This year there were over 40,000 children, from over 1,000 schools and chess clubs participating across the UK in The Delancey Chess Challenge.
The stages of the UK Chess Challenge
From the initial school/club stage the best players go through to the regional Megafinals. These are held during April and May, and each Megafinal is divided into different age groups for both boys and girls, from under 7 to under 18. This year there were over 40 regional Megafinals taking place across the UK. This stage is a six round rapidplay, with a qualification score of 3.5/6.
Those that qualify from these Megafinals move onto the Gigafinal stage, when we are down to the best 1000 Players. There are three Gigafinal events; Manchester, Birmingham and London, all held in July.
The Gigafinals are extremely competitive, with most top juniors across the UK playing (some graded over 200 ECF). Only the first couple of players from each age group will qualify from each Gigafinal, to the final Terafinal stage.
In the Terafinal there are no age group divisions, all players enter one big section. This is held in Daventry over the weekend of 15th/16th September. There will be approximately 150 players though to this final, standard play event (played over 6 rounds). There will be live boards in operation, GM’s in the commentary room, and various other activities.
To reach the Terafinal is a definite milestone in a youngster’s chess career. It highlights that they are one of the best (top 20 ish) players in their age group across the UK. The first prize of £2,000 is awarded for the final title of Strat champion.
Some of you adults out there will have previously played in the Terafinal. Don’t be shy of letting your club members know exactly who you are!
The Bristol Megafinal, BGS – Saturday 5th May
There were six Bristol League Juniors (BLJ’s) playing in this Megafinal (6 round rapidplay event) and all of them qualified for the Gigafinal ! (to qualify for the Gigafinal you need to score 3.5/6).
Under 16 Supremo – Oliver Stubbs (Downend & Fishponds) 4.5/6
Under 14 Supremo – Max Walker (Clevedon) 5.5/6 !
Under 13 Supremo – Chirag Hosdurga (North Bristol) 4.5/6
Under 13 Suprema – Maria Eze (South Bristol) 3.5/6
Under 10 Suprema – Kandara Acharya (North Bristol) 5.5/6 !
Under 10 Qualifier – Jonathan Zeng (Horfield & Redland) 4.5/6
(Supremo/Suprema means 1st place in your age section)
A special mention has to go to Kandara’s sister Dwiti (not playing league chess yet) who won the combined under 8 section (both boys and girls) with an amazing 100% score of 6/6 !!
Also a special mention goes to Max Walker who came overall 1st in the combined under 12-16 age group. Max did this with an unbeaten score of 5.5/6
The Gloucestershire Megafinal, The King’s School Gloucester – Saturday 12th May
There were 3 BLJ’s playing, and all of them qualified for the Gigafinal!
Under 14 Supremo – Jack Tye (Downend & Fishponds) 6/6 !
Under 12 Supremo – Toby Kan ( Downend & Fishponds) 6/6 !
Under 12 Qualifier – Aron Saunders (Downend & Fishponds) 4.5/6
Fantastic full house scores from Jack and Toby, very impressive!
The Somerset Megafinal, Millfield school – Sunday May 13th
Only one BLJ playing in this Megafinal, but another qualification!
Under 12 Supremo – Samir Khan (Bath) 4/6
Fantastic result Samir.
Next, the Gigafinals:
Southern Gigafinal – June 30th
Midland Gigafinal – July 7th
Northern Gigafinal – July 14th
Last year we managed to have 4 qualify for the final Terafinal stage… This was a most impressive achievement.
Will any of our juniors qualify for the Terafinal this year? Watch this space!
John is a member of Downend & Fishponds Chess Club and the organiser of Chipping Sodbury Rapidplay and Junior Chess events