AMBITIONS to establish the Isle of Wight as a top chess destination look like they may well be realised judging by the cream of the UK's chess circuit already signed up to a major spring tournament.

The appropriately named Ryde Castle Hotel is to host the Wightlink sponsored Isle of Wight Chess Congress, between April 19-21.

Organisers have issued an open invitation to all Island chess players to get involved, to help establish the Island as a leading chess destination in the UK.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The tournament has capacity for 72 players, on a first come, first served basis.

The Open section is filling up fast, with former English chess champion and grand master, Keith Arkell, leading the way.

The tournament's director, David Lightfoot, said: “It’s amazing to see such support for the event already! 

"The Island has a thriving chess community. We can’t wait to welcome some of the best players from around the country."

To add further kudos to the congress, chief arbiter for the event, Shohreh Bayat, was in charge of the Women’s World Championship Final in 2020, and can be seen at most high profile UK events.

There are also some 'titled' players signed up to play, which includes a former English champion.

"We couldn’t have hoped for a better start and it firmly establishes the Island as a serious contender in chess tournaments," David adds.

"It’s our hope we can grow this, year-on-year, and start to rival the large event held on the Isle of Man — possibly attracting thousands of visitors outside of the main holiday season."