English Womens Rapidplay

Format: 8 player all-play-all. A total of 9 rounds

Round Time
Saturday 4th December
Round 1 12:00 – 13:30
Round 2 13:30 – 15:00
Round 3 15:00 – 16:30
Round 4 16:30 – 18:00
Sunday 5th December
Round 5 12:00 – 13:30
Round 6 13:30 – 15:00
Round 7 15:00 – 16:30

Eight of England’s best female players face off in an invitational weekend all-play-all rapidplay tournament.


Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December 2021

Time Control

15 minutes + 10 seconds increment.

Prize Fund

1st £1,500 2nd £1,000 3rd £750, 4th £500

In the event of a tie, prize money will be shared. If there is a share for first there will be a two game play-off. If still level then two blitz games of 3m+2s. If still level a final Armageddon game with 6 v 5 minutes; plus 2 second increment after move 60.

IM Harriet Hunt (FIDE Rating 2410)

Harriet Hunt

England’s top female player, Harriet is a five-time British Women’s Champion, winning her latest title in 2021. Although Harriet is a highly experienced competitor in top women’s international events, in recent years she has focused on her academic career in archeogenetics at Cambridge University. Harriet’s brother Adam is an International Master.

WGM Katarzyna Toma (FIDE Rating 2261)

Katarzyna Toma

Katarzyna is a several-time competitor in the European Team Championships, playing for her native Poland until 2018, when she changed her chess affiliation to England. Since then, she has played for the England women’s team, and currently works as a veterinary surgeon.

WFM Akshaya Kalaiyalahan (FIDE Rating 2149)

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

Akshaya has been a regular England Women’s team player since 2016, participating in the 2016 and 2018 Olympiads. She is a Law student at Oxford University and is secretary of the university’s award-winning Chess Club.

Audrey Kueh (FIDE Rating 2099)

Audrey Kueh

Audrey achieved 4th place in the 2021 British Women’s Championship, and is an active member of the Guildford club in 4NCL matches.

WGM Sheila Jackson (FIDE Rating 2095)

Sheila Jackson

Sheila is a four-time British Women’s Champion, and has been a member of the England Women’s team in several Olympiads and a participant in the Women’s Interzonal tournament. In recent years, Sheila has focused on coaching promising junior players.

WFM Louise Head (FIDE Rating 2066)

Louise Head

Twice winner of the English Women’s Championship in 2017 and 2019, and a member of the England Women’s Team at the 2018 Olympiad, Louise is currently a PhD student at Edinburgh University’s Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems. She graduated with a degree in Physics from Warwick University, where she was president of the university’s chess club when it won the English Chess Federation’s Club of the Year award in 2019.

WFM Sarah Longson (FIDE Rating 2039)

Sarah Longson

Sarah is the CEO of the UK Chess Challenge, the world’s largest chess tournament for schoolchildren, and was a finalist of the GBEA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. A UK Chess Challenge winner as a junior and former British Women’s Champion, Sarah has played for the England Women’s Team and is an active coach. She lives in Cheshire with her husband, FM Alex Longson, with whom she manages the ECF Academy. They have two children.

WCM Zoe Varney (FIDE Rating 1955)

Zoe Varney

Fifth placed in the 2021 British Women’s Championship, Zoe represented England for the first time in the European Women’s Team Championship in Slovenia, 2021. She is a final-year Chemistry student at Durham University.

Julia Volovich (FIDE Rating 1779)

Julia Volovich

15-year old Julia has gained over 100 rating points since July this year with fine performances at the 25th 4NCL Congress and the 2021 European Youth Chess Championships.

Lan Yao (FIDE rating 2297)

Lan Yao

Born in Nantong, China. FIDE Trainer since 2020. Lan Yao was Champion of the Chinese Youth Chess Championship and part of the top 6 contenders in two World Youth Chess Championships for G16 and G18. She is a history student at UCL and working as a chess educator in London and and changed chess affiliation to England in 2021