor provided commentary on his twitch channel for the event.   Simon Williams and potentially Danny Gormally also provided streaming commentary on their games on their twitch channels.

Tournament Rules – The detailed format and rules for the tournament can be found at the link below together with details of the prize fund.