The Delancey UK Chess Challenge is a multi-stage event with a mixture of over the board competitions and online qualification events.


15th and 16th October – Blenheim Palace

Once again we’re delighted that the finals (the ‘Terafinal’) will be hosted at Blenheim Palace on the weekend of 15th and 16th October. Only 60 players in total will qualify for the Terafinal – that is 12 from each age category. The Terafinal is an 11 round “All Play All” and is the strongest junior event in the UK calendar.

Here we can see our five champions from 2021 sitting on the steps of the Palace. Players play in one of five age categories; under 8, under 10, under 12, under 14 and under 18.


17th and 18th September – Mercure Daventry Court Hotel

Before the Terafinal is the Challengers on the weekend of the 17th and 18th September at the Mercure Daventry Court Hotel. 200 players will take part in this two day event in comfortable surrounds. This event is on par with Terafinals from previous years with live boards and a strong competitive field.

Daventry hosted the 2017 and 2019 Terafinal as well as the 2021 Challengers. Players qualify for the Challengers via the Gigafinals. Even those qualifying directly to the Terafinal are encouraged to play in the Challengers – one of the strongest junior events in the chess calendar.

The top three players in each age section will qualify for the Terafinal.


Over the Board (9/10 & 23/24 July) and Online Options (3/4 September) 

We have 2 x over-the-board Gigafinals plus an online Gigafinal for added convenience. From the Gigafinals players can qualify directly to the Terafinal or qualify for the Challengers. The over the board Gigafinals take place 9/10 July (Northern) and 23/24 July (Southern) whilst the Online Gigafinal is on 3/4 September. The over-the-board Gigafinals are one day events with different age groups competing on different days. The Online Gigafinal is a two day event for all age groups.

The top boy, top girl and next highest ranked player will qualify to the Terafinal. All players meeting the qualifying score will qualify for the Challengers.

Players who have qualified from a Megafinal may enter as many Gigafinals as they like. We are encouraging players to play as much chess as possible and all our events are ECF rated and provide valuable experience.


Over the Board and Online Options – Last Event 3rd July

But firstly players must qualify from a Megafinal – either from one of the many over the board events or from one of the Online Megafinals (18/19 June and 2/3 July).

For many players a Megafinal is their first experience of competitive chess outside of their school. Megafinals take place across the whole of the UK and players are encouraged to play as many as they can to gain useful experience and rack up those graded games.

Every player scoring at least 4 points (from 6 rounds) will qualify for the Gigafinals. There are additional age related qualifiers and the top three boys and girls from each section will automatically qualify.

Full Dates


Megafinals are open to all UK juniors born after 31/08/2003. We are hosting a mix of over-the-board and online Megafinals as follows:

Over the Board:

Friday 8th April – Harrow Megafinal
Saturday 30th April – Surrey U9s Megafinal
Sunday 1st May – Surrey U10-18s Megafinal
Sunday 1st May – Teesside Megafinal
Saturday 7th May – East Kent Megafinal
Sunday 8th May – Buckinghamshire Megafinal
Saturday 14th May – Nottinghamshire Megafinal
Sunday 15th May – Warwickshire Megafinal
Saturday 21st May – West Anglia Megafinal
Saturday 28th May – Edinburgh Megafinal
Saturday 28th May – Manchester U10s Megafinal
Sunday 29th May – Manchester U11-18s Megafinal
Sunday 29th May – Hertfordshire Megafinal
Saturday 4th June – Oxford Megafinal
Saturday 11th June – Bristol Megafinal
Saturday 11th June – London Megafinal
Sunday 12th June – Somerset Megafinal
Sunday 12th June – York Megafinal
Saturday 18th June – Northumbria Megafinal
Saturday 25th June – Shropshire Megafinal
Saturday 25th June – St Albans Megafinal
Sunday 26th June – Hampshire Megafinal


Saturday 18th June – U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 1  – U8s at 10am and U10s at 2pm
Sunday 19th June – U12s, U14s and U18s Online Megafinal 1 – U12s at 10am, U14s and U18s at 2pm

Saturday 2nd July – U12s, U14s and U18s Online Megafinal 2 – U14s and U18s at 10am, U12s at 2pm
Sunday 3rd July – U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 2 – U10s at 10am and U8s at 2pm


This year we are hosting three Gigafinals. To compete in a Gigafinal a player must first qualify via a Megafinal. Players may play in as many Gigafinals as they like, regardless of whether they have already qualified for the next stages.

Saturday 9th July – Northern Gigafinal U8s and U10s (Wright Robinson College, Manchester)
Sunday 10th July – Northern Gigafinal U12s, U14s and U18s (Wright Robinson College, Manchester)

Saturday 23rd July – Southern Gigafinal U8s and U10s (Harrow High School)
Sunday 24th July – Southern Gigafinal U12s, U14s and U18s (Harrow High School)

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September – Online Gigafinal U8s and U10s (

(The Online Gigafinal takes part in two stages: Stage 1 is Saturday 3rd at 10am with the top 12 players in each of the 5 age sections then qualifying for stage 2 on the Sunday).


