"Games like this [Penrose-Botvinnik] (and there were plenty in this tournament) impressed on me that 'wanting to win' was perhaps more important than 'playing good moves'." 
-Raymond Keene, 'Becoming a Grandmaster'.

The Barnet Chess Congress

Entry form page

The 2003 congress will be held on 
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July 2003

Barnet 2nd Team Natasha Regan
Pictures from the 1999 Barnet chess congress

Table of Contents

Section Details
Entry form page
Accomodation details
Sample games from previous events
Spectator information (New section as of 10/1/99!)
Report (with pictures) for the January 1999 Barnet congress


This congress is a qualifier for the Terence Chapman Grand Prix Circuit. The congress has been very successful in attracting players from all around the world, and for its emphasis on amateurs. It allows non-titled players a chance to win the event, because the top section is grading limited to about 200 BCF.

The congress has the following features:
bulletA relaxed, friendly, fun loving atmosphere !
bulletGood playing conditions - no smoking is allowed in playing areas and corridors
bulletAn TCS bookstall is provided
bulletAn excellent canteen is open throughout the tournament, which has hot snacks
bulletAn attractive prize fund, the last event having over 800 in prizes. The prize fund is not too high to avoid attracting sharks.

Back to top


The tournament is held at the Queen Elizabeth's Boy's School, Queens Road, Barnet, Herts, England, United Kingdom.
See the turning off Wood Street (opposite the Barnet General Hospital turnoff) on the map below)

See www.streetmap.co.uk for the context of this map and [zoom in], [zoom out] facilities!

Getting there!

Getting there by the London Underground

From High Barnet underground station to this school is approx. 3/4 of a mile (20-25 minutes walk), but there are frequent buses!.

Getting there by car

Coming from the North or the South by car: take the Barnet exit on Sterling corner exit on the A1. It is about 1.5 miles from this corner to the congress.

Back to top

Section Details

Event Premiere Intermediate Novice
BCF Grading 210 and below 160 and below 110 and below
Entry fee 18 17 16
Juniors entry fee
(born since 31/8/1983)

Deduct 3 pounds from all entry fees

Direct members of the BCF Deduct 1 pound from entry free but only if they have given BCF membership number
Prizes 120, 75 75, 60 70, 50 plus
best losers 30 (those
who lost in 1st two rounds)
Grading prizes (up to 178) 60 (up to 130) 60  
Rate of play 40 moves in 100 minutes, then 20 minutes to
complete the game
30 moves in 75 minutes
then 15 minutes to
complete the game
Round times

Round 1 Saturday 9.30 am
Round 2 Saturday 1.50 pm
Round 3 Saturday 6.10 pm
Round 4 Sunday 10.00 am
Round 5 Sunday 2.20 pm

Round 1 Saturday 9.30 am
Round 2 Saturday 1.00 pm
Round 3 Saturday 4.30 pm
Round 4 Sunday 9.30 pm
Round 5 Sunday 1.00 pm
Round 6 Sunday 4.30 pm

Back to top


You can make enquiries by email by contacting
Malcolm Harding on 01788 - 561474 or email: malc.harding@virgin.net


Back to top


Accomodation details

Hadley Hotel, 0181 449 0161, single 40, double 55

West Lodge, 0181 440 8311, single 90, double 115

Chomley Lodge Guest House, 0208 346 1614, single 42, double 55

A full list is available as needed. Please send SAE

Back to top


Sample Games from previous events

The following five games are from the Barnet Congress Under 202, January 1993 which Tryfon won jointly on 4.5/5 with Mark Ferguson (who is now quite a good player rated at 232 BCF)

Note there is also a Java Browser version of these games!

