Roll of honour
Under 11
Under 9
Small School

2012 finals
Under 11
Under 9
Small Schools

Camber Sands
semi-final   2012

Under 11
Under 9

semi-final   2012

Under 11
Under 9

Brean Sands
semi-final   2012

Under 11
Under 9


For the championships held in 2014, your age will be based on how old you were at midnight at the end of 31st August, 2013.

2008 Report

The front page of the August edition of the ECF's junior chess magazine Right Move features a report on the 2008 competition written by Peter Purland. Peter’s report also includes the UK National Schools Team Championships for older age groups.

Entry fee

The entry fee for 2014 is
£20 per school,
for 1 or 2 teams.

Schools can enter additional teams at £10 each.

Schools which host one of the regional zones are not required to pay an entry fee.

If you are interested in entering a team in this competition, entry forms are normally accepted until mid December.


If you know about a school, including small schools, that might be interested in this competition, please let them know.

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 detail

This 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.

Additional notes
To make it easier for schools to take part, the National Primary Schools Chess Team Championship is divided into a number of separate competitions:

  • 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.
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.

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.


The zones
25 January (Saturday)
Wakefield, W. Yorks

1 February (Saturday)

5 February (Wednesday)
Oldham (Under 9s)

8 February (Saturday)
London, SE9
Worsley, Manchester

9 February (Sunday)

12 February (Wednesday)
Oldham (Under 11s) (Start time 1pm)

1 March (Saturday)
Newcastle upon Tyne

2 March (Sunday)
Oxford (Under 11s)
Stoke Newington

8 March (Saturday)
Chepstow, Monmouthshire

9 March (Sunday)

Date and venue to be confirmed

It is quite possible that some zones will exceed the capacity of the host school and extra zones may be added if needed.

Schools interested in hosting an event are always welcome — just phone

  • No local zone in your local area on the entry form?
  • Know schools in your area that would like to enter but canít because of distance?
If you would be interested in hosting a zone in in the spring term (or know a school that does in your area), please get in touch and let us know. You provide the venue and a co-ordinator, we provide the arbiter to run the chess.

Camber Sands (Sussex).
7–8 June

Prestatyn (North Wales)
14–15 June

17 May. one day semi-final

1–2 July Tuesday & Wednesday


National Primary Schools Chess Team Champions 2013

Under 9

Junior High

Under 11

Garden Suburb
Joint winners

Entry forms

MS Word style entry form 2014 season — Word.
PDF style entry form 2014 season — PDF.

Whether you are a coach, parent or teacher, if you are interested in this competition and have any questions or would like further details, please contact:

Traci Whitfield
(National Schools Controller).

Email: email.
Tel: 01782 623361
(During office hours or before 9.00 pm please)
or write to:

Mrs T Whitfield,
21 Bankfield Grove,
Scot Hay,
ST5 6AR.

Thank you!

On behalf of everyone, Traci Whitfield would like to thank all the schools which have volunteered their premises and also the local organisers for offering to prepare and host the zones. Without them this competition could not run.

The curriculum

Headteachers who have established chess as an activity within their school, recognise the value it has in other areas of the school curriculum.


The EPSCA website www.epsca.org.uk

“EPSCA, the English Primary Schools’ Chess Association, exists to advance the education of primary school aged children by teaching, supervising and developing the playing of chess by those children.”

“EPSCA has another important role — that of selecting and running the England Under 11 and England Girls’ Under 11 teams.”

Chess logo


Please contact:

Traci Whitfield  and  Andrew Davies


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