Schools news and reports

ECF Secondary School Chess News for November 2023

Details of all the ECF inter-school events can be found at

English School Chess Championships 2023/24
This year we are making the main entry point a regional competition and hopefully you can find an event near your school. The map of the host schools can be found here. Over 300 teams of 6 players have already entered and many regional qualifying events are full – but there are now 3 internet qualifiers. For more details and to enter please visit
The National Final will be played on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 June 2024, at Nottingham University.

Girls’ Championships 2023/24
The ECF’s National Girls’ Chess Championships is for teams of 3 players. The Northern final is soon, on Sunday 19th November 2023 at Nottingham High School. The southern final is in January 2024. More details and the entry form can be found at

British Team Chess Challenge and Junior Team Chess Challenge 2023/24
You can find information about these at and There has been a delay in arranging many of these events so if there is none in your area do email me, particularly if you think you could host and run such an event. To enter an event just email the local organiser.
The National Finals will be on Saturday, 20 April 2024 at King Edward VI Grammar School Aston, West Midlands.

Ivan Gromov Online Schools Chess League
This is a fortnightly inter-school league played online on Thursday evenings. Match results can be found at For more information please contact Justin Moston on

Inter-school lichess Battles
Fortnightly online “Battles” continue on Fridays from 6 to 7pm on lichess Secondary School Chess.  Past events can be seen at here. These are inclusive events with players varied in rating from over 2400 to below 700, and schools fielding as many players as they wish. Please email me if your school would like to join these events.

National Online School Chess League
The league runs fortnightly on Mondays from 4.15 to 5.15pm. Teams are of 6 players being supervised in school. After each round of fixtures there is promotion and relegation between the leagues. More details are available at Again, please email me if your school would like to join these events.

Neill Cooper Email: (and recently retired from Wilson’s School)

Secondary School News [PDFs]

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2018 – October | September

2017 – November | September | JulyJune | February

2015 – August | January

2014 – October | June | February

2013 – December | November | October | April | February | January

2012 – December | November | October | September | June | May

Surrey Junior – Russell Trophy Jamboree

Wilson’s School, Friday 19th September 2014
Two rounds, fifteen teams of 8 split into Major of 7 teams and Minor of 8 teams. Rate of play: all moves in 40 minutes

Major Section
1 Hampton A 14½/16; 2 Wilson’s A 12½; 3 RGS Guildford 11; 4 Sutton GS 9; 5 Whitgift 5; 6 Wilson’s B 4½; 7 Trinity 2

Minor Section
1 Hampton B 13½/16 ; 2 Wilson’s C 11; 3 RGS Guildford B 9; 4 Reigate GS 8½; 5 Wilson’s D 7½; 6 Wallington CGS A 5½; 7= Cumnor House,  Wilson’s E 4½

Team Chess Problem Challenge

The first round of this new event took place during and after the Eton College Chess Tournament. The 4 problems to be solved are given on this sheet [PDF]

Leading scores after the first round are –
20 points – Kings School Grantham & Westminster Under School
10 points – Millfield and Mill Hill School

(5 points for a correct answer)

ECF Afternoon Event
Wilson’s School, 9th May 2014

The sixth afternoon secondary school event went very well. Sixteen teams from seven schools took place.
It was particularly good to welcome new schools to the event: Sevenoaks, Cumnor House and Putney High.
Quest Academy only took up chess this year but after entering one team in the last event entered 3 here.
Nonsuch also returned having not played at one of these events for a while.
There was a wide range of ability. Whilst some players were graded over 100, the majority were ungraded or graded below 50. Whilst this meant that many of the first round matches were one sided after that there were many close matches.
As with Team Chess Challenge the time limit of 10 mins + 2 secs worked well on the upper boards. Clocks were not used on the lower boards (many players were not used to them) with a few lower boards being adjudicated after 30 minutes play.

Teams left saying how much they had enjoyed the event, including those who lost more games than they won.
One positive aspect of these multi-match events is that most players and teams go away with some successes.

Scores were:

1 Wilson’s A 12.5 | 2 Wilson’s B 11 | 3 Wilson’s D 10.5 | 4 Cumnor House 10 | 5-6 Sevenoaks 9.5 | Wilson’s E 9.5 | 7-8 Wilson’s C 9 | Wilson’s F 9 | 9 Nonsuch 8.5 | 10-11 Graveney School 7.5 | Quest A 7.5 | 12 Quest B 7 | 13-14 Wilson’s G 6 | Quest C 6 | 15 Putney High 3 | 16 Reserves 1.5

ECF Afternoon School Chess Tournament
Wilson’s School, 29th January 2014

The fifth ECF Afternoon School Chess Tournament at Wilson’s School comprised a total of 18 teams with 4 players in each team. The tournament was run as a single Swiss Tournament, with clocks being used on the top few matches. Each round was allocated 25 minutes so the whole event of 4 rounds lasted 2 hours. Of the schools taking part only Wilson’s and Wallington regularly play inter-school chess. The other schools have only recently started playing inter-school chess. For Quest Academy, Selsdon this was their first ever inter-school chess tournament.

