National Primary Schools Chess Team Championship
(For all schools with pupils aged 5 to 11 years.)
These pages are here to help promote some of the chess events organised by EPSCA (The English Primary Schools’ Chess Association). This is an introduction to their popular National Primary School Chess Team Championship.
Introduction for the players
Would you like to play for your school’s Under 11 or Under 9 chess team?
In this competition, your team would include 6 players, and meet teams from schools in other parts of the country.
This is a three round competition, but if you only want to compete in the first round and then stop, you can.
The first round takes just one day, and your team will usually compete against teams from other schools in your area.
If you do well and you want to go, round two is the semi-finals. They last either one or two days and you can chose which semi-final you go to. Some players have described the two day semi-finals as being like a holiday with a chess competition. After the semi-finals, the best teams in the country meet in the finals, to find out which school chess team really is the best. Successful or not, teams are often keen to take part again.
All schools are welcome !!!
In more detailThis successful competition started in 1969 and is currently in its 45th year. It is open to any school in England, Scotland, Wales or Gibraltar that have pupils aged 5 to 11 years. It is intended to be an interesting and enjoyable challenge for schools of any chess playing standard. There are separate tournaments for teams aged under 9 and under 11. The competition starts with the regional zones.
Round 1 — The regional zones
The regional zones are one day competitions, held at schools spread across the country. Each team plays five matches in their regional zone. There are normally ten teams competing, and at least four teams from each regional zone should qualify for the semi-finals.
You can choose which regional zone your team competes in, so your players can usually play against teams from other schools in your region.
Where are the zones held?
Dates and locations for the 2014 zones are shown on entry forms and also at the bottom of this page.
The semi-finals are either one or two day competitions played in May and June. Each team plays six matches in their semi-final.
You can choose whether your team plays in a two day semi-final at Pontins currently located in Camber Sands (near Hastings), Prestatyn (North Wales) or a one day semi-final to be held in the West Country. In 2009 more than 1,250 players played at Pontins, supported by 2,800 teachers, parents, family and friends.
In the semi-finals, each player has 50 minutes to complete all the moves in each game. The self-catering apartments used during the two day semi-finals (and the final) can cater for up to six people each. At least two teams from each semi-final will go through to the final.
The final is played at Pontins during July. This is where the eight best teams in each section finally meet, to find out which school team really is the best. The final is a two day competition, played midweek. Because it is played midweek, some players may need to arrange time away from school for the finals.
To make it easier for schools to take part, the National Primary Schools Chess Team Championship is divided into a number of separate competitions:
Although the competitions are separate, if your school does enter more than one team, each round is organised so that the separate under 9 and under 11 teams can both play at the same venue — if you want them to.
- The Under 11 competition is for teams where all the players are aged under 11 (year 6 and below).
- The Under 9 competition is for teams where all the players are aged under 9 (year 4 and below).
- The Small schools competition is for teams where the players attend a small school. Note: The small schools competition is organised in a different way. Please get in touch for details.
Each team is made up of 5 players and 1 reserve. Despite being called the reserve, that player is very important:
- If one of your players cannot play in any round, the reserve can be used as a substitute. If your team does not have a reserve, and someone cannot play, that board will be defaulted.
- Your reserve player can also become part of a special team. If there are an odd number of teams competing, a special team is made up from the reserves. In each round, one of the competing teams will play against that special team.
Note: Your reserve will not play against their own school while they are part of this special team.