Take part in the largest UK junior chess competition

For players aged 5 – 18. All abilities welcome.

The UK Chess Challenge, proudly sponsored by Delancey, first took place in 1996 and has since grown into one of the largest junior chess tournaments 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. There is nothing quite like this in the world of chess.

The competition is hugely popular with school teachers as everyone in the school can take part, win prizes and have fun with their friends. Players can then go through to the area Megafinal and, skills permitting, to the Gigafinals and Terafinal.

Over 1 million children have taken part since 1996! The list of previous winners includes several grandmasters and international players.

Megafinals (April – June)

Play against players from other schools in the same region face to face OR compete online for a chance to play in the Gigafinals

In 2022 there are two ways to take part in a Megafinal.

1) Play a ‘face to face’ competition hosted by one of our regional organisers. Children will get the opportunity to play against opposition from other schools and get first hand experience of the real chess tournament experience.

2) Play online. In June we will be running two online Megafinals with further Gigafinal qualifying spots. This is a more convenient option and ideal for those wanting to play from the comfort of their own home.

Please note players can play in as many Megafinals as they like and both in person and online.

How to Take Part

Please choose from two options: playing ‘in person’ or playing online

In Person

Choice of in-person regional competitions up and down the UK. Prices £20 – £30

Online

2 x Megafinals in June (plus additional events such as blitz, variants and Team Battle Royale’s). Prices £15 – £30

In Person Events

Price: £30
Date: Saturday 21st May (closing date for entries 20th May)
Venue: St Bede’s School, Birdwood Road, Cambridge, CB1 3TD
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 16.30
Organiser Details: Jamie Mitchell, jmitchell@stfaiths.co.uk

Price: £20
Date: Saturday 28th May
Venue: Edinburgh Academy Senior School, 42 Henderson Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5BL
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 17.30
Organiser Details: Simon Shepherd, ljc.megafinal@gmail.com

Price: £25
Date: Saturday 28th May
Venue: Cheadle Hulme School, Claremont Road, Cheadle Hulme
Eligibility: Open to under 10s only, ie those born after 31/08/2011
Schedule: Arrive 9.30 for a 10am start. Finishes approx 4pm
Organiser Details: Julian Clissold, julian.clisssold1946@outlook.com

Price: £25
Date: Sunday 29th May
Venue: Cheadle Hulme School, Claremont Road, Cheadle Hulme
Eligibility: Open to under 11-18s only, ie those born before 01/09/2011
Schedule: Arrive 9.30 for a 10am start. Finishes approx 4pm
Organiser Details: Julian Clissold, julian.clisssold1946@outlook.com

Price: £30
Date: Sunday 29th May
Venue: Aboyne Lodge School, Etna Road, St Albans, AL3 5NL
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 17.00
Organiser Details: Ravi Kumar, satchi99@gmail.com

Price: £30
Date: Saturday 4th June (closing date for entries 2nd June)
Venue: Cheney School, Cheney Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7QH
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 16.30
Organiser Details: Emma-Jane Billington-Phillips, admin@chessentriesforall.com

Price: £20
Date: Saturday 11th June (closing date for entries 4th June)
Venue: Bristol Grammar School, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SR
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 15.30
Organiser Details:  Chris Strong, chris.strong121@outlook.com

Price: £30
Date: Saturday 11th June
Venue: Wetherby Senior School, Hannah House, 13-16 Manchester Street, London, W1U 4DJ
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 16.30
Organiser Details: Nevil Chan, nevil@chess.co.uk

Price: £20
Date: Sunday 12th June (closing date for entries 8th June)
Venue: Bootham School, 51 Bootham, York, YO30 7BU
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 16.30
Organiser Details: John Hipshon, jr.hipshon@ntlworld.com

Price: £20
Date: Sunday 12th June (closing date for entries 4th June)
Venue: Taunton Prep School, Staplegrove Road, Taunton, TA2 6AD
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 16.00
Organiser Details: Chris Strong, chris.strong121@outlook.com

Price: £20
Date: Saturday 18th June
Venue: Royal Grammar School Newcastle, Eskdale Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4DX
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 17.00
Organiser Details: Northumbria Junior Chess Association

Price: £25
Date: Saturday 25th June
Venue: Charlton School, Apley Avenue, Wellington, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 3FA
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.15 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 17.30
Organiser Details: Christopher Lewis, christopher.d.lewis44@gmail.com

Price: £20
Date: Sunday 26th June (closing date for entries 20th June)
Venue: New Hall, Winchester College, College Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9NF
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 17.00
Organiser Details: Maha Chandar, kidschess@hotmail.com

Price: £25
Date: Saturday 14th May 2022 (last entries 8th May)
Venue: Nottingham High School, Forest Road East, Nottingham, NG1 4HH
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.15 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 18.00
Organiser Details: Ed Jones, ed47jones@gmail.com

Price: £25
Date: Sunday 15th May (last entries 11/05/22)
Venue: Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School (Birmingham), Victoria Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, B27 7XY
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2003
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 17.00
Organiser Details: Alex Holowczak, alexholowczak@gmail.com

We expect the above ‘over-the-board’ list to be final. If you can’t attend any of the above then check out the online options below!

Online Option

Our online events allow players to take part and qualify for the latter stages from the comfort of their own home and without the same sort of time commitment required from in-person events. As well as the Megafinals we are running the ever-popular blitz and variant championships (optional extras with cash prizes) and warm up events (so players can get used to playing online).

New for 2022 are the Team Battle Royale’s. These are fun and friendly events where the players compete in teams against other groups of players.

There are two Megafinal weekends:

Saturday 18th June (U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 1)
Sunday 19th June (U12s, U14s and U18s Megafinal 1)

Saturday 2nd July (U12s, U14s and U18s Megafinal 2)
Sunday 3rd July (U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 2)

Online Value Pass

1 x Megafinal
£15
  • 1 x Megafinal

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can take part?
A: Any individual aged 18 or younger who is based in the UK can take part. Any UK based school or junior chess club can take part.

Q: Do I need to qualify for each stage?
A: Entry to the Megafinals is open to all players. Players must then qualify for each subsequent stage by reaching the qualifying score.

Q: What is the qualifying score for the gigafinals?
A: TBC – it is usually around 50%

Q: When does it take place?
A: The competition is in four stages:
January – April = Schools’ Stage
June – Megafinals
July – Gigafinals
September – Terafinal

Q: Is the competition in person or online?
A: It is a ‘hybrid’ of online and in-person events. The final (Terafinal) is in-person.

Q: Can I play in multiple Megafinals?
A: Yes players can play in as many Megafinals as they like – in person, online or both. With the availability of tournaments still below its pre-pandemic level we believe in giving juniors as much opportunity to play chess as possible.

Q: Why are the competition stages named after binary prefixes?
A: No one quite remembers – but the competitors seem to like it so the names stuck around!

Q: Can I get a refund if I have to later cancel my attendance?
A: We offer a 50% refund on in-person event cancellations where we are notified before the day of the event. There are no refunds for online tickets (ie value passes and season tickets). In light of the above please make sure you can attend before booking?

Q: Can I transfer my booking to another event?
A: As events are run by different organisers we cannot transfer bookings between events. You would have to cancel the original booking and purchase a new ticket for the correct event.

Q: There are no spaces left at events near me, what can I do?
A: An online value pass or season ticket will give you a chance of competing in a Megafinal and qualifying for an in-person Gigafinal.