1 Wilson’s A 13.5
2 Wallington A 12
3-5 Wilson’s B, Wilson’s C, Wallington B 11
6 Wilson’s D 9
7-8 Wallington C, St Andrews A 8.5
9 Graveney 8
10 Glyn A 7.5
11-13 Glyn B, St Andrews B, Quest 7
14 Wilson’s E 6.5
15 Wilson’s F 5
16-17 Glyn C, Wilson’s G 4
18 St Andrews C 3.5

The event was enjoyed by all players, particularly as there were lots of close matches. “Many thanks once again for having us at your tournament. The boys really enjoyed themselves. Please do keep me posted about future chess opportunities. We are going to try and make chess grow exponentially at our school now!” “Thanks for running such a great event: the kids love it! Much more than the one-on–one school matches – this way they get to play 4 games and get to win at least one. My lot were buzzing on the way back! Definitely will be coming to any more events you run!” Wilson’s will host a similar event in the summer term.

Birmingham Schools Rapidplay, 30th November

1 Hampton – 10/10 MP 29.5/40 GP | 2 Nottingham 1 – 8 MP 28.5 GP | 3 KES – 8 MP 25 GP
4 Nottingham 2 – 6 MP 24.5 GP | 5 KE Camp Hill – 6 MP 22 GP | 6 Bolton – 6 MP 21 GP | 7 Wilsons 1 – 4 MP 23 GP | 8 Westminster – 4 MP 21.5 GP
9 Vandyke – 4 MP 14 GP | 10 Wilsons 2 – 2 MP 13.5 GP | 11 Stockport – 2 MP 10.5 GP | 12 Reserves – 0 MP 7 GP

Afternoon School Chess Tournament, 20th March 2013

The third ECF Afternoon School Chess Tournament comprised a total of 20 teams with 4 players in each team. The tournament was run as a single large Swiss tournament, with clocks being used on the top three matches.
As well as Wilson’s, the host school, teams from Ewell Castle, Emanuel School, Glyn School and Dulwich College took part. Whilst Wilson’s, Emanuel and Dulwich College regularly play inter-school chess, Ewell Castle and Glyn have only recently started (though in the case of Glyn, this is restarting). It was particularly positive, therefore, that Glyn could enter three teams.

After dropping a point in the first round, Dulwich College A quickly built up a dominant position and comfortably won the event, dropping only 1½ points.
Of the 80 players, just four won all their games: Rohan Bansal and Dooley O’Khann (Dulwich College), Tharshan Kuhendiran and Kirishoth Sivalogarajah (Wilson’s School)

1 Dulwich College A – 14.5 | 2 Wilson’s 11 – 11 | 3-6 Wilson’s 8B; Wilson’s 10; Emanuel A; Wilson’s 12 – 10
7-8 Wilson’s GC; Wilson’s 7C – 9 | 9-10 Ewell Castle School; Wilson’s 7G – 8 | 11 Wilson’s R 7.5 | 12-14 Glyn School A; Dulwich College B; Wilson’s D – 7
15-17 Wilson’s 7B; Emanuel B; Wilson’s 7H – 6.5 | 18 Glyn School B – 5 | 19 Wilson’s 7S – 4 | 20 Glyn School C – 3.5

This event was valuable practice for the new ‘Team Chess Challenge’ to be initiated next year. The event was enjoyed by all players, particularly as there were lots of close matches. Another similar event will be held in the summer term.

ECF Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament
– Sunday 17th March 2013, The King’s School, Grantham

The first ECF Secondary School event to be held outside the South East took place at The King’s School in Grantham, Lincs, on Sunday 17th March 2013. Whilst twenty teams entered, some withdrew due to illness or lack of players, resulting in fourteen teams of four playing. It was great to have a spacious playing hall and, courtesy of ECF equipment supplies, digital clocks for all games. The Fischer timing of 25mins + 5 seconds a move was greatly appreciated by the players who got short of time! What is more there were no draw claims under the ‘2 minute rule’. David Welch therefore had a reasonably quiet day as arbiter, but his presence was also appreciated. The event was efficiently organised and run by Phill Beckett of The King’s School, Grantham, who also ran 3 teams. There was a wide range of abilities, whilst a few players graded over 150, the majority were evenly spread between 50 and 150, and about a third were ungraded. The use of a Swiss system based on game points meant that after the first round there were many closely balanced matches and all teams had some success.

