Directors – Sarah and Alex Longson

Alex and Sarah are both active chess players; Sarah (WFM) plays for the England Ladies team and was British Ladies Champion in 2013. Alex plays in division one of 4NCL and is a FIDE Master. Their passion for chess was the catalyst to running this competition. Understanding the chess environment enables them to make the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge the best junior competition in the UK. In fact it was Sarah’s first ever tournament back in 1996!

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Tournament and Data Director – Alex Holowczak

Alex Holowczak is the Director of Home Chess for the English Chess Federation. As an organiser, he organises the Festival tournaments of the London Chess Classic, the British Chess Championships, and has organised the Warwickshire and Worcestershire Megafinals since 2014. As an arbiter, he has worked at the World Chess Olympiad in 2016, the World Youth Championships in 2014, the Four Nations Chess League, and numerous other local weekend tournaments and rapidplay tournaments around England.



Chess Consultant – Richard James

Richard James is a professional chess teacher and writer living in Twickenham, and working mostly with younger children and intermediate level players (up to 100ECF/1500Elo). He was the co-founder of Richmond Junior Chess Club in 1975 and its director until 2005, overseeing the development of future stars such as Luke McShane and Jonathan Rowson. He is the webmaster of chessKIDS academy ( or and, most recently, the author of Chess for Kids and The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids, both published by Right Way Books. Richard has an international reputation for his knowledge of how children learn and play chess, and is currently working on a series of books for players immediately beyond the beginner stage, an area currently neglected by both writers and publishers.




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