Team Chess Challenge 2016

The National Schools Team Chess Challenge
Contact: Neill Cooper Email:

Congratulations to Manchester on their third victory, and to Millfield and RGS Newcastle on their second and third places!

Results —
Manchester GS 19/20 [pictured, above right]
Millfield School 15
RGS Newcastle 11.5

Mill Hill County HS 10.5; Wilson’s School 10.5; Reading 9; Nottingham High School 9; Bolton Boys 9; Torquay Boys’ GS 9; Simon Langton BGS 8; Winchester 5; Sevenoaks 4.5

The finals day of the 2016 Team Chess Challenge took place at Imperial College, London on Wednesday 20th April. This event, which was first staged in 2014, is the brainchild of Neill Cooper, the energetic ECF Manager for Secondary Schools’ Chess. Twelve schools sent teams to the finals, each of which had qualified by winning a regional competition. It was good to see the geographical spread of the teams participating, with schools from as far away as Newcastle, Canterbury and Torquay competing. Although one of the main purposes of the Team Challenge is to stimulate chess in secondary schools, where activity has previously been dormant, it was impressive to see the strength of the teams which took part: the total grade for four team members ranged from 347 to an incredible 811 for the favourites, Manchester Grammar School. Five of the 12 finalists had total grades over 600 i.e. averaging 150 plus. The format of the completion was a fast-paced five round Swiss with each player having 10 minutes plus a two-second increment for the game. It quickly became apparent that the two teams with the highest rating (Manchester Grammar and Millfield) were going to fight it out for first place and this battle was emphatically decided in favour of the former with a 4-0 clean sweep in round 3. RGS Newcastle (whose top board, James Moreby had one of his recent fine games printed in the Daily Telegraph on the morning of the Team Challenge) came a clear third with seven of the remaining teams bunched closely in the middle. The overall standard of chess played was high and there was a terrific competitive atmosphere as some of the top juniors in English chess battled it out at high speed. This tournament represents a very important addition to the ECF Junior calendar.

— report compiled by Trefor Thynne, Torquay Boys’ GS, 21st April 2016

Pictures – the East Midlands, King’s School, Grantham regional final, the  South West, Torquay Boys’ Grammar School regional final and the West, Bristol GS regional final  [click to enlarge]

Kent Region
Hosted at King’s, Canterbury CT1 2ES Thurs 5 Nov 2015 2.00pm Contact: Jon Hutchings
Winner – Simon Langton BGS, 4 teams entered

South London
Hosted at Wilson’s School SM6 9JW Mon 18 Jan 2016 4.00 – 6.30pm Contact: Neill Cooper
Winner – Wilson’s School, 6 teams entered

Hosted at KES Birmingham B15 2UA Thurs 21 Jan 2016 4.30 – 7.00pm Contact: Dominic Tuohey
Winner – KES Birmingham, 4 teams entered

East Midlands
Hosted at King’s School, Grantham NG31 6RP Weds 27 Jan 2016 4.00 – 6.00pm Contact: Phill Beckett
Winner – Nottingham High School, 8 teams entered

North West
Hosted at Bolton School BL1 4PA Thurs 28 Jan 2016 1.00pm Contact: Paul Costello
Winner – Bolton School Boys’ Division, 6 teams entered

North London
Hosted at Heathside Prep School NW3 1DN Mon 8th Feb 2016 4-6.30pm Contact: Lateefah Messam-Sparks Winner – Mill Hill County High School, 8 teams entered

South Manchester
Hosted at Stockport Grammar School SK2 7AF Wed 10 Feb 2016 4.00 pm Contact: Greig Frankland
Winner – Manchester GS, 3 teams entered

South West
Hosted at Torquay Boys GS TQ2 7EL Wed 10 Feb 2016 Contact: Trefor Thynne
Winner – Torquay Boys GS, 12 teams entered

Hosted at Bristol GS BS8 1SR Mon 22 Feb 2016 4.00 – 7.00pm Contact: Graham Iwi
Winner – Millfield School, 8 teams entered

North East
Hosted at Yarm School (Stockton) TS15 9EJ Tues 23 Feb 2016 4.15pm Contact: Michael Pointon 
Winner – RGS Newcastle, 2 teams entered

Hosted at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford CM1 3SX Tues 23 Feb 2016 2.30 – 5.00pm Contact: Tim Worrall
Winner – Sevenoaks School, 12 teams entered

South Midlands
Hosted at Oxford Magdalen College School OX4 1DZ Fri 26 Feb 2016 5.00 – 7.30pm Contact: John Place
Winner – Reading School, 2 teams entered

West London
Hosted at Eton College SL4 6DW Thurs 17 Mar 2016 4.30 – 7.00pm Contact: Justin Moston
Winner – Winchester College, 5 teams entered