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 2024 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 – £36

Online

2 x Megafinals in June (plus additional events such as blitz, variants and Team Battle Royale’s). Prices £18 – £34

In Person Events

Date: Saturday 23rd March
Venue: Broughton High School, 9 East Fettes Avenue, Edinburgh, EH4 1EG

Date: Friday 12th April
Venue: Harrow High School, Gayton Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 2J

Date: Saturday 20th April
Venue: St Andrew Bridge Club, Glasgow, G3 7UL

Date: Sunday 21st April
Venue: Elm Court Youth Centre, 363 Mutton Ln, Potters Bar, EN6 3B

Date: Saturday 27th April
Venue: St Andrew Bridge Club, Glasgow, G3 7UL

Date: Saturday 4th May
Venue: Barton Court Grammar School, Longport, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1PH

Date: Saturday 4th May
Venue: Therfield School, Dilston Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7NZ

Date: Sunday 5th May
Venue: Therfield School, Dilston Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7NZ

Date: Sunday 5th May
Venue: Princess Alexandra Auditorium, Yarm School, Stockton-on-Tees, TS15 9EJ

Date: Sunday 5th May
Venue: Hereford Cathedral School, Zimmerman Building, Church Street, HR1 2LT

Date: Saturday 11th May
Venue: Methodist College, 1 Malone Rd, Belfast, BT9 6BY

Date: Sunday 12th May
Venue: Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School, Acocks Green, Birmingham B27 7XY

Date: Sunday 12th May
Venue: Elm Court Youth Centre, 363 Mutton Ln, Potters Bar, EN6 3BP

Date: Sunday 12th May
Venue: Wycombe High School, 28 Marlow Road, High Wycombe, HP11 1TB

Date: Saturday 18th May
Venue: Nottingham High School, Forest Road East, Nottingham, NG1 4HH

Date: Saturday 18th May
Venue: Royal Grammar School Newcastle, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4DX

Date: Sunday 19th May
Venue: St Gregory’s Catholic School, Reynolds Lane, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9TX

Date: Sunday 19th May
Venue: Colchester County High School for Girls, Norman way, Colchester, CO3 3US

Date: Saturday 25th May
Venue: Cheadle Hulme School, Claremont Road, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 6EF

Date: Sunday 26th May
Venue: Cheadle Hulme School, Claremont Road, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 6EF

Date: Saturday 1st June
Venue: Cheney School, Cheney Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7QH

Date: Sunday 2nd June
Venue: Malvern College, College Road, Malvern WR14 3DF

Date: Sunday 2nd June
Venue: Charlton School, Apley Avenue, Wellington, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 3FA

Date: Sunday 2nd June
Venue: Curl Aberdeen, Eday Walk, Aberdeen, AB15 6LN

Date: Sunday 2nd June
Venue: Elm Court Youth Centre, 363 Mutton Ln, Potters Bar, EN6 3BP

Date: Saturday 8th June
Venue: Bristol Grammar School, University Rd, Bristol, BS81SR

Date: Saturday 8th June
Venue: Wetherby Senior School, Hannah House, 13-16 Manchester Street, London, W1U 4DJ

Date: Sunday 9th June
Venue: Taunton Prep School, Staplegrove Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 6AD

Date: Sunday 9th June
Venue: Bootham School, 51 Bootham, York, YO30 7BU

Date: Sunday 9th June
Venue: The Perse Upper School, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8QF

Price: £30
Date: Sunday 23rd June
Venue: Winchester College (New Hall), College Street, Winchester, SO23 9NF
Eligibility: Open to all juniors born after 31/08/2005
Schedule: Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start. Approximate finish time 17.00
Organiser Details: Maha Chandar, kidschess@hotmail.com

Date: Sunday 30th June
Venue: Aboyne Lodge School, Etna Road, St Albans, AL3 5NL

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 15th June (U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 1)
Sunday 16th June (U12s, U14s and U18s Megafinal 1)

Saturday 29th June (U12s, U14s and U18s Megafinal 2)
Sunday 30th June (U8s and U10s Online Megafinal 2)

Online Value Pass

1 x Megafinal
£18
  • 1 x Megafinal
  • Warmup competition

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
April – June > Megafinals
June – 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.