World’s largest children’s Chess Tournament
The Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge attracts thousands of school children to take part and support continues to grow.
Now in its 23rd year, 40,000 school children from across the UK are taking part in the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge (UKSCC), following the modernisation of the competition and 6,000 new online entries!
The future is looking bright for this annual educational event after English International chess star and Director of UKSCC, Sarah Hegarty and her husband Alex Longson, launched an innovative online platform to host a new discussion forum where parents, coaches and children can ask questions, make comments, download free training materials to help children sharpen their skills and find out more information about the Challenge.
he Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge is the World’s largest junior chess competition and attracts over 40,000 children from 1,200 schools across the UK. The structure of the tournament encourages all children to take part in the educational game, from the most inexperienced players to the top masterminds. With enhanced connectivity and the positive flood of new entries, the best young players across the UK currently battling it out in the 50 regional events from now until June where players will pit their wits against the best players in their region.
The Megafinals stage follows the Regional play-offs and will allow the top 6,000 school/ club players to compete against leading players in their age bracket. These Megafinals are now kicking off around different parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and will be running until the end of June.
Traditionally in the past, the Megafinals stage has comprised of 42 separate events but due to the high demand from school children to take part in the Challenge, this year ‘8’ have been added, bringing the number of Megafinal competitions up to a total of 50.
Of the 6,000 children now playing in the tournament, only a third will achieve success and will qualify for the ‘Gigafinals’, which features England’s top junior players.
On 15th and 16th September the winners of the Gigafinal will compete at the climax of the challenge, the ‘Terafinal’. These matches will be broadcast live across the world and the top player will win £2,500 and be crowned UK Chess Challenge champion.
Sarah Hegarty, director of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge said: “We are excited to announce the 23rd Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge is now underway at schools across the UK. Over 40,000 children are taking part this year but only the very best can progress to the finals. Chess is fantastic for children as it helps them develop a wide range of skills. We are once again very grateful for the generous support of Delancey without which this competition would not be possible.”
Delancey’s Founder and CEO, Jamie Ritblat commented: “We are delighted to continue our headline sponsorship of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge for another year. This is an invaluable competition which not only unites children from all across the UK, who share an interest in chess, but also provides an environment in which students are inspired to challenge themselves mentally. I wish all students competing in this year’s competition the very best of luck!”
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Delancey is a specialist real estate investment, development and advisory company with over 25 years’ experience. Delancey has a diverse portfolio of retail, residential, office and corporate assets across London and the UK, including the Alpha Plus Group, Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre and 185 Park Street on the South Bank. Delancey is also a pioneer in the private rented sector and has spent much of the last few years bringing the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics to life; delivering over 3,000 homes for rent at East Village, the former London 2012 Athletes Village; and revealing the UKs leading creative and digital hub at Here East, the former Olympic Press and Broadcast Centre, which will provide over 4,500 jobs on-site and an expected additional 2,000 jobs in the local area.
Delancey’s work is not simply restricted to bricks and mortar. Founder and CEO Jamie Ritblat and his team are conscious to ensure they have a positive impact on the environment, its local community and future generations. As well as contributing to relevant cultural and educational initiatives local to their developments, Delancey was awarded a Gold Medal at the Centenary Chelsea Flower Show with an ‘East Village’ garden – which was later re-located by the charity Groundwork London to a Children’s play area in East London. Delancey also looks to support young, future stars as Principal Sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard, supporter of Disability Snowsport UK, charity partner to Snow-Camp and sole sponsor of the UK Schools Chess Challenge. More recently, Delancey became the first ever sponsor of the National Portrait Gallery’s School and Learning programme.