British Chess Championships 2019

The 2019 British Chess Championships are happening right now! The venue is the Riviera International Centre in Torquay and the event will run until 4 August. There are lots of sections, as can be seen by clicking here. One good way to improve at chess is to watch the...

About the Terafinal 2019

Loading... As our Gigafinals are now well under way and our first qualifiers have been identified it seems like a great time to write about the Terafinal and explain a little bit more about what to expect. It is notoriously difficult to qualify for the Terafinal ...

Gigafinal – Sections and Rules

Sections The following sections will be run for each Gigafinal Saturday Boys under 7s Boys under 8s Boys under 9s Boys under 10s Sunday Girls under 7s Girls under 8s Girls under 9s Girls under 10s Girls under 11s Mixed under 12s Mixed under 13s Mixed under 14s Mixed...

Mega Result for Hallfield

Although the UKCC is an individual competition we do like to draw attention to strong performances from schools. In a ‘Mega’ performance Hallfield School have managed to produce 10 Supremo/as in the 2019 Megafinals – a fantastic achievement. The full...

Guide to Gigafinals 2019

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...

Tips and Advice for Players – 2019

Tips and Advice for players Last year I posted some advice for players playing their first Gigafinal (though this advice is still applicable if you have played in one previously). I thought I would update that post and share with the ‘Class of 2019’ as the advice is...

First Ever Chess Kid Games

1st Ever ChessKid Games Our partner ChessKid are running the first ever ChessKid Games in June. Full information can be found here The UKCC were asked to nominate an eligible player from our competition and we are pleased to announce that George Clarkson will...

Game Changer: Pawn Sacrifices and Open Lines

Today we conclude our coverage of this very important new book, which is enabling chess players of all ages and abilities to drastically reassess the way in which they play chess. AlphaZero, developed by DeepMind at Google HQ in London, taught itself how to play chess...

Game Changer: Pawn Sacrifices and Knight Manoeuvres

We now reach our penultimate blog on Game Changer (previous features can be found via the blog’s main page). There are so many fascinating ideas in this book that it is impossible to do more than merely scratch the surface on this blog. Instructive snippets are...

Megafinals – What to expect

Megafinals have been open for a week now and the entries are coming in ! With events taking place in Edinburgh, Devon, Belfast and Sandwich we really are covering all corners of the UK ! We thought it would be useful to post a guide about what to expect from a...

What’s New for 2019

“Every year is a chess game. New Year is a new chess game! You make the right moves, you win the game!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan (Turkish playwright) Whilst many things are staying the same for 2019 we are introducing a few new things to make the show bigger and...

Game Changer: Alpha Zero on the Attack

Last time in our investigation of this fascinating new book, we saw Alpha Zero squeeze the ‘life’ out of Stockfish 8. This time we will see an example of a much more direct attack, with the two bishops proving to be an especially strong team. Stockfish 8...

Game Changer: The AlphaZero Squeeze

As previously mentioned, we are taking a good look at this fascinating and important new book over the next few blog posts. It is a big book (over 400 pages) but it really is a case of all killer, no filler. I want to jump straight into the action to present a snippet...

Game Changer

Chess certainly isn’t what it used to be. There was a time when people seriously doubted that a computer could ever beat a human at chess but when Garry Kasparov was defeated in a six-game match by IBM’s Deeper Blue back in 1997 it opened the floodgates...

New Training Material

Chess tutors and coaches are always looking out for new material. I am pleased to report there is a new magazine aimed at juniors that is crammed full of excellent puzzles and problems. I first saw a copy of Rochade Kids – a new German chess magazine –...

Battle Commences!

The 24th Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge has now started. Schools all across the United Kingdom have received their boxes full of prizes and everything else required to run the initial phase of the tournament. The UKCC will be the first tournament for the...

6th London Chess Conference

The London Chess Classic has established itself as one of the most important tournaments on the international calendar. Apart from the main event (which saw a great triumph for Hikaru Nakamura) the Classic offers a rich and varied festival of events, including...

Online Chess Resources for Teachers

Online Chess Resources for Teachers There are some fantastic online resources to help teach yourself chess, to practice solving puzzles and to play against other players. There are also educational resources available to chess teachers to help them manage their chess...

