Team Chess Challenge is a competition open to any British school with pupils in any of years 7 to 13 (English year groups). Each team taking part consists of four pupils who attend the same school and are in year 6 or above. Team Chess Challenge has been developed as a chess tournament which ALL secondary schools might like to enter — here is a report from one school
The structure of Team Chess Challenge is that regional finals will be held on afternoons during the Spring term of 2016. The winning school at each regional final will qualify for the one day national final [this structure is based on the existing Team Maths Challenge run by the UK Maths Trust for year 8/9 pupils, familiar to many schools]
The hosting school will decide the details of the regional final. Typically at each regional final between four and sixteen teams will participate. Each school is allowed to enter one or two teams, except that the host school might be required to enter an extra team to ensure an even number of teams take part. Schools may only enter one regional final, and can only send one team to the national finals.
The regional final is organised as an afternoon tournament lasting between 2 and 3 hours. Each event shall have four rounds (unless only 4 teams are playing) each lasting 25 minutes. “Swiss” pairings will be used to so that in the later rounds the leading teams play against each other, and similarly the weaker teams play each other. Chess clocks will only be used on the higher boards with a time limit of 12 mins each (or, preferably, ‘Fischer timings’). Every game shall count so the maximum score is 16 points. The winning team is that which scores the most points (out of 16). The host school can decide the starting time of their final, which may be during afternoon school or after school has finished. The principal aim of the regional final is that large numbers of school teams enjoying playing chess. The production of a winner to play at the national final is an important subsidiary to this main aim.
There is no entry fee for the tournament but the host school may make a small charge for the provision of the refreshments, and possibly trophies, at the regional finals. Games are not graded and there is no requirement for your team players to be members of any chess organisation.
I am delighted to announce that the Mathematics Department of Imperial College, London will again host the finals on Wednesday 20th April 2016. Imperial College are the 2012 and 2013 winners of the British University Chess Championships and the Director of Undergraduate Maths Studies at Imperial is chess grandmaster Prof. Jonathan Mestel.