CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE CHESS
CCF started training in schools in the mid-1990's. The number of schools involved steadily grew but the age old problem of finding pupils outlets to practice what they were being taught reared its head as very few schools had teachers or parents who were prepared to arrange and travel to matches, thus making it difficult fior the vast majority of schools to join a league.
In the Autumn of 1998, a new idea was born. Known as the "Saturday Primary Schools' Chess League," the aim was to develop an event that school teams could enter once a term but where there was no home and away travel - just one trip to a single venue and a full "season" of matches on the one day. So in November of that term, 10 teams gathered at CCF for the inaugural event. There were 6 rounds with schools being paired together on a Swiss system basis. The first winners were St David's Prep School in Purley.
The following terms saw a lot more teams involved. So the top 6 from the first event were established as the "first division. The next 4 played in the new 2nd Division and we had a further 8 teams in the 3rd division. The top 2 divisions played a 5 round all-play-all whilst the 3rd division played a 5 round Swiss. St David's won both events.
After that, the event went on its travels, such was the interest and the growing number of schools that wanted to be involved. Ashburton High School was hired from the Autumn of 1999 and it was Ashburton Juniors that fittingly won the title. St David's Prep were back for the following 2 terms as the event moved first to Archishop Lanfranc School for the Spring and then back to Ashburton for the Summer.
After that, the event returned to CCF but was held over 3 weeks. The top 3 divisions were held on the first week, the next block on the 2nd week and the final group on the 3rd week. In time, the 2nd and 3rd weeks became large Swiss system events to reduce the time it took for teams to be Promoted from bottom to top, before the competition went back out to a large venue (Carshalton High School for Girls) and a "pyramid" system was developed for leagues of 6 teams.
After 2 events in Carshalton, a new format was born for the Spring of 2003. "Local" venues were found and 3 regions took place (Catford, Croydon and Coulsdon) with the best teams qualifying for the final. In a slightly informal way, this operated for both of the Spring and Summer term competitions. It was from this format that the new structure of the competition was born.
At the start of 2003-4, the 3 regions were established for single events in both the Autumn and the Spring Terms. Teams would play in the regions for those 2 terms and the Aggregate scores of the 2 events were added together to decide which teams would qualify for the finals. The Final was to be held in the Summer Term at Coulsdon. Competitions became fierce and qualification for the final a real honour. Various finals were set up to ensure everyone involved had a realistic target to achieve and the competition grew in stature, so much so that it has attracted the interest of the English Chess federation board and a plan is being worked on to develop this event across the country..
HONOURS & PAST RESULTS
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