About the Challenge

The UK Chess Challenge first took place in 1996 and has since grown into the largest children’s chess tournament in the world. The beauty of the event is that it welcomes all-comers from beginners to National Champions and schools from all corners of the United Kingdom take part.

Running the Challenge

Following last year’s event in which 40,000 children from 1,280 schools and clubs took part, we are launching the 23rd Chess Challenge.
These tournaments are massively popular because everyone in the school can take part and everyone wins prizes. The best players can then go through to the area Megafinal and, skills permitting, to the Gigafinals and National Terafinal.

In its first stage, the tournament is played once a week in school, either during a lunch break or in an after-school session. There is no travelling involved. Seven rounds are played, starting in the spring term, during which time children win badges, spots, mascots and other prizes. Rules of the tournament have been kept simple, so that a teacher with only a basic knowledge of chess should be able to run it! All ages can take part and the qualifiers for the Megafinals are the top scorers in the tournament, plus leading girls and boys in 12 separate age groups from under 7 up to under 18.

Entry fee for the tournament is £40 which provides enough prizes for up to 30 players. If you wish to enrol further players, this can be done at a cost of £15 for each additional 15 players. At the beginning of the Spring term 2018 you will receive your tournament pack and you will be able to run your event straight away. In the pack there are full rules of the tournament and instructions for running it plus tournament cards for each player and a tournament score chart for the school notice board. Teachers find these tournaments stimulate interest in chess in their school and many report large increases in the numbers of children in their clubs as a result.

NB Junior Chess Clubs are also able to enter.