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

Terafinal 2024

12th and 13th October – Blenheim Palace

Once again we’re delighted that the finals (the ‘Terafinal’) will be hosted at Blenheim Palace on the weekend of 12th and 13th 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.

 

Challengers

21st and 22nd September – Northampton Town Centre Hotel by Accor

Before the Terafinal is the Challengers held on the 22nd and 23rd of September at the luxurious Northampton Town Centre Hotel by Accor. Around 200 players will take part in this two day, 9 round event. This event is on par with Terafinals from previous years with live boards and a strong competitive field.

Players qualify for the Challengers by reaching the qualifying score at one of 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 two players in each age section will qualify for the Terafinal.

Gigafinals

Over the Board (22/23 June, 6/7 & 20/21 July) and Online Options (7/8 September) 

We have 3 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 22/23 June (Scottish), 6/7 July (Northern) and 20/21 July (Southern) whilst the Online Gigafinal is on 7/8 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 two boys and the top girl in each section (only one boy in the Scottish Gigafinal) will qualify directly 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.

Megafinals

Over the Board and Online Options (April – June)

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 (15/16 June and 29/30 June).

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 3.5 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

Megafinals are open to all UK juniors born after 31/08/2005. We are hosting a mix of over-the-board and online Megafinals as follows:

Over the Board – Confirmed

Saturday 23rd March – East Scotland Megafinal
Friday 12th April – Harrow Megafinal by Chess & Bridge
Sunday 21st April – North London Megafinal 1
Saturday 4th May – East Kent Megafinal
Saturday 4th May – Surrey Megafinal (U7,8,9)
Sunday 5th May – Surrey Megafinal (U10-18)
Sunday 5th May – Teesside Megafinal
Sunday 5th May – Herefordshire Megafinal
Saturday 11th May – Northern Ireland Megafinal
Sunday 12th May – Birmingham Megafinal
Sunday 12th May – North London Megafinal 2
Saturday 18th May – Northumbria Megafinal
Saturday 18th May – Nottingham Megafinal
Saturday 25th May – Manchester Megafinal (U8, 10)
Sunday 26th May – Manchester Megafinal (U12, 14, 18)
Saturday 1st June – Oxford Megafinal
Sunday 2nd June – North London Megafinal 3
Sunday 2nd June – Shropshire Megafinal
Saturday 8th June – Bristol Megafinal
Sunday 9th June – Play Professor’s Cambridge Megafinal
Sunday 9th June – Somerset Megafinal
Sunday 23rd June – Hampshire Megafinal

Coming Soon

Scotland West Megafinal
Welsh Megafinal
London Megafinal
York Megafinal
Buckinghamshire Megafinal
Essex Megafinal
Lincolnshire Megafinal

Online:

Saturday 15th June – U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 1  – U8s at 10am and U10s at 2pm
Sunday 16th June – U12s, U14s and U18s Online Megafinal 1 – U12s at 10am, U14s and U18s at 2pm

Saturday 29th June – U12s, U14s and U18s Online Megafinal 2 – U14s and U18s at 10am, U12s at 2pm
Sunday 30th June – U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 2 – U10s at 10am and U8s at 2pm

Gigafinals

Once again we are hosting four Gigafinals; three in-person and one online. 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.

Scottish Gigafinal

One boy and one girl will qualify from each section.

Saturday 22nd June – Scottish Gigafinal U8s and U10s (Broughton High School, Edinburgh)
Sunday 23rd June – Scottish Gigafinal U12s, U14s and U18s (Broughton High School, Edinburgh)

Northern Gigafinal

We are once again holding the Northern Gigafinal at one of favourite and most popular venues, Wright Robinson College in Manchester.

Two boys and one girl will qualify from each section.

Saturday 6th July – Northern Gigafinal U8s and U10s (Wright Robinson College, Manchester)
Sunday 7th July – Northern Gigafinal U12s, U14s and U18s (Wright Robinson College, Manchester)

Southern Gigafinal

Taking place at Sandown Racecourse in Esher.

Two boys and one girl will qualify from each section.

Saturday 20th July – Southern Gigafinal U8s and U10s (Sandown Racecourse, Esher)
Sunday 21st July – Southern Gigafinal U12s, U14s and U18s (Sandown Racecourse, Esher)

Online Gigafinal

One boy and one girl will qualify from each section.

The Online Gigafinal takes part in two stages: Stage 1 is Saturday 7th September at 10am with the top 12 players in each of the 5 age sections then qualifying for Stage 2 on Sunday 8th September.

Challengers

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.

The top two players in each section (regardless of gender) will qualify for the Terafinal.

21st and 22nd September. Northampton Town Centre Hotel by Accord.

9 round Swiss tournament, 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move.

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

Terafinal

Players qualify to the Terafinal via one of two routes

i) Directly from a Gigafinal.
ii) From the Challengers.

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th 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 31/08/2023 – for example if you are aged 8 on the 31/08/2023 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
01/09/2005 31/08/2006 U18 U18
01/09/2006 31/08/2007 U17 U18
01/09/2007 31/08/2008 U16 U18
01/09/2008 31/08/2009 U15 U18
01/09/2009 31/08/2010 U14 U14
01/09/2010 31/08/2011 U13 U14
01/09/2011 31/08/2012 U12 U12
01/09/2012 31/08/2013 U11 U12
01/09/2013 31/08/2014 U10 U10
01/09/2014 31/08/2015 U09 U10
01/09/2015 31/08/2016 U08 U8
01/09/2016 31/08/2017 U07 U8
01/09/2017 31/08/2018 U06 U8
01/09/2018 31/08/2019 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

Preliminary 

The tournaments in this stage are “Arena” tournaments with a duration of 60 minutes. ‘Streaks’ and ‘Berserk Mode’ will be dis-abled. 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).

Final

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).

Dates

Preliminary 1 – TBC
Preliminary 2 – TBC
Preliminary 3 – TBC
Preliminary 4 – TBC
Preliminary 5 – TBC
Final – TBC

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 60 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 performances will count towards their Grand Prix Leader Board total. Grand Prix points are allocated based on tournament finishing positions as follows: 1st = 100 points, 2nd = 72, 3rd = 60, 4th = 48, 5th = 40, 6th = 32, 7th = 24, 8th = 16, 9th = 8, 10th to 20th = 5, 21st – 50th = 2.

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.

Dates

“Chess 960” – TBC
“3 Checks” – TBC
“King of the Hill” – TBC
“Anti chess” – TBC
“Crazyhouse” – TBC
“Atomic” – TBC
“Horde” – TBC
“Racing Kings” – TBC