Updated: Saturday, 15th August 2020

ECF Events: North v South - The Oldest Challenge

In 1893 & 1894 the historic counties of England contested a match to determine where chess was the strongest. The South won both encounters the 2nd comfortably due to the existence of the first and oldest chess Union the SCCU who were able to aid in the co-ordination and communication of the southern counties.

After a 126 years a much delayed 3rd match is to take place on Saturday 5th September on chess.com. The match is open to all ECF members or supporters see link for more details. https://www.englishchess.org.uk/online-north-v-south-challenge-2020/

In the tradition of the first two encounters it is hoped that match will be contested over a minimum of 100 boards if possible more.

If you are interested in playing what will be an historic events register at https://www.chess.com/club/ecf-south

Anthony Fulton
The South Team Captain

ECF Online English Counties Championships

The 2019/2020 season commenced on  6th June with the Semi-Finals and Finals scheduled 8th August and 22nd August, respectively.

Matches are played on Saturday evenings starting at 6.30pm with a move rate of 60 minutes plus 15 seconds per move (G60/15).

Fixtures and results are posted on the ECF League Management System website:

See also:

ECF National 100 Online Competition - Appeal For Players

The ECF has successfully launched the Online Counties Championship (allowing for one or two teething problems!) and the group stages are about to come to a close (1st August).

Although Championship has been a success the Controller recognised that players graded u100 were poorly served consequently a regional u100 competition has been devised. I write to ask that you inform clubs in your areas of the event so that those graded u100 can sign up for the event. I know that it is relatively short notice however in this digital age if we use all avenues available, webpages, social media and email, we should be able to spread the word to every outpost in the country to get maximum exposure.

As the name suggests there are 4 regional teams (East, Midlands, North and South) who will participate in an All-Play-All competition over 3 consecutive Saturdays (8th August, 15th August and 22nd August).

The South comprises of the following counties:
Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire.

Brief details are:
Matches will be played on chess.com with a time control of 1hr + 15s per move (60/15) and start at 6:30pm. Players ideally would have a grade of u100 on January 2020 either standard or rapidplay if no standard grade. July 2020 grade will only be considered if there is no other grade available

The following link will allow any interested part to get more details about the competition, rules, etc.:

For those interested they should either register directly via https://www.chess.com/club/the-south

If anyone needs more information they can also contact me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Anthony Fulton
The South Team Captain

League Tables 2019-20

To view County Championship league tables, click on one of these buttons. Then click on the scores in the table to display a match score card.

Open - Shannon u180 - Montague Jones u160 - Amboyna u140 - Ebony

u120 - Harry Woolverton u100 - David Smith

Code of Conduct for all players in Online Chess

SCCU adopts Safeguarding Policy for playing chess online

Following the updating of the ECF's safeguarding policy on the 18th June to include chess online (see today's ECF announcement), there is now a Code of Conduct applicable to all players taking part in ECF or SCCU online events. This is part of the online safeguarding policy the ECF has introduced.   The policy can be found at new section 11 of the ECF Safeguarding Policy and the code at Appendix 10.

Please note that it is a condition of the current ECF block insurance policy that insured chess organisations adopt and follow the ECF Safeguarding Policy.

SCCU County Championships 2019-20

The winners of the SCCU County Team Championship are:

SCCU Division Grade Winner
Shannon Open Middlesex
Montague Jones u180 Essex
Amboyna u160 Middlesex
Ebony u140 Kent
Harry Woolverton u120 Kent
David Smith u100 no contest

Provisional nominations for the ECF County Championship are shown below. While the current COVID-19 alert remains in effect, there is great uncertainty as to whether it will be possible to run the ECF County Championships.  

ECF Division Team 1 Team 2 Team 3
Open Middlesex Surrey  Kent
Minor Counties Sussex -  -
u180 Essex Middlesex  -
u160 Middlesex Surrey  -
u140 Kent Surrey  Essex
u120 Kent Surrey  Middlesex
u100 Essex    

SCCU County Championship 2019/20

Preliminary Fixtures

This is the 'first-cut' for the fixtures (published 23 August 2019). Where captains have difficulty in booking venues on the specified dates, it is permissible to change dates with the agreement of the opposing captain.

