Online Counties Championships 2020

Competition Rules Match Day Notices Match Day Fixtures Club Page

Semi-Finals Headlines

  • Open – Lincolnshire’s strength in depth too much for determined Norfolk resistance
  • Open – seeded to meet in the Final and almost evenly matched on all but 2 boards where Middlesex A had the paper edge, Northumberland dominate the top boards to reach the final
  • Major – Devon and Yorkshire sweep Essex and Greater Manchester aside
  • Challengers – Middlesex B, a traditional ‘minor counties’ team with no head or tail continue their march against one county team opposition as Shropshire fall, whilst Oxfordshire only just made their lower board advantage count against Cumbria
  • Minor – Gloucestershire match Somerset at the top against the odds but not enough to cause an upset, whilst disaster for Berkshire with a double default gifting the tie to Worcestershire despite a top 4 clean sweep
  • U1825 – Essex and Lincolnshire hold their nerve to survive two knife edge matches against Northumberland and Middlesex, to make it an all East Coast affair for both the Open and U1825 Championships, where Lincolnshire are looking to pull off a remarkable double
  • U1825 Challengers – Greater Manchester too strong for embattled Surrey in stark contrast to Norfolk’s reliance on the tie break to prevail over Oxfordshire


6:30pm this Saturday 22nd August – click here for the pairings, matchcards and live viewing

A competition for County Associations and regional Federations affiliated to the English Chess Federation and their associated online chess players.  Following 100 years of over-the-board inter county national competition this is the inaugural sister event online. Take a look back at the first 100 years of evolving competition here.

The National Challenge for county team members who have missed out on selection has been running alongside the qualifying rounds for the Championships under the competition rules, with the last event set for 1 August. With the knockout stages of the Open and U1825 Championships taking place on 8 and 22 August, a new event for players graded U100 (Jan 2020) will run along side the County Championships with an additional match day of 15th August. The National 100 is an all-play-all 3 match inter region league (drawn from the County Associations) to give U100 county players a national event too, drawing on the popularity of the National Challenge.  New players are encouraged to sign up for the last National Challenge on 1 August to experience match play on under similar conditions.  Find your County organiser’s contact details below or ask the Controller when you register for the National 100.  An overview of the National 100 including how to enter, the National 100 Rules and a player’s guide to the interactive matchcards have been added to the Competition Documents panel to your right.

Online North v South Challenge 2020

The oldest Challenge to see in the new season – Saturday 5th September 6:30pm

Renew/take out your 2020/21 ECF membership/supportership and then go to the event web page to register your participation and read the history of the North v South Challenge.

It has taken 126 years for the North of England to issue the long awaited challenge to the South of England for a rematch to determine whether the supremacy established by the South in 1893 in Birmingham, and re-affirmed in 1894 in London, has stood the test of time. After a summer of national club, county and regional ECF online standard-rated chess, what  better way to launch the 2020/21 season than to re-ignite those ancient rivalries and combine with the modern ECF Online Clubs to produce a truly epic national match

The Online Counties Championships are governed by the Competition Rules (reissue 11 June). All players must abide by the ECF Online Fair Play and Anti-Cheating Rules (OFP&AC Rules), which apply across all ECF Online competitions and ECF online rated events. Processing of data is in accordance with the ECF’s Privacy Notice and is set out in the Competition Rules. The new ECF Online Code of Conduct also applies.

The Online Championships taking place this summer (June to August) on the platform, supported and endorsed by the UK and Ireland County Championships for correspondence chess, are open to ECF Members and ECF Supporters eligible for an entered County. See below for more information how to join one of the teams if you are eligible for that county, which you can do at any time before your county’s last group match on 25th July.

23 counties from across the country are in action. A welcome return to national county chess for the likes of Berkshire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Gloucestershire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire and Somerset. Representatives of Durham have joined The National , a challenge which is running in parallel with the inter-county matches for those who miss out on selection by their county sides. 23 teams play in the Open and 9 in the U1825.

Matches are played on Saturday evenings at 6:30pm at a rate of G60/15″
Fixtures, matchday notices and live results are available from the County Championships Online pages on the ECF’s League Management System. See the links above.

The Group league stage in June and July comprise twin group all play all matches. The first round on the 13th June was aborted due to ongoing platform issues and will be rescheduled. These are the qualifying matches for the various Championships with semi-finals on 8th August and Finals on 22nd August for each Championship within the Open and U1825 Sections.

Open Division 1 is the qualifier for the Open and Major Open Championships
Open Division 2 is the qualifier for the Challengers and Minor Championships
U1825 Section is the qualifier for the U1825 and U1825 Challengers Championships

A preliminary familiarisation round in the Open and U1825 sections took place on 6th June. Teams were allocated to Division according to seeding. The pairings for each Championship, determined by league standings, will appear in early August.

The County Championships have entered the knockout finals stage with 6 Championships being contested on 8th and 22nd August.
Championships Pairings and Results | Group Stage Results

Round For group stages of 5 or 6 teams Round For group stages of 4 teams
Preliminary 6th June    
1 Postponed 1 13th June
2 20th June    
3 4th July 2 4th July
4 18th July    
5 25th July 3 25th July
1 (replay) 1st August 1 (replay) 1st August
Semi-Finals 8th August    
Finals 22nd August    

If you would like to play in this competition see the information below and contact your county’s organiser or secretary if you are eligible applying the criteria below. If there is no email contact, please visit the county’s website. You can only play for one county.

A player is eligible to represent one of the following historical counties of England in the Championship if the player is an ECF member or supporter, is not barred from ECF online Clubs, has an active playing account (and has not held any others); and meets one of the following criteria:
(i) Birth in that county.
(ii) Five years’ domicile in that county at any time.
(iii) Two months’ immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.
(iv) One month’s immediately previous and present domicile in that County.
(v) Present attendance as a student at a school, college or university in that County.