ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Neill Cooper
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ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:44 pm

ECF Team Chess Challenge is a tournament that any British school with four pupils* who can play chess can enter.
It does not matter whether they are beginners or experts, they can all enjoy taking part.
The Regional Final last about 2½ hours during which everyone plays four games of chess.
Whilst the first match can be one sided by the last 2 rounds players have balanced games of chess due to the nature of the ‘Swiss’ pairing system.
Most players go away with a positive experience of the representing their school at chess.
There is also a National Final place at stake, which goes to the winning team at the Regional Final. The National Final will be hosted by Imperial College Maths Department on Wednesday 22nd April 2015.

To enter please visit the tournament website at http://www.teamchesschallenge.org.uk/tccenter2014.html, decide which event you wish to enter and then click on the link to email the local organiser.
Many planned events are in November but some are in February 2015.
If there is not a suitable Regional Final near you then you can consider hosting one yourself – please contact me for more information.

*The pupils need to be in year 6 [England] or above and the school has to have some pupils in year 7 or above. It is therefore suitable for institutions such as secondary schools, sixth form colleges, upper schools, middle schools and prep schools but not for junior, primary or infant schools.

Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:19 pm

Results so far:

KE Camp Hill won the West Midlands Final
Eltham College won the Kent Final
Urmston GS won the North West Final

This week:
East Midlands Final at Kings School, Grantham on Wed 12th Nov
North London Final at Claremont High School Academy on Wed 12th Nov
Central London Final at Westminster School on Thurs 13th Nov

Further details at http://www.teamchesschallenge.org.uk/tccenter2014.html

Stewart Reuben
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:19 pm

Obviously it is an excellent initiative. But why is the name so uninformative? Is it a schools, or junior or open to all event?

Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:55 pm

Whilst the name might seem unclear to chess players it is informative to schools, many of whom are aware of 'Team Maths Challenge' on which 'Team Chess Challenge' is based. The name is also designed to be sufficiently different from "The National Schools Chess Championships" that schools do not easily confuse the two tournaments.

ThomasThorpe
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by ThomasThorpe » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:34 pm

Congratulations to Millfield School for winning the South West section of this event with 15/16

Matthew Turner
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:41 am

Bristol Grammar School was a very nice venue, beautiful playing hall. Enjoyable event and made a couple of contacts for future matches. Very successful all in all. Thanks to all involved.

Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:41 pm

Congratulations to:
King Edwards Camp Hill on winning the West Midlands Final
Eltham College on winning the Kent Final
Urmston Grammar on winning the North West Final
Nottingham High School on winning the East Midland Final
Westminster Under School on winning the Central London Final
Mill Hll County HS on winning the North London Final
Bangor Grammar School on winning the North Ireland Final
Millfield School on winning the West Final
Manchester GS on winning the South Manchester Final
Wilson's School on winning the South London Final

More regional finals and repecharges yet to come, see http://www.teamchesschallenge.org.uk/tccenter2014.html

John Upham
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by John Upham » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:01 am

British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:22 pm

Thanks John for posting that.
Their report is a great summary of one of the main aims of Team Chess Challenge: to provide a tournament which novice chess schools enjoy taking part in.

Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:15 pm

Congratulations to Manchester Grammar School who won with 5 straight wins, and 18 game points out of a maximum of 20.
The winning team was Andrew Horton (234); Michael Fernandez (201); Daniel Abbas (181) and Jason Lau (174).

School Total
1 Manchester GS 18
2 RGS Newcastle 12
3 Wilson's School 11.5
4 Hampton School 11.5
5 Millfield School 11
6 Eltham College 11
7 Mill Hill HS 10.5
8 Nottingham High School 10.5
9 Magdalen College School 9.5
10 Reserves 9.5
11 Torquay Boys' GS 9
12 Westminster Under School 8
13 KE VI Camp Hill 5
14 Bangor GS 3

An indication of the strength of these school chess teams is that the average grade of all the players was over 150, with seven teams averaging over 160.

John Swain
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by John Swain » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:17 pm

An excellent event, now in its second year, and growing fast. It was held alongside a team problem-solving competition, won by King's School, Grantham. Many congratulations to King's and to Manchester Grammar School who dominated the TCC as they did last year. ECF Secondary Schools Chess is in safe but also very enterprising hands with Neill Cooper at the helm!

LawrenceCooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by LawrenceCooper » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:58 pm

John Swain wrote: ECF Secondary Schools Chess is in safe but also very enterprising hands with Neill Cooper at the helm!
I 100% agree and couldn't have put it any better myself :)

Matthew Turner
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Matthew Turner » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:23 pm

Really nice event and some strong team. Manchester Grammar were some way ahead, but it was very competitive just behind that with lots of 2-2 matches between team averaging 160+. Well done to Neill Cooper and to Imperial College for hosting.

Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:21 am

Thanks for the complements.
It would not be possible to run this event without the support from teachers and others around the country running the regional finals and providing other support. Similarly Chris Howell, Emma McCoy and Jonathan Mestel who ran the finals at Imperial College.

Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF Team Chess Challenge 2014/15

Post by Neill Cooper » Sun May 10, 2015 9:50 pm

TEAM CHESS CHALLENGE 2015
Finals: Imperial College, London Wednesday 22nd April
(Report by Trefor Thynne, Team Manager, Torquay Boys’ G.S.)

After a successful inaugural year in 2014, England’s newest team tournament for secondary schools held a second very enjoyable finals day at Imperial College, London. This time thirteen schools had qualified via regional heats and, together with a fourteenth team made up of reserves attending the event, played five rounds of rapidplay chess at a rate of 10 minutes per player plus a two second increment per move.
Many of England’s top junior players represented their schools and the strength of the teams can be seen by the total team grades; these ranged from 790 for last year’s winners, Manchester Grammar School (i.e an average grade of 197!) down to 450 for the KE Camp Hill team. Six teams had an average grade above 160.

It quickly became clear that nothing was going to stop Manchester G.S. from repeating last year’s triumph. In fact they only dropped 2 game points out of 20 to finish 6 points clear and won all five of their matches. Interest centred therefore on second and third places: these were hotly contested by six teams separated at the end by a single game point with Royal Grammar School, Newcastle being runners-up, half a point ahead of Wilson’s School, Wallington and Hampton School. The former took third place on the strength of having beat Hampton in their individual encounter.

The Swiss system allowed all the teams to have their moments and the day was greatly enjoyed by all the participants. In the morning, before the start of the main event, the teams had taken on Grandmaster Jonathan Mestel in a clock simultaneous, Mestel (the Director of undergraduate Studies at Imperial College) having 40 minutes and the teams (who were allowed to consult) 20 minutes on the clock. This proved a tough call for the grandmaster who had to concede defeat to the teams from Manchester Grammar School, Hampton School, Mill Hill School, Nottingham High School and Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. The teams from Millfield School, Eltham College and King Edward VI (Camp Hill) Grammar School, Birmingham managed to draw their games. Jonathan Mestel also presented the prizes to the winners of the team tournament at the end of the day.

Thanks are due to Imperial College for hosting the event and laying on an excellent buffet lunch, to the equipment providers Castles Chess, the first-class controller Chris Howell and, of course, to the chief organiser and instigator of this valuable addition to the chess calendar, Neill Cooper who is making a big impact in his role as Secondary Schools’ Chess Manager for the ECF. The prizegiving was graced by the presence of the ECF Chief Executive, Phil Ehr who spoke briefly to add his thanks to the organisers.

Gratitude is also due to the many organisers and hosts of the regional heat tournaments which took place between October and February and, finally, to the participants themselves for their sporting attitude and for travelling, in many cases, long distances to attend this most worthwhile new tournament.

Further information about the Team Challenge can be found on its website: http://www.TeamChessChallenge.org.uk



1st: Manchester Grammar School 18 points (790)
2nd Royal Grammar School, Newcastle 12 (667)
3rd Wilson’s School, Surrey 11 ½ (669)
4th Hampton School 11 ½ (695)
5th Millfield School 11 (693)
6th Eltham College 11 (689)
7th Mill Hill School 10 ½ (562)
8th Nottingham High School 10 ½ (584)
9th Magdalen College School, Oxford 9 ½ (549)
10th Reserves team 9 ½ (494)
11th Torquay Boys’ Grammar School 9 (513)
12th Westminster Under School 8 (576)
13th King Edward VI (Camp Hill) Grammar School, B’ham 5 (452)
14th Bangor Grammar School 3

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