In the u180 section, two matches (Kent vs Essex, Surrey vs Middlesex) unfortunately clash with the first weekend of the London Chess Classic. The controller hasn't been able to identify another date without playing on two consecutive weekends, and has left to the captains to agree a more suitable date.

Please, keep the County Match Controller informed of any changes.

Key: B= Berkshire, E= Essex, H=Hertfordshire, K=Kent, M=Middlesex, Sx=Sussex, Sy=Surrey

Date Other Events Open u180 u160 u140 u120 u100
28 Sep 2019   Sy.SX, K.M    K.Sy, M.E      
05 Oct 2019  J4NCL wk1 & Surrey Congress      M.E[2]      
12 Oct 2019  ECF AGM (London)            
19 Oct 2019     M.E, K.Sy    E.M, K.Sy    E.B    
26 Oct 2019              
02 Nov 2019   M.Sy, Sx.E    E.Sy, K.M    M.H, E.K  
09 Nov 2019  4NCL wk1a (div 3 & 4) Sx.E[8]          
16 Nov 2019     E.Sy, M.K    Sy.E, M.H    
23 Nov 2019   E.M, Sy.K    Sy.M, E.K    H.E, Sy.M  
30 Nov 2019  London Chess Classic   K.E, Sy.M        
07 Dec 2019  London Chess Classic      Sy.M[5]      
14 Dec 2019              
21 Dec 2019              
28 Dec 2019  Caplin Hastings International            
04 Jan 2020  Caplin Hastings International            
11 Jan 2020  4NCL wk2          Sy.M[1], H.E[7]  
18 Jan 2020  J4NCL wk2      M.K[3], Sy.E[5]      
25 Jan 2020     E.M, Sy.K    K.H, Sy.M    B.E
01 Feb 2020   K.E, M.Sx    Sy.E, M.K    Sy.K, M.E  
08 Feb 2020  4NCL wk3            
15 Feb 2020  J4NCL wk3 Sx.K, E.Sy    Sy.K, E.M    E.Sy, K.H  
22 Feb 2020     Sy.E, K.M    M.K, H.E    
29 Feb 2020  4NCL wk1b (div 1 & 2)      M.Sy, K.E    K.M, H.Sy  
07 Mar 2020        M.Sy[3]    H.Sy[6]  
14 Mar 2020     E.K, M.Sy    H.Sy, E.K     
21 Mar 2020  SCCU nominations to ECF            
28 Mar 2020  4NCL wk4            


1. 30-08-2019. u120 Sy.M moved to 11-01-2020 (was 23-11-2019).
2. 31-08-2019. u160 M.E moved to 05-10-2019 (was 28-09-2019).
3. 10-09-2019. u160 M.K moved to 18-01-2020 (was 01-02-2020).
4. 10-09-2019. u160 M.Sy moved to 07-02-2020 (was 29-01-2020).
5. 14-09-2019. u160 Sy.M moved to 07-12-2019 (was 23-11-2019)
    u160 Sy.E moved to 18-01-2020 (was 01-02-2020)
6. 14-09-2019. u120 H.Sy moved to 07-03-2020 (was 29-02-2020) - confirmed 30-09-219
7. 30-09-2019. u120 H.E moved to 11-01-2020 (was 23-11-2020)
8. 01.10.2019. Open Sx.E moved to 09.11.2019 (was 02.11.2019 - venue became unavailable)

SCCU County Championship 2019/20

Closing Date for Entries

The closing date for entry to the County Championship is 15th August. Fixtures are expected to be released soon after 18th August.

Please, send all entries and related equiries to The County Match Controller (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so that fixtures can be made.

The SCCU competition rules can be found at County Match Rules. Rules and information on the ECF national stages are available at ECF National Stages (2019).