World Champions of 2018

A short time ago we posted about the World Chess Championships of 2018. Both champions managed to retain their titles after tough struggles in both competitions. Congratulations to women’s champion Ju Wenjun, who won a KO tournament, and to Magnus Carlsen who...

Launch of Chess Laboratory

We are delighted to announce that the ‘Chess Laboratory’ is now live! We are lucky to have so many great chess resources available online now – and we will be providing links to the best resources within the Chess Laboratory. However, we felt what was missing was some...

2018 World Chess Championship

The 2018 World Chess Championship starts today at The College, Holborn, London. Champion Magnus Carlsen will play 12 games against challenger Fabiano Caruana in what should prove to be a very tough match indeed. The official website can be found here. Further reports...

London Chess Conference

The 6th London Chess Conference, organised by ChessPlus, will be held in London on the weekend of 8-9 December. The theme of the conference is The Future of Chess in Education and many speakers are being assembled to deliver high-quality material. Of particular...

Women’s World Chess Championship 2018

The forthcoming World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, which will take place in London later this month, has already been mentioned on this blog and further coverage will follow in due course. With excellent timing, there begins...

Qxf7 Checkmate

Back in June, we focussed on the four-move checkmate (often called ”Scholar’s Mate”) and said we would return to see how easily it can be prevented. It seems the update will be too late for some, as examples of this early catastrophe are still...

Carlsen v Caruana – Part 1

Unlike some other modern individual sports – such as tennis and golf – the best chess player in the World is determined through the ‘World Championship Cycle’ rather than a ranking system or a series of ‘Majors’. Chess does have a ranking system – and there is...

London Chess Classic Details Announced

The full details are now available for the 2018 London Chess Classic, the flagship event of Chess in Schools and Communities, which will run from Saturday 8 – Tuesday 18 December. The Classic itself is also the final of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour and will feature...

London Chess Classic 2018

  Details of the 2018 London Chess Classic have now been announced and entries are invited for a whole range of tournaments and other events. Here are essential details. ‘Book your place at the 2018 London Chess Classic: Enter online today! Join us at the...

World Chess Championship 2018

It was recently confirmed that the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, and his official title challenger, Fabiano Caruana, have both now signed the contract for their big match in London. There were nagging doubts that the match might be taken to America instead, due to a...

Knights to Remember

Pre-tournament favourite Michael Adams went on to win the 2018 British Chess Championship but not without having to endure a nervy play-off against Luke McShane. The two Rapidplay play-off games ended 1-1 but Adams triumphed 2-0 in the subsequent Blitz encounters....

The 2018 British Chess Championships

The 2018 British Chess Championships start today. The venue is the Hull City Hall and the action will continue all the way through until Sunday 5 August. The full schedule, for all of the sections, can be found here. Of the many sections, the main focus of attention...

Balance of Power

World Champion Magnus Carlsen is currently playing in the Biel Grandmaster Tournament, which will serve as one of his last opportunities to play before he attempts to defend his crown in November’s title match against Fabiano Caruana. Carlsen is already in sole...

Your Move! Solutions

Last time I left you with four positions from top-level chess and invited you try and find the best moves. Now is the time to see if your answers matched those of the world’s top players. Anand – Kramnik Anand played 1 Qd2+, forking Black’s king and...

Tips for the Gigafinal

With the Gigafinals approaching fast this weekend I thought it would be useful to post some pointers for players – especially players for whom this is their first Gigafinal. This post contains some general advice about the day and also some chess advice. Though...

Your Move!

Most of the world’s best chess players are currently competing in the Paris Grand Chess Tour. Imagine you can step up to their tables and play for them at critical moments. Would your tactical ability be up to the mark? Can you find the winning moves in the...

False Economy

Once children discover how to play for the four-move checkmate they rarely want to do anything else in their games. We all know the moves; they spread like wildfire through our junior tournaments. There are slight variations, but typically the games begin like this. 1...

