“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 better than before.

1) More Megafinals to be graded

We know how important getting your first grade is and we want to make it easier than ever to acheive this. So – despite the administrative challenge! – many more Megafinals will be graded this year. We cannot promise every event and every section will be graded so please check the entry form when you enter.

2) A 4th Gigafinal

The new Gigafinal will be at Sandown Park – a great venue for chess used in last year’s Surrey Megafinal. This will be known as the Southern Gigafinal (Orleans Park will now be the ‘London Gigafinal’). Last year we had excess demand in the South so we felt two Gigafinals would ensure everyone could attend their nearest Gigafinal.

3) The top player from each gender and age section in the Gigafinal will qualify for the Terafinal

Last year it was the top three – this year it is just the top player. We are doing this to ensure the Terafinal remains a premium chess event on the calender and to do this we need to limit the number of partipants – especially with a 4th Gigafinal. However we have introduced an additional qualifying route…

4) There will be additional Terafinal qualifying spots at the Challengers

At both the Northern and Southern Challengers there will be Terafinal qualification spots up for grabs. The Challengers will have the same sections as the Terafinal – ie under 8’s, 10’s, 12’s, 14’s and 18’s. To qualify for the Challengers you need to score at least 4 points in a Gigafinal.

5) The Terafinal will be FIDE rated

FIDE ratings are now a much bigger element of the official ECF international selection criteria and so we felt it only fitting that the finals of the UK Chess Challenge should be FIDE rated. For many children this will be their first FIDE rated event and a great opportunity to get their first rating – and World Ranking !

6) The Terafinal will be Rapidplay

As the rest of the competition are all rapidplay events we feel it makes sense for the Terafinal to be rapidplay also (previously it has been 60 minutes + 10 seconds a move). This allows us to be a bit more creative with the format…

7) Champions to be decided by KO

Well the chess equivalent of a knockout anyway! The first 6 rounds on Saturday will be played as a Swiss event as usual – but after round 6 the top 4 in each section will qualify for ‘Sunday KO’ – a knockout event with a 2 game semi-final and 2 game final (plus 3rd / 4th playoff). Players not qualifying for this will continue to play in the Swiss event.

8) Champions to be selected to represent England

The top eligible boy and top girl in each of the five Terafinal sections will be granted a place in an international tournament to represent England (please note parent’s will be responsible for the travel and accommodation costs involved).