Provisional Match Dates

Provisional match dates are shown below:

  • Dates have been selected to avoid clashing with 4NCL, J4NCL (except 15th Feb), Surrey Congress, London Chess Classic, and Caplin Hastings International Congress,
  • Open and u180 play on different days.
Division Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Open, u160, u120 28th Sep[1] 2nd Nov 23rd Nov 1st Feb 15th Feb[1] 29th Feb[7]
u180, u140, u100 19th Oct 16th Nov 30th Nov 25th Jan 22nd Feb 14th Mar

Teams Entered

  Yes - confirmed
  ? - expected, based on last season.
  tba - to be advised

County Open u180 u160 u140 u120 u100
Berkshire           Yes
Essex Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hertfordshire       Yes Yes  
Kent Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Middlesex Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Surrey Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Sussex Yes          


[1] 30 Jul 19. Open - dates revised.  (28th Sept, 15th Feb added; 5th Oct, 7th Dec deletedl).
[2] 31 Jul 19. Teams Entered - table updated
[3] 06 Aug 19. Teams Entered - table updated
[4] 08 Aug 19. Closing date of 15th August and links to rules added.
[5] 08 Aug 19. Teams Entered - table updated.
[6] 10 Aug 19. Teams Entered - table updated. Fixtures expected to be released soon after 18th August.
[7] 17 Aug 19. Date corrected 29th Feb (Sat) was 2nd Mar (Mon).

Addition to Online Archive: SCCU News Bulletin

First published in October 1958, the Bulletin provides a digest of chess related activities occurring in the Union over a span of 41 years. Averaging 6 issues each season, it ran to a total of 248 issues, plus annual grading lists and occasional supplements.

The late Richard Haddrell was the Bulletin's editor for its final 21 years and he developed and operated the website which took over from it.

He had wanted to digitise the Bulletin and make it available online, but the demands of his many other duties (SCCU Secretary, ECF Grading Administrator, Kent Juniors) contributed to the project not being completed.

The digitisation has now been accomplished, thanks to Anthony Fulton, SCCU Archivist, who arranged for the cache of paper copies left by Richard to be catalogued and digitised by the British Library.

The collection can be found on the following pages:

The digitisation project was funded from Richard Haddrell's bequest to the SCCU.

ECF County Championship Centenary Finals Day

This year's County Championship held its 100th event on Saturday, 13th July at Kettering Conference Centre.

All seven matches being played fitted comfortably into a single playing room  on the first floor. There would have been space for Minor competition had that been played too. There was a separate analysis room and refreshments (drinks, sanwiches and snacks) were available from a kiosk in the foyer.  

Proceedings began with an introduction by Adrian Elwin, Director of Home Chess, and Sean Hewitt, Chief Arbiter.

ECF County Open Champions: Yorkshire

Play began following the one minute silence to remember Marcus Mission (Cambridgeshire) and Bryan Fewell (Hertfordshire), two well known players who had past away earlier this year. In his time as BCF Home Director Bryan did much to support and enhance the County Championships, including the creation of the separate grade limited sections in 1992.  

The ECF website hosted Live Boards (Open section), which were managed by Matt Carr. Mark Murrell also posted a Blog commenting on the matches.

The match results given below contain hyperlinks to the match cards maintained on the ECF League Management Results website.

Congratulations to the four SCCU teams that made the Final:

  • Surrey Open - Runners up
  • Essex u180 - Winners
  • Middlesex u160 - Winners
  • Essex u120 - Winners

Trophies were awarded by Adrian Elwin, ECF Director of Home Chess. All players that took part on the day received individual trophies.

SCCU / London Club Championships

The inaugural SCCU/London Club Championships took place on Saturday, 29 June 2019 at St Lukes Church, Kidderpore Avenue, London NW3 7SU.

  • Major (180 ECF) - 7 teams entered
  • Intermediate (150 ECF) - 9 teams entered
  • Minor (120 ECF) - 10 teams entered

Although it had been intended to run all sections as Swiss tournaments, on the day some adjustments were made to the pairing of Major and Intermediate.

  • In the Major a seventh round was squeezed in so that it ran as an all-play-all.
  • In the Intermediate teams were grouped together in one of three triangular matches (played over two rounds with jamboree pairings) to avoid giving a bye to any team in the conventional Swiss. An unfortunate weakness of the hybrid pairing was that the two highest scoring teams (Hatch End and Pimlico) never got to play each other. The two teams finished equal on match points (11/12) with Hatch End prevailing on tiebreak by a single game point.

The winning teams (left to right) are:

Clicking on names of the winning teams will link to the respective tournament results.

SCCU County Championships

With all matches, apart from u120 Hertfordshire v Kent (to be played Saturday 23rd March), the winners of each division can now be announced.

