The Kingston Invitational was established in 2022 to create a high-level tournament in south-west London and give much-needed Fide-rated games to predominantly local players. There have now been two very successful editions – the first with 10 players, the second with 20. We do not promise to double the number of players every year. Indeed, doubling the number of players in 2023 created about 10 times the work, so there may be an argument that “small is beautiful”.
We are committed to involving leading players from the Kingston club in these events, but have also been pleased to invite players from competitor clubs to participate. In 2023 the growing reputation of the Invitational led players from other parts of the UK and Europe to request invitations, and we were pleased to invite strong players from Iceland and Sweden to take part. This new global perspective to the tournament somewhat confused Chess Magazine, who in their excellent write-up of the event called it the “Kingston International”.
Both the 2022 and 2023 editions were all-play-alls: a 10-player all-play-all in 2022 and two 10-player all-play-all groups in 2023, the higher-rated of which offered IM norms, though such was the strength of the event that none was achieved. The inaugural tournament in July 2022 was won by Kingston star Peter Lalić. The second tournament in July 2023 was won by IM Conor Murphy, with Tim Seymour and Alistair Hill sharing first prize in the second group. For the details, see the full tournament reports below. We are now turning our attention to what shape the event will take in the summer of 2024.