Barnet Congress January 1993

T.Gavriel vs Moskovik

Barnet Round 1   1993

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 (The saemich variation) 5...0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Qd2 Qh4 9.Kd1   [ 9.g3 Ng3 10.Qf2 Nf1 11.Qh4 Ne3 12.Ke2 Nc4    This is a theoretical queen sacrifice which is a bit unclear so I avoided it!  ] 9...Qe7 10.g4 Nf4  (A good pawn offer to get a strong grip on the dark squares and blow me away after Bxf4 ef Qxf4 f5!)  11.Nge2 Nxe2 (Here f5! was better eg nxf4 ef4 bxf4 fe4 fe4 Bxc3 + ! and e4 falls with the white position collapsing)

12.Bxe2 f5 13.gf5 gf5 14.Kc2 f4 15.Bf2 Nd7 16.h4 (With the plan of exhanging the white squared bishops to exploit the weak h3-c8 diagonal)

16...h5 17.Rag1 Kh7 18.Kb1 Nf6 19.Bf1 Bh6 20.Bh3 Bxh3 21.Rxh3 Rg8 22.Rhh1 Qd7 23.Rc1  (Getting nowhere on the kingside, the attack switches to the queenside!)

23...c5 24.dc6 bc6 25.Rcd1 Rgd8 26.Qe2 Qe6 27.Rd2 Rd7 28.Rhd1 Rad8 29.b3 Kh8 30.Na4  (To try and discourage d5)   30...Bf8 31.Rc1  (Accepting the fact that my opponent is going to play d5)   31...d5 32.cd5 cd5 33.Rdc2 d4 ( dxe4 was clearly better leaving a weakness on e4) 

34.Rc6 Rd6 (This allows a positional combination to blockade his passed pawn and get pressure on e5)  35.Nc5 Qe7 36.Nd3 Rc6 37.Rc6 Rd7 38.Be1  (with the idea of Bb4 or Ba5 at appropriate times)   38...Nh7 39.Qc2 Bg7 40.Qc4  (Lovely light square weaknesses to exploit!)   40...Nf8 41.Bb4 Qe8 42.Bd6 Bf6  

Here I noticed a nasty combination 

43.Bxf8 Qxf8 44.Qe6 Rf7 45.Rc8 Bd8  (Rxd8 is playable here but the text is more devastating) 46.Ne5  1-0

(If now Rf6 then Qd7. In this position Rd6 is refutable by either) a) Rxd8 Rxd6 Rxf8+ or b) Qxd6 Qxd6 Rxd8 Qxd8 Nf7+  and therefore black resigned)

Love vs T.Gavriel

Barnet Round 2   1993

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7

9.b4 a5   [ 9...Nh5 10.c5 f5 This is more theoretical with ideas of Nf4  ]

10.ba5 Ra5 11.Nd2 b6 12.Nb3 Ra8 13.a4 Nd7 14.Bd2 f5 15.a5 (White is clearly better)   15...Rb8 16.ab6 Nb6 17.f3   [ 17.c5 dc5 18.Nc5 fe4 19.N3e4 Ned5  This is why f3 is necessary  ] 17...c5 8.Nb5 f4 19.Qc2 Rf6  (to make Bd7 playable and also with ideas of Rh6 later)  20.Ra7 Bd7

21.Rfa1 ( In this position I noticed I could play Nxc4 but rejected it because of  Nxc5 ideas by white)   21...Nec8

22.R7a5 g5 23.Na7 Ne7 24.Ra6 Qe8  (With the subtle idea of Qh5 and also of making Na4 playable to block off the opponents queenside attack) 

25.Ba5 Na4 (see Next Diagram. This is quite an amusing position. People from my club such as Steve Weston found it amusing anyway!. The question is, has white got enough pieces on the a file?!)