A Sudden End

Some games of chess end suddenly and with an unexpected result. Vidit – Gelfand Karpov Poikovsky Tournament, 2018 This position looks very good for White and one would expect him to go on to win, thanks to his material advantage very active pieces. Indeed, the...

Endgame Danger

World Champion Magnus Carlsen has won many games thanks to his legendary endgame technique, enabling him to steer a very slim path to victory even at the very highest level. Indeed, a forthcoming book (due out in July) called Endgame Virtuoso Magnus Carlsen will deal...

Chess!

Back in December I mentioned that Chess – The Musical was heading back to London. I went to see it last weekend at the impressive London Coliseum. It was all I hoped it would be: great cast, extremely effective set, live orchestra and packed to the rafters with...

Candidates (Part 3)

The exciting Berlin Candidates tournament is now over and the official challenger for World Champion Magnus Carlsen is Fabiano Caruana. Caruana was the only winner in yesterday’s games. Showing great determination, he played a long game against Grischuk and...

Candidates (Part 2)

We said there would be more twists and turns at the Berlin Candidates tournament and the games in yesterday’s penultimate round didn’t disappoint. It is never easy to bounce back after any defeat but Caruana, with the eyes of the chess world upon him, won...

Candidates

There is a fierce battle going on at the Berlin Candidates tournament, with eight of the world’s top players desperately trying to become the official challenger to World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Fabiano Caruana looked to be in control of the tournament but a...

“C’est la vie”

Yesterday I witnessed a sudden end to a hard-fought game in the last round of one of my Delancey UK Chess Challenge games. White, who had played very well up until now to achieve an easily winning position, had just moved in for the kill with Bf4-d6, attacking the...

Blunders by the Best (3)

Last time we looked at this position. Saemisch – Capablanca Karlsbad, 1929 Capablanca played 9 …Ba6 here, to start pressuring White’s potentially weak pawns. Saemisch replied with the very strong 10 Qa4!, forking Black’s bishop and knight. The bishop now...

Blunders by the Best (2)

Last time we looked at a position from the Steinitz – Chigorin World Championship match of 1892. Chigorin blundered with 32 Bb4?? and Steinitz now forced a checkmate in two moves with 32 …Rxh2+, which enabled him to win the match 10-8 and retain his title....

Blunders by the Best (1)

Imagine you are playing against one of the world’s greatest players – and you have a chance to win! Would you be able to find the path to victory, despite feeling under pressure? Our next few blogs will feature positions in which players competing at the...

Act Now!

If your school still hasn’t entered the UKCC then NOW is the time for action. All you have to do is head here to enter. Please remember this magnificent event is open to ALL UK schools. Every child will win a prize, from chess badges upwards. The top scorers...

Three For London

London will be the place to be in 2018. Three top events will all be happening during the course of the year. First, we have the much-anticipated return of Chess: The Musical, written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (from ABBA) and Tim Rice. It is now time book...

Do You Want to Improve?

Do you want to improve your chess skills? Here are some easy ways… Play more games. Play against: school friends, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, cousins. If nobody in your family can play then teach them the basics. It won’t take long....

Let’s Keep It Simple

Let’s keep it simple… Enter your school for the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge and you will receive a box with everything you need to run the tournament in your own school. Play the seven rounds over a seven-week period (or play two games per...

Take the Challenge!

Entries are now due for the 2018 Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge. It is important to remember that the tournament is open to all UK schools and chess clubs and not just those who have entered in previous years or who have any sort of history with the world...

Sarah’s Teesside Simul

Recently I posted about the basic details regarding simultaneous displays. Today produced excellent evidence of the impact such an event can have in schools, when WFM Sarah Longson (née Hegarty), England International and former British Champion (not to mention...
Special Events

Special Events

Simultaneous Display There are lots of different special events that can be used to boost a chess club. One such event is a simultaneous display, in which a strong player plays a number of games at the same time. This can be a very large number indeed. For example,...
Chess and Special Needs Education

Chess and Special Needs Education

Between 20% and 25% of children are classified as ‘special needs’ and diagnosed with a wide range of neurological conditions. For many of these children, chess can have a dramatic effect on their lives. But it is exactly these children, who have the most...