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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 of chess.

Nor does the initial stage of the tournament require the services of a chess expert to make it work.

Virtually anyone could run the school phase of the evebt, following the simple rules and procedures outlined here:

About the Challenge

My schools have supported the UK Chess Challenge since it first started, back in 1996 so I am very well placed to confirm the benefits of entering your own school.

Playing the tournament during the Spring term is absolutely ideal, as the children traditionally learn the basics of chess in the Autumn and are ready for a challenge shortly after they return from their Christmas break.

Running a tournament for the first time can be a daunting prospect, yet the Swiss system – a standard way of organising chess tournaments – helps to keep things relatively easy to do.

Maybe you will make mistakes with the pairings for the first two rounds or so, or children are off school and the pairings need some running repairs. So what? After a little experience things will become much easier.

A couple of decades ago it became trendy for schools to run non-competitive Sports Days, thinking to reduce the competitive tension within their own environment. Children still got to run around the school field, but nobody ever won a race. One can imagine the trouble this stance gave me when trying to ‘sell’ the idea of a competitive chess event all those years.

What is wrong with adding a little extra incentive for children to try their best? Nothing, as far as I can tell.

Head for this page to enter:

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Entries made before 15 December 2017 will evade the late entry fee.