26.Rb1 Ra8 (To pin the knight to delay the eventual c6 square occupation)

27.Bc7 Nc8  (Carrying out the threat of winning the exchange. I really just wanted to gain time on the queenside to get an attack on the kingside more easily)

28.Na5 Qh5   [ 28...Ra7 29.Ra7 Na7 30.Rb8 Bc8 ( 30...Nc8 31.Nc6 Bc6 32.dc6 Qc6 33.Rc8    Kf7    and black is okay but I wanted an attack   ) 31.Nc6 Nc6 32.Qa4  and black is lost  ]

29.N5c6 Rh6 30.h3 Bh3 31.Bf1 Bd7

32.Qa4 (The threat now is Ne7+ getting an important bishop on d7)   32...Kh8

33.Nc8 Rc8 34.Ra8 g4 35.Rc8 Bc8 36.Qa8 Qh2 37.Kf2 Qg3 38.Ke2 gf3 39.Kd1 Qg4 40.gf3 [ 40.Qc8 Qc8 41.Rb8 Qb8 42.Bb8 Rh1 43.Ke1 fg2! ] 40...Qf3

41.Kc1 Qf1 42.Kb2 Rh2 43.Ka1 Qh3 44.Rc1 Bf8 (to stop Ne7 and also give me more time because now Qxc8 is not check) 

45.Bd8 Qb3 46.Bf6 Kg8 47.Rg1 Kf7

48.Be5  [ 48.Qa7 Kf6  with a decisive advantage to black  ]   [ 48.Qa7 Qb7 ( 48...Bb7 49.Qb7 Qb7 50.Nd8 Kf6 51.Nb7  with advantage to black  ) 49.Nd8  would be embarrassing  ] 48...de5

49.Ne5 Kf6 50.Ng4 Bg4 (with the idea of finding safety on d3)

51.Qf8 Ke5 52.Qg7 Ke4 (White is running out of checks and time on the clock)



T.Gavriel vs Bagri

Barnet   Round 3 1993

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.h4  ( A wacky Julian Hodgson line)  

3...c5 4.dc5 Qa5 5.Nd2 e6 (with the idea of Bxc5 and Bxf2 mate. Not really, just to develop!  :)  )

6.c3 Ng5 7.hg5 Qc5 8.Ngf3 Nc6 9.Qb1 Qf5  [ 9...g6 10.Ne4 Qf5 11.Nf6  is not pleasant for black  ]

10.e4  (I wanted to keep the queens on, but in the process weaken f2)   10...Qf4 11.Rh4 Qc7 12.Qd3 b5 13.0-0-0 b4 [ 13...Nb4 14.Qd4 Na2 15.Kb1 Qa5  is okay for me  ] 14.Kb1 a5 15.c4 Bc5  (oops! I am losing the f2 pawn by force. If Qe2 then Qb6. This calls for something drastic)

16.g6 fg6 17.e5 Ne5 18.Ne5 Qe5 19.Rh7 Rh7 20.Qg6 Ke7 21.Qh7 Bf2  (Bb7 is much better, with black having the advantage of the two bishops)  22.Ne4 Bg3   [ 22...Bd4 23.Qh4 Ke8 24.Ng5 Bc5 25.Qh5 Ke7 26.Qf7 Kd8 27.Ne6  is quite good for white!  ]   [ 22...Be3 23.Qh4 Kf8 24.Nd6 Qf4 25.Qd8 ]

23.Qg6 Bh4 24.Nd6  ( f7 and e8 are enprise.)  1-0.


Baer vs T.Gavriel

Barnet Round 4   1993

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 d3  (I didn't want to risk being wiped out quickly by the Morra smith gambit) 4.Bxd3 Nc6 5.c4 g6  (with the idea of dark square control)

6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 d6 8.Nge2 Nf6 9.f3 Bd7  ( with ideas of Rc8 and Ne5) 

10.b3 a6  (with an idea of b5 later)

11.a4  (I noticed here that my opponent is not letting me get any counterplay and also if I castle routinely, I might get wiped out by Qd2 0-0 Bh6 and f4 later)   11...e6

12.0-0 h5  (Not with the idea of attacking but with the idea of getting more dark square grip and also preventing crude Bh6's) 

13.Qd2 Qc7 14.Rad1 Rd8 15.Kh1 Bc8 16.Bg5 Ne7  ( To answer f4 with either Nh7 or d5)

17.Bb1 Nh7 18.Bf4 Be5 19.Be3 Bg7 20.Bf4 ( I thought he was going for a draw and I didn't really want to play e5 because this would leave d5 permanently weak)   20...Be5

