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Grand Prix Rules

Win the title, English Youth Chess Champion, receive at least £100* and play for England in the European Youth Chess Championships or the World Youth Chess Championships!  The Junior Selection Policy explains.

Twenty-four (24) titles are awarded in birth year categories from seven to eighteen.  When a boy wins the English Youth Grand Prix, an English Youth Girls’ Chess Champion title is also awarded.  When a girl wins the English Youth Grand Prix, an English Youth Boys’ Chess Champion title is also awarded.  Results from girls-only and boys-only sections count only for girls’ and boys’ titles, respectively.  Tie-breaks are decided by head-to-head results in any Grand Prix tournament, then Joint Champions are awarded and prize money is shared.  Championship titles are awarded only to players eligible to represent England in FIDE youth championships.  ECF members who are FIDE-registered with other national federations are eligible for cash prizes only.  Tournaments are included on the understanding that sections are limited to players under 21 years old, that results are submitted to the National Grading Team in a timely manner and accepted into the ECF Grading Database.  If these conditions are not met, results do not count.  Grand Prix scoring varies by age.

Players turning 7 and 8 years old in 2014:  The best three results count, measured by percentage score (points ÷ games).  Tournaments may be standard or rapid play.  In the event tournaments run concurrent ‘major’ and ‘minor’ sections, then only results for the ‘major’ count.

Players turning 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 in 2014:  The best three results count, measured by tournament performance grades (TPGs) using junior selection methodology.  In other words, Grand Prix scores are junior selection TPGs from the Performance CalculatorJunior selection TPGs from all ‘major’ sections may count, but only one ‘minor’ section result may count.  Only standard play counts.

Players turning 17 and 18 in 2014:  Scoring rules are the same as 9 to 16-year-old players except that tournament age restrictions do not apply.  In other words, the top three junior selection TPGs from any graded standard play tournament in England count, not only the designated youth tournaments.  The ECF is not yet calculating all junior selection TPGs for every player.  Therefore, standings may only show results from leading players.  Contact the Junior Director if you earned a result that elevates your standing. Prix for these players are tournaments that finish from 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014 and the National Grading Team accepts for grading in a timely manner.

Standings are shown at this link.

Grand Prix Tournaments for 7 to 16-year-olds:

British Junior Chess Championships, 29 July – 9 August, Torquay
Gibraltar Junior International Chess Festival, 15-20 August, Gibraltar
UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal, 17-18 August, Loughborough
Junior 4NCL Weekend 1, 5-6 October, Daventry
English Closed Under 11 Championships, 12-13 October, Nottingham
Junior 4NCL Weekend 2, 16-17 November, Daventry
London Junior Chess Championships, 14-15 December (U10, U14), 29-30 December (U8), 28-30 December (all other ages), Harrow
Junior 4NCL Weekend 3, 11-12 January, Daventry
Yateley Manor’s South of England Chess Championships, 25-26 January, Yateley
West of England Chess Championships, 22-23 February, Swindon
National Chess Junior Squad Championships, 5-6 April, Daventry

Additional rapid play tournaments for 7 and 8-years-olds:

British Rapidplay Championships, 23-24 November, Leeds
English Junior Rapidplay, 7 December, London
English Girls’ Chess Championships, 30 November, Nottingham

What this means for players and parents:  Play in as many tournaments as you wish, but only the top three results count.  Two sections in the same tournament count as separate results, as may be the case for those who play in both the British Under 12 Championship and the British Under 13 Championship.  Grand Prix scoring by junior selection TPGs means that players may ‘play up’ in age and immediately predict their own score using the Performance Calculator; however, official scores are determined by the Controller.  Scores from last year’s Grand Prix (link) may be useful for deciding where to play this year.  Tournaments shown with higher junior selection TPG scores attracted stronger players than tournaments with lower scores.  Junior tournaments are not for everybody.  Adult (or all-age) tournaments often strengthen a young person’s chess more rapidly than youth chess; however, the psychological aspects of youth tournaments makes them more challenging for some highly talented juniors.  Players who choose to compete in this Grand Prix gain experience relevant for the next level of youth championships–the European Youth and World Youth Chess Championships.  Contact the Acting Controller of the English Youth Grand Prix with any questions.

* Consider adding to the prize fund that The John Robinson Youth Chess Trust generously began.  To donate, contact the ECF office or use this PayPal button.