The results were: 1st – Wilson’s School ‘A’ 17 points (out of a possible 20) 2nd – RGS Guildford 14.5 3rd – Nottingham High School 13.5 4th – Dame Alice Owen’s 12.5 5th – King’s School, Grantham 12 (also winning a trophy as the highest placed Lincolnshire team) 6th – Bolton School 11 7th – Wilson’s School ‘B’ 10.5 8th= Bolton School ‘B’ and Cordeaux Academy 8.5 10th – King’s School ‘B’ 8 11th – Meden School ‘A’ 7 12th= Caistor Grammar School and King’s School ‘C’ 6.5 14th – Meden School ‘B’ 4 The fact that the event was graded during the day was greatly appreciated by many of the participants and had many benefits:

  • Previously ungraded players were very enthusiastic to get an indication of their playing ability
  • Local juniors who had only ever before played in Lincolnshire junior events played juniors from around the country, thus reducing the ‘local pool’ effect
  • Juniors from all over the country played each other, thus leading to some normalisation nationally
  • Juniors who regularly played against adults were included, thus providing further normalisation
  • Some ungraded players have now played enough school games to get an ECF grade in August

ECF Afternoon School Chess Tournament


Open (mainly graded players, 10 mins + 2 sec per move)
1st Wilson’s Year 11 14/16 | 2nd Wilson’s Year 8/9 9 | 3rd Wilson’s Year 7 8.5
4th= Worth 8 | 4th= Nonsuch A 8 | 6th= Wilson’s Sixth Form 7.5 | 6th= Trinity A 7.5
8th= Wilson’s Castles 6.5 | 8th= Wilson’s Year 10 6.5 | 10th Trinity B 4.5

Major (mainly ungraded players, no clocks, 25 mins per game)
1st= Wilson’s 7G 12 | 1st= Wilson’s Year 8 12 | 3rd= Wilson’s Sixth Form B 10.5
3rd= Warlingham 10.5 | 3rd= Glyn 10.5 | 6th Wilson’s Sixth Form C 10 | 7th Wilson’s 7HA 9
8th St Peter’s, Guildford 8.5 | 9th Worth B 7.5 | 10th= Wilson’s 7BA 7 | 10th= Wilson’s 7CA 7
12th= Wilson’s 7S 6.5 | 12th= Ewell Castle 6.5 | 14th= Nonsuch B 5.5 | 14th= Nonsuch C 5.5
16th Wilson’s 7BB 4.5 | 17th Wilson’s 7HB 4

– Neill Cooper, ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Millfield International – 13th & 14th October 2012

The Millfield International has been taking place for 29 years, firstly as the Marlwood tournament and then moving to the Dragon School, Oxford, Edgarley Hall and now to its current venue of Millfield School. Many of Britain’s leading players have taken part and the winner of the Stephen Joseph Memorial Trophy, for the best Individual performance, sees their name feature alongside the likes of Michael Adams, Brian Kelly, Sam Collins and Mark Ferguson.

The Millfield International is a unique event because with teams of twelve, schools cannot rely on one or two star players, but need a thriving chess community and team spirit to challenge for the top prizes. This year, fourteen teams competed, in an exceptionally strong event. After two preliminary rounds the tournament splits into a Championship and Major sections for the remaining five games. The Championship saw Haberdashers’ Aske’s and Manchester Grammar pull away from their competition and battle it out for top spot. Haberdashers’ clinched victory and their score of 49.5/60 is one of the highest in the competition’s history.
[below – the winning team, Haberdashers’ Aske’s]

The Major section saw a three way battle as King Edward’s Camp Hill, RGS Guildford and Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet fought out the medal positions. King Edward’s greater experience proved decisive in the end and they took the title with 41/60. The best individual performance went to IM Daniel Fernandez of Manchester Grammar.

The dates for next year’s tournament are 12th and 13th October 2013.

Breaking News
Former Stephen Joseph Memorial winner and World Championships Semi-Finalist, Michael Adams will be returning to Millfield for a Summer Camp the week before next year’s British in Torquay. Watch this space.
MP Rachel Reeves recently hosted a number of players from new NSCC sponsors St. Catherine’s Bramley at the Houses of Parliament. Representatives from the ECF’s organising team also attended the meeting.