21.Be5 de5 22.Qh6 Nc6   (To defend against Qg7 by Ke7) 

23.Rd8 Qd8 24.Qe3   [ 24.Qg7 Qf6 ] 24...0-0

25.Qc5 Qc7 26.Rd1   [ 26.Nb5 ab5 27.ab5 Qe7 ] 26...Rd8

27.Bd3 b6 28.Qa3 Na5 (to delay b4. I noticed he has a pawn majority on the queenside)

29.Nc1 Kg7 (with the long-term idea of Nf6-g8-e7-c6-d4)

30.Qb2 Nf6 31.N3e2 Kh7 (To get my king off the dangerous diagonal) 

32.Qc3 Ng8 33.Rf1 Bb7 34.b4 (I could’t have stopped this easily. I thought I had time after Nc6 to play a5 to get control of b4 but I was wrong!)   34...Nc6

35.c5 bc5 36.Qc5 Qe7 (with the idea of forcing his pawns to be weak) 

37.Qxe7 Ngxe7 38.b5 Nb4 39.Bc4 Rc8 40.bxa6 Nxa6 ( I wanted Bxa6 Bxa6 with a strong bishop)

41.Bb5 Nc5 ( to stop Nb3-a5 and also to play f5 with more energy trying to get to the white king)

42.Na2 f5 43.ef5 gf5 44.Rc1 h4 45.Rc4 Ng6 46.Nb4 h3 47.Nc6 hxg2 48.Kxg2   [ 48.Kg1  is better  ] 48...Bxc6  (if Rxc5 Bxf3 check winning the rook on c5)


T.Gavriel vs Ferguson
Barnet Round 5 (Last round)

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 Bf5 4.e3 e6 5.Be2  [ 5.Bd3 Bd3 6.Qd3  is also playable but very boring!  ] 5...Be7
6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.g4 Bg6 8.h4  (I thought I was much better here but perhaps underestimated blacks position!)  8...h6
9.Ng6 fg6 10.Bd3 Nf8 11.Nd2 Bd6 12.Qf3 Qe7 13.0-0-0 0-0-0
14.e4  (this is a very bad move [ 14.Qg3 N6d7 15.Nf3 is a better idea for white, trying to clamp down on e5 and trying to encourage Bxf4 exf4  ]) 14...Bxf4
15.Qxf4 dxe4 16.Bxe4   [ 16.Ne4 Rd4  and black is a pawn up  ] 16...Ne4  [ 16...Rd4 17.Bb7 Kb7 18.Qd4  is winning for white  ]
17.Qe4 Qf6 18.Nf3  (with a draw offer. I felt that I was not in control any more. The f file is about to be taken by black after Nd7 and Rf8, and my g4 is weak. To this I would be forced to play something like Rd3)

Back to top

Spectators information

This new section is in response to a recent email enquiry from Kevin Burdekin in East Barnet ! Many thanks Kevin!

Spectators are more than welcome to come along and watch the games in progress. Games are often analysed afterwards by the players, and listening to "post-mortems" can sometimes be very instructive. There is a very spacious canteen area, where you can even play friendly games, if there is a spare board available!

If you are new to the game of chess, you may find some instructive books at the dedicated chess bookstall to help you get started in chess.

You can also come down to find out more about Barnet chess club. The Barnet congress was designed with many goals, one of which was to promote the chess club!

Feel free to come along and ask for people that you may have seen featured on the members pages of Barnet chess club on-line. Come and see for example Tryfon Gavriel (the Barnet on-line co-webmaster) in person, and give him your thoughts about the chess web site, and what you would like to see on it this year!  He will be giving out some Internet Chess Club (ICC) free months membership to the best suggestions given for the web site - so you will be able to play chess 24 hours a day from the luxury of your own home !!

The tournament is played in quite a nice area in Hertfordshire at Queen Elizabeth's boys school.
Make a day of it and pay us a visit!

Back to top

This page belongs to:
Barnet Chess Club