Newcastle upon Tyne 2020

Focal returns to the northeast in late March…

newcastle pic free

Date: Saturday 28th March 2020.
Venue: PTE Social Club, Millers Road, Byker, NE6 2XP (location).
Admission: £15, including hot buffet lunch (PayPal preferable, please).
Admission + evening dinner: £30 (see details further down).
Doors open: 9:30am for a 10:30am start.
Presented by: James Robinson and Innis Carson.
Format: Classroom, with big screen graphics.
Finishes by: 6pm (evening dinner booking in city centre for 7pm).

We will be at the PTE Social Club, just a couple of miles east of the city centre in Byker (yes, as in Byker Grove) for our second tournament in Newcastle. The address is Millers Road, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE6 2XP.

Easy access from Newcastle rail station — a short walk to Monument, then three stops on the yellow Metro line to Chillingham Road.

How does it work?
First of all, everybody plays from start to finish — there are no knockouts!

There will be a big screen for the game graphics and everyone plays to the same letters, numbers and conundrums rounds. We try to replicate the studio conditions, giving everyone turns at picking the selections. There will be comfort breaks in between games, as well as our buffet lunch.

focal rapidness
To start off, players will be drawn at random into groups of equal numbers to play some heats matches (likely five). This means players will know at the start who they will be up against in the heats. These will be classic 9-round matches (6L 2N 1C).

At the end of the heats, everyone is put into order by number of wins, total points scored and +/- points difference, and divided into groups of eight for the quarter-finals.

From here, everybody is seeded within their divisions to play a 15-round quarter-final (10L 4N 1C), 15-round semi-final and 14-round final (8L 4N 2C). This will be done in Swiss format, so everybody will get to play right until the end of the day.

The two finalists in Group A will sit out the mainstream final, to play the tournament’s showpiece Grand Final at around 5pm. So if you don’t make the top two, why not recharge your glass, sit back and enjoy!

What else do I need?
Pens and paper will be supplied, but please feel free to bring your own notebooks. We will only require your final scores from each game, not the full round-by-round declarations.

And there’s a dinner in the evening?
Yes, we have a group table booked for 7pm at Za Za Bazaar, priced at £15pp (websitedirections), which will be a brilliant way to finish off your fun in the Toon!

How much does it cost?
Admission costs £15pp for the event (including the lunch buffet) or £30pp if you also want to join us for dinner. You can make your booking with James now:

– By PayPal:
Event and dinner (£30), or
Event only (£15).
– By cheque (address available on request).

Any questions?
If you need any help, including any pointers on planning your journey or your stay, email us at