SCCU Division Grade Winner
Shannon Open Surrey
Montague Jones u180 Middlesex
(on tie-break with Essex)
Amboyna u160 Middlesex
Ebony u140 Kent
Harry Woolverton u120 Essex
David Smith u100 Essex

The provisional nominations, subject to completion of the u120 division, and confirmation of acceptance by county secretaries are given below; these nominations need to be confirmed by the SCCU to the ECF National Controller by Sunday 24th March.

ECF Division Team 1 Team 2 Team 3
Open Surrey Middlesex  Sussex
Minor Counties Essex -  -
u180 Middlesex Essex  -
u160 Middlesex Essex  -
u140 Kent Hertfordshire  Essex
u120 Essex Kent  Hertfordshire
u100 Essex Berkshire  -

 Note:  Teams that have accepted ECF nomination are shown in BOLD.

SCCU Junior Jamboree 2019

Stop Press. See Junior Jamboree Results
The Southern Counties Chess Union Junior Jamboree will take place on 17 March 2019, 10.30am - 5.30pm, at Bishop Douglass School, Hamilton Road, East Finchley, London N2 0SQ.
It is open to teams of 6 players from Counties, Clubs and Schools and comprises four sections:
  • Under 18 Major
  • Under 18 Minor (restricted to ECF grade u130)
  • Under 14 Major
  • Under 14 Minor (restricted to ECF grade u110)
Entry fee is £40 per team from SCCU county and non-county members (£45 per team from Non members)
Individual organisations may enter two teams per section and 4 teams in total.
Additional teams may be permitted, provided there is sufficient space.
For further details, please, download: Entry Form
Please, direct any enquiries to Angela Eyton (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
This event is being organised by Middlesex County Chess Association in association with the SCCU.

FM Steve Berry - An Appreciation

posted: 19th January 2019

At today's county championship encounter between Surrey and Essex Open teams, the Surrey match captain reports:

"The Match started with fine words said by Russell (Granat) about our recently deceased friend, FM Steve Berry. The much appreciated Words were followed by a well observed minute of silence. Steve will be much missed by all who knew him."

Surrey Congress, Incorporating SCCU Individual Championship

updated: 2nd December 2018

Surrey Congress took place at Kingston University on Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October.

The Surrey Prizes were sponsored by Kingston Chess Club.

Frank Winter FIDE OPEN (42 players)

1st= IM Richard Bates, FM Adam Taylor, Ben Ogunshola (4/5)

Grading prize (U1980): Nasir Rizvi (3.5/5)

Surrey Prize: Jovica Radovanovic (3.5/5)

SCCU Individual Championship

SCCU Champion (joint): IM Richard Bates, FM Adam Taylor, Ben Ogunshola

Congratulations to all three winners, each of whom has qualified for the British Championships to be held at the International Centre in Torquay, 26th July to the 4th August 2019. This is Richard's record-breaking fourth consecutive SCCU title!

Eric Weimann FIDE Major (35 players)

1st= Nick Grey, Oliver Finnegan (4.5/5); 3rd Alexandros Pappas (4/5)

Grading Prize (U1600): Boris Stoyanov (3/5)

Surrey Prize: Graham Alcock (3.5/5)

Bill Waterton Minor (19 players)

1st Soham Kumar (4.5/5); 2nd James McKenna (4/5); Tim Cutter (3.5/5)

Grading Prize (U100): Diego Cordova (3/5)

Surrey Prize: Tom Usharovsky (3/5)

Full Results

These are available on chess-results.com through the following links:

ECF County Team Championship

updated: 31st October 2018

This is the 100th contest for the title of National County Champions, providing good cause for celebration.

Please, note the following dates in your diary:

    Saturday, 27th April 2019  Preliminary Round
  Saturday, 11th May 2019 Quarter Finals (Open, Minor, Under 160, Under 120)
  Saturday, 18th May 2019 Quarter Finals (Under 180, Under 140, Under 100)
  Saturday, 8th June 2019 Semi-Finals
  Saturday, 13th July 2019 Finals

Nominations by the Unions need to be submitted to the National Controller by 24th March so that the draw can be published on or before 1st April.