U19 Open

The National Schools Under 19 Chess Championships 2017/18 sponsored by Winchester College

Entries are invited for the United Kingdom’s leading and most prestigious Team Competition for schools. This competition, formerly the Sunday Times and then the Times Championship, and now with the generous sponsorship of Winchester College, has existed continuously since 1957. Whilst the strongest teams are always very strong, they now get automatic qualification to the Regional Stage. Most teams are not as strong, and many are quite inexperienced. So do consider entering even if you have not done so before. 16 teams will play at a two day National Final at Uppingham School in July 2018.

You can enter local afternoon events or request to join a small local League Group of up to 4 teams. All of these are opportunities to qualify for the Regional Stage in Spring term 2018. Strong teams can claim automatic qualification to the Regional Stage if they played at the July 2017 finals or have six pupils with a total grade of at least 750, or if they qualify from specific tournament (such as the Eton College Rapidplay)

Upon registration, you should get an email confirming your entry within a few days. Details of all afternoon events will be updated on the website. Entry deadline is 7 days before any afternoon event or 30th September 2017 to play in a League Group. You can switch your entry between events and leagues if you need to. If you’re unsure about which – enter and then enquire!

The Championship is open to all schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Teams are of 6 players, who must all be pupils of the school they represent. 

Age limit – Under 19 on 31st August 2017. A school may enter any number of teams, but players would normally only play for one team (see rules on the website for more details).
Age handicap – There is no longer an age handicap
Entry fee – Free
Contact – John Swain Email: john.swain@englishchess.org.uk



1) Addresses and phone numbers – in practice nearly all correspondence is by email, but mobile telephone numbers, where supplied, can also be useful for arranging fixtures.
2) Some details about League Group and Regional Stage matches – normally you will visit or entertain one opponent at a time, mid-week.  The date and time of a match are by agreement between the two sides (who is home and who is away will always be laid down in advance.)
Matches are usually played after school, but there is no rule about it. Schools must provide their own equipment. Chess clocks should be used. 

Afternoon Qualifying events

These events normally have 3 rounds, and the time limit is typically 20 mins for all moves or a ‘Fischer’ increment equivalent. Each event should last about 2½ hours. Many events are limited to a maximum of 8 teams. Team who score 2 wins (or one win and 2 draws) or better qualify for the Regional Stage in the Spring Term.

South London Qualifier  – Wilson’s School, Monday 9th October 4.00 – 6.30pm
Entrants: Sacred Heart Catholic School; Wilson’s C, D, E and F; 

West London Qualifier – King’s College Junior School, Wimbledon, Thursday 9th November 4.30 – 7.00pm
Entrants: Westminster Under School A and B

North West Qualifier – Bolton School Boys’ Division, Thursday 9th November
Entrants: Bolton School Boys’ Division A and B; Kirkbie Kendal School A and B; Notre Dame Catholic College, Stockport GS A and B

Devon Qualifier – Torquay Boys Grammar School Tuesday 14 November, 2.00 – 5.00 p.m
Entrants: Torquay Boys Grammar School A and B

Bristol Qualifier –  Bristol GS, Monday 20th November 2017 
Entrants: Bristol GS A and B; Churchill Academy A and B; King’s School, Gloucester; Chepstow B

Surrey/Hampshire Qualifier – RGS Guildford – Wednesday 22nd November
Entrants: ACS Egham; Bedales; RGS Guildford B and C

North London Qualifier – Highgate School – Thursday 23rd November
Entrants: Highgate A and B; Aylesbury GS; Archer Academy; Mill Hill County High School B; North London Collegiate A and B

East Midlands Qualifier – Nottingham High School – Tuesday 28th November
Entrants: Nottingham High School B 

Repechage Qualifier – University College, London – Sunday 3rd December from 2.00 – 5.00pm

Kent Qualifier – Tonbridge School – date to be decided
Entrants: Chatham Grammar School for Girls, Sevenoaks School, The King’s School, Canterbury; The Skinners’ School A and B

Hampshire Qualifier – Winchester College  – date to be decided
Entrants: Winchester College C and D;

North East Qualifier – John Spence Community High School, Newcastle – date to be decided
Entrants: John Spence Community High School A, B and C; Yarm School B and C

Leagues: Forest School; Monkton Combe; King Edward’s School B, Birmingham; King’s School Chester B; Ludgrove School; RGS Guildford D; Southend High School for Boys; St Catherine’s Bramley; St Thomas More High School, Southend; Tormead School; Wellington College; Woodbridge School; Yateley Manor School A and B

Automatic Qualifiers who have entered: 

Last year’s finalists: City of London School, Eltham College, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’, Hampton School; King Edward’s School A, Birmingham; King Edward VI Grammar School (Chelmsford) A, Nottingham High School A, Queen Elizabeth’s Barnet, Reading School, RGS Guildford A; The Judd School, Wilson’s A, Winchester College A; Yarm A

Graded over 750: Brighton College; King’s School Chester A; Mill Hill County High School A; University College School

Eton Rapidplay: Chepstow A; Edward VI Grammar School (Chelmsford) B; Wilson’s B; Winchester College B

ECF Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament

Sunday 17th September 2017 at Eton College, Berkshire

Winners – RGS Guildford; 2nd – Wilson’s School; 3rd – Millfield School; Plate – Norwich School
Crosstable here


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