Players qualify for the Challengers via the Gigafinals. Players qualifying directly to the Terafinal are also invited to play in the Challengers – one of the strongest junior competitions of the year. This is the last chance to qualify for the Terafinal.

Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th September – Mercure Daventry Court Hotel

Please note this is a two day event and unlike the Gigafinals players must play on both days.


Players qualify to the Terafinal via one of two routes

i) Directly from a Gigafinal. Each Gigafinal has three qualifying spots per age group
ii) From the Challengers. The Challengers has three qualifying spots per age group

Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th October – Blenheim Palace

An 11 round “All-Play-All”. Each players plays on both days and plays every other player in their group.

Age Categories

There are five main age sections in the UK Chess Challenge; U8, U10, U12, U14 and U18. Ages are calculated as at 31/08/2021 – for example if you are aged 8 on the 31/08/2021 then you are an under 9 and would play in the U10 section.

Megafinal organisers have flexibility to run additional sections depending on their entries – but all Gigafinal, Challengers and Terafinal events will use the five main age categories.

Players must only play in one age section per weekend. So an U7 cannot play an U8 Gigafinal on the Saturday and an U12 Gigafinal on the Sunday.

Players can look up their correct section in the table below.

Date From Date To Age Category UKCC Section
01/09/2003 31/08/2004 U18 U18
01/09/2004 31/08/2005 U17 U18
01/09/2005 31/08/2006 U16 U18
01/09/2006 31/08/2007 U15 U18
01/09/2007 31/08/2008 U14 U14
01/09/2008 31/08/2009 U13 U14
01/09/2009 31/08/2010 U12 U12
01/09/2010 31/08/2011 U11 U12
01/09/2011 31/08/2012 U10 U10
01/09/2012 31/08/2013 U09 U10
01/09/2013 31/08/2014 U08 U8
01/09/2014 31/08/2015 U07 U8
01/09/2015 31/08/2016 U06 U8
01/09/2016 31/08/2017 U05 U8

Blitz Championship

Blitz Championships (Online Season Ticket Holders Only)

The time control in each event is 3+2 (3 minutes + 2 seconds per move).

There are three mixed age categories:

  1. Under 8s
  2. Under 12s
  3. Under 18s

The tournament is in two stages:

  1. 5 x ‘Preliminary Events’
  2. Final


The tournaments in this stage are “Arena” tournaments with a duration of 60 minutes. ‘Streaks’ and ‘Berserk Mode’ will be enabled. See the lichess Arena page for more information on how Arena tournaments work.

Players may play in as many or as few preliminary events as they choose. Their top 3 Arena scores (the number of points they score in a tournament) will be totalled together to make their FINAL SCORE.

In each age group the top 4 boys and top 4 girls will qualify for the Final. The next 8 highest players regardless of gender will also qualify (so a total of 16 players qualify)


The final is a 9 round “Swiss” tournament. There will be prizes for the top 3 players (plus a top boy or girl prize if there is no boy or girl finishing in the top 3).


Preliminary 1 – Monday 6th June (6pm)
Preliminary 2 – Monday 13th June (6pm)
Preliminary 3 – Monday 20th June (6pm)
Preliminary 4 – Saturday 25th June (6pm)
Preliminary 5 – Monday 27th June (6pm)
Final – Monday 4th July (6pm)

Variants Championship

Variants Grand Prix (Online Season Ticket holders only)

A chess ‘variant’ is a form of chess with different rules. Some are very similar to chess whereas some feel very different! The Variants Grand Prix covers all eight of the variants available on lichess. There is one open section for each event – but prizes are given for best Under 8, Under 12 and Under 18.

The time control in every event is 5+2 (5 minutes + 2 seconds per move). Each tournament is a 90 minute Arena tournament with ‘Streaks’ and ‘Berserk Mode’ enabled. See the lichess Arena page for more information on how Arena tournaments work.

Players are responsible for ensuring they know the rules of the variant in advance of the competition and it is recommended that players get some practise in the variant before entering the event. The official lichess variant guide is a useful starting point.

Grand Prix Leader Board

There are 8 Variant Grand Prix Events. Players may play in as many or as few events as they choose. Their top 5 Arena scores will count towards their Grand Prix Leader Board total. Prizes will be given to the top 3 players (plus a top boy or girl prize if there is no boy or girl finishing in the top 3) in each of the following sections; Under 8, Under 12 and Under 18.


“Chess 960” – Friday 10th June (6pm), 80 minutes
“3 Checks” – Friday 17th June (6pm), 60 minutes
“King of the Hill” – Friday 24th June (6pm), 55 minutes
“Anti chess” – Friday 1st July (6pm), 45 minutes
“Crazyhouse” – Friday 8th July (6pm), 45 minutes
“Atomic” – Friday 15th July (6pm), 50 minutes
“Horde” – Saturday 16th July (6pm), 60 minutes
“Racing Kings” – Sunday 17th July (6pm), 55 minutes