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 (March – 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 2023 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 – £35


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

In Person Events

Date: Sunday 12th March

Date: Saturday 25th March

Date: Sunday 26th March

Date: Friday 14th April

Date: Sunday 23rd April

Date: Saturday 29th April

Date: Sunday 30th April

Date: Sunday 30th April

Date: Sunday 30th April

Date: Sunday 7th May

Date: Saturday 13th May

Date: Saturday 13th May

Date: Sunday 14th May

Date: Sunday 14th May

Date: Sunday 14th May

Date: Sunday 21st May

Date: Saturday 27th May

Date: Sunday 28th May

Date: Saturday 3rd June

Date: Sunday 4th June

Date: Saturday 10th June

Date: Saturday 10th June

Date: Sunday 11th June

Date: Saturday 17th June

Date: Saturday 17th June

Date: Sunday 18th June

Date: Sunday 18th June

Date: Saturday 24th June

Date: Sunday 25th June

Date: Sunday 25th June

All events are now live on the website

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).

There are two Online Megafinal weekends:

Saturday 3rd June (U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 1)
Sunday 4th June (U12s, U14s and U18s Megafinal 1)

Saturday 17th June (U12s, U14s and U18s Megafinal 2)
Sunday 18th June (U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 2)

Online Value Pass

1 x Megafinal
  • 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: 3.5 points. In addition, the top three boys and top three girls in each section automatically qualify. There may be additional age related qualification places granted.

Q: When does it take place?
A: The competition is in four stages:
January – April > Preliminary School’s Stage
March – June > Megafinals
July > Gigafinals
September > Challengers
October > Terafinal

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

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 at least 14 days 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.