From September the ‘ECF Academy’ will now be known as the UK Junior Chess Academy. This is simply a name change and doesn’t impact on any of our services, coaches or students. The reasons for the change are two-fold

  1. We feel it better reflects our current student base across the UK and our ties to the UK Chess Challenge – the UK’s largest chess competition
  2. The ECF are making changes to their Junior Development Pathway – changes that we warmly support.


Changes to the ECF Junior Development Pathway

From 01/01/2023 the ECF will no longer endorse a single supplier as the ECF Academy but will instead invite any organisation to apply for Academy status if they can meet certain stringent criteria. This change is part of a wider package of changes that the ECF announced in a consultation document earlier this year.

The UK Junior Chess Academy intends to apply for Academy status when the final documentation is produced and regardless will remain the ECF’s endorsed training provider for the remainder of 2022.


Comments on the changes

We support the changes announced in the consultation document and welcome the ECF’s approach to creating a robust framework for junior training in England. We also believe greater competition is a positive development in the market and are confident that our service is the best available for our students.

It has been a privilege to work with the ECF to develop the next generation of English chess talent and we look forward to continuing to improve the UK Junior Chess Academy to reach more students and celebrate further European and World success which we have seen recently.


Next Steps for the UK Junior Chess Challenge

We have significantly expanded our range of classes for Autumn 2022 and are proud to be working with some of England’s top coaches including GMs John Emms, Nick Pert and IMs Adam Hunt and Brandon Clarke. Our Head Coach remains WFM Sarah Longson.

We also look forward to working with the Chess Trust on a variety of projects including offering support to many of the extremely talented Ukrainian children who have recently arrived in the UK. The UK Junior Chess Academy is an international affair and we remain committed to making this one of the leading junior training Academies in the World.

Finally – in 2023 we expect to be able to recommence some in-person training events and have a number of interesting venues in the pipeline.

For more information and registration for the Academy >>> click here