2020 FAQs


Why is the 2020 competition being held online?

Due to the covid-19 outbreak any over the board chess is impossible for the time being. At the time of making the decision (May 2020) it was impossible to say with any certainty when it might be possible to resume over the board play so we felt it was best for participants to have some certainty regarding the tournament structure and dates and hosting it online was the only way we could do that.

Is playing chess online as good as the real thing?

Well there are pros and cons for sure. Whilst we can’t replicate the experience of feeling the pieces and meeting friends face to face there are some significant benefits to playing online.

Such as…?

  • Convenience of playing from home
  • Much less waiting time in between rounds
  • All games are automatically recorded so you can replay and see where you went wrong (perhaps with the help of a coach)
  • Able to efficiently run lots of different types of events
  • Real time rating system so you get feedback on your progress immediately (as opposed to ECF grades which take 6 months)!

Why did you choose lichess?

Honestly as chess players ourselves we feel lichess simply provides the best playing experience – from the simple user interface, multitude of time controls and variants on offer and the ever improving learning tools (including “studies”). Best of all it is completely free to use all the features which makes it rather unique.

Is it safe for children to use

Yes it is – but as responsible parents you should assess for yourselves what features you want your child to have access to and how much supervision they will need. Unlike chesskid.com lichess isn’t built specifically for children – so for example there is a free form chat facility and the ability to message members. However there is a “kid mode” which we reccomend you use if you have concerns.

How do I enable “Kid Mode”

When you purchase a registration ticket we will send full “onboarding instructions” including how to enable Kid Mode. You simply click on the username (top right) and click on ‘preferences’. Kid mode is the 5th option in the left hand menu.

Should we be worried about cheating?

It is true that there have been instances of cheating in online chess (as with over the board chess) though it is less prevalent than many people assume. We are doing what we can to discourage all forms of cheating and to fairly deal with such cases. Please see our fair play policy for further details.


How many Megafinals can I play?

Players can play in both Megafinal weekends – however if they qualify from the 1st Megafinal they may not compete in the 2nd. You can only play in one event per Megafinal weekend and this should be your correct age and gender category.

Can my child play in an older age-group?

No – unless you have explicit dispensation from the organiser’s (for example inability to make the correct session or technical issues). Player’s cannot enter multiple events in a single weekend and must not play in the 2nd Megafinal weekend if already qualified (either from the 1st Megafinal or by ‘Fast Track’).

Am I automatically enrolled into the Megafinal when I purchase a ticket?

No! Even after you have joined the UKCC 2020 Competition Team you will still need to manually enrol in each tournament you wish to play in. Fortunately this is straight forward – you just need to click on the relevant tournament link and once in the ‘tournament lobby’ you will click the “Join” button in the top right corner. The players name will then appear in the tournament list. If the “Join” button is greyed out it means you haven’t joined the UKCC team yet – so do that first!

What is the format of the Megafinal?

There are two Megafinal weekends (players play in one session per weekend related to their age and gender category). All Megafinals are 6 rounds – ie you will play 6 games. Players score 1 point for a win, 1/2 for a draw and 0 for a loss. In  addition players can receive ‘half point byes’ or ‘full point byes’ (see below).  Each player receives 10 minutes to make all of their moves plus 5 seconds added for every move they play.

How do I qualify for the Gigafinals?

Under 8s / 10s / 12s


i) Score 3.5 points if you are in the top year of the age group or 3 points if you are in a lower year. For example in the Under 10s an under 10 would need to score 3.5 points whilst an under 9 would need to score 3 points.


ii) Finish in the top 5 of your year group (this does not include under 6’s and below).

Under 14s / 18s


i) Score 3.5 points for boys or 3 points for girls


ii) Finish in the top 5 of your gender category for your section – excluding those players who qualified via method (i). For example a boy scoring 3/6 in the under 18s would qualify if he was in the top 5 of boys in the section failing to reach the qualification score.

What if I miss a game?

If you join the tournament late you will get a half point bye for the first game you missed – but zero points for other rounds you missed. You can ‘late-join’ up until half the rounds have been played.

Why haven’t I got a game?

If there are an odd number of players to be paired then one player will receive a ‘full point bye’ – ie they won’t get a game that round. They will however receive a full point for the round but they must wait until the next round to get a game.

What happens if my opponent ‘doesn’t turn up’?

If your opponent has not made a move their clock will count down until it reaches zero and they will lose the game (you will receive a full point). The system will withdraw them from the tournament at this stage so they are not re-paired for the next round. They can re-join at any point.

I lost because of an accidental move – can I replay the game?

No! Be careful when moving the pieces because if you accidentally ‘drop’ the piece on the wrong square then the move stands. The safest method is ‘point and click’. Click the piece you want to move then click the square you want to move it to (ie don’t drag).

What should I do if I get disconnected during a game?

Try and log back in as soon as you can. Depending on how long this takes you may be able to resume the game (minus the time you were disconnected) or the system may have defaulted you and you will have lost the game. In this scenario the result will stand – it is the player’s responsibility to ensure they have a stable internet connection.

You may also have been withdrawn from the tournament by the system. Check whether the “Join” button in the top right of the tournament lobby is active. If you can click it you should do to rejoin the tournament.

When will I find out if I have qualified?

We will notify all qualifiers that they have qualified via email and will post the qualifiers on the website.