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Gigafinals – What to expect

This year there are four Gigafinals taking place in Manchester, Solihull, Twickenham and Surrey. We are expecting around 2,500 children to take part with around 200 Terafinal spots up for grabs. It goes without saying that the Gigafinals are a significant step up in difficulty from the Megafinals with each section containing many seasoned players.

How do I register?

You must register online via the Gigafinal page.

Only players who have qualified via a Megafinal are eligible to play. If your child’s name is not appearing in the drop down boxes please contact us at

How does the Gigafinal work?

Each Gigafinal is 6 rounds of chess with a time control of 20 minutes each plus 10 seconds a move. Digital clocks are used so if possible you should familiarize yourselves with these if you have not used one previously. Like the Megafinals the tournament is a ‘Swiss’ system so everyone plays all 6 rounds.

1 point for a win
0.5 points for a draw
0 points for a loss

Your child will be placed into an age and gender appropriate section. The exact composition of these will be decided nearer the time depending on numbers. Last year the sections were

Under 7s              individual sections for boys and girls
Under 8s              individual sections for boys and girls
Under 9s              individual sections for boys and girls
Under 10s            individual sections for boys and girls
Under 11s            individual sections for boys and girls
Under 12s            mixed section
Under 13s            mixed section
Under 14s            mixed section
Under 15-18s     mixed section

Where we have more than 64 players to a section we may split the sections into two or more sections of approximate equal strength. Each section will have champions and qualifiers (see below).

Age categories are determined by your child’s age as at 31/08/2018. For a full list see this table.

How does qualification work?

For each year group there will be a female (Ultima) and male (Ultimo) champion. These players will all qualify for the Terafinal. For the purposes of determining rankings where players have the same points the UKCC Tie Break system will be used. Please see the Full Event Rules for details. However, if there is a tie for first place then all players in the tie will qualify for the Terafinal – the Ultima and Ultimo trophies will be decided by the UKCC tiebreaks.

Any player scoring at least 4 points or finishing in the top 3 for their section (including ties) who did not qualify for the Terafinal will qualify for the Challengers.


Arrival                                900
Announcements              945
Round 1                                1000
Round 2                                1130
Round 3                                1300
Round 4                                1430
Round 5                                1600
Round 6                                1730
Prize giving                         1845

We will endeavor to stick to this schedule though we reserve the right to make changes on the day if necessary. Any changes will be communicated on the day.

What to do before the event

It’s never too late to get some practice in. Please see this link for some tips for players.

Please check the location of your event and plan your route and travel times accordingly. Parking can be difficult at some of our events and we operate on a first come first serve. Therefore we recommend public transport or car sharing wherever possible.

We will be publishing a list of players for each event. Please ensure your child is listed in the correct section – ie the correct day and the correct age group. If something is wrong please let us know at

What to do on the day

Please aim to arrive early – you will need time to park and get your bearings for the day. Round 1 will begin promptly at 10am.

Please bring your booking confirmation form. Though we won’t be checking these it will be useful in the case of a query. Your child should bring a pen / pencil if they wish to record their moves. A bottle of water may also be useful for the playing hall.

When you arrive please find the pairings board as soon as possible and check your child is on the list and what board they are playing on. The player listed on the left has the white pieces and the player on the right has the black pieces. You will then want to find a base for the day – please ensure your child knows where to find you after the game as you will not be allowed in the playing hall after the opening announcements.

Code of Conduct

We want everyone to have fun and enjoy a great day of chess. Although players want to reach the Terafinal the reality is that only a very small proportion qualify at this stage. Chess is a hard game and like any worthwhile pursuit it takes many 1,000s of hours to master. However we must learn to take defeat graciously and we expect all competitors and parents to behave sportingly throughout.

Our team of volunteers are working hard to ensure the event runs smoothly and that all results are recorded correctly. Please see our Code of Conduct for further information.

What else is happening?

There will be food and drink on sale throughout the day. Please bring some cash as not all vendors will accept card payments. We will also have various chess themed stalls such as a bookstall, the popular Fine Designs clothing and a souvenir stall.


These events could not happen without our team of volunteers. Please see our Volunteering page for more information on the benefits of volunteering and how to register an interest.