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Essex County Chess

Essex teams play in the County Championships (Open and limited by ECF grade) for chess players of all standards to compete against opponents of similar playing strengths, initially from other southern counties and, if a qualifying place is secured, nationally. Any player who does not have a published grade can be allocated a tournament grade by the respective championships controllers on the submission of an indication of playing strength. Matches for teams of 12 or 16 players are usually played with a 4½ to 5 hour playing session on a Saturday afternoon.

Eligibility conditions for representing Essex are:

(i) Birth in the County;
(ii) Five years’ residence in the County at any time;
(iii) Two months immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to the County;
(iv) One month’s immediately previous and present residence in the County;
(v) Present attendance as a student at a school, college or university in the County.

The boundaries of Essex are defined in the west by the River Lea, in the north by the River Stour and in the south by the River Thames.

Players who would like to represent Essex in the County Championships, but who are not yet involved in the County Match Programme, are invited to contact the appropriate Captains as listed below to indicate their availability.

Teams for 2015-16

At its meeting on 20 July, the ECA Executive decided once again to enter all sections of the SCCU County Championships, which act as the qualification competition to the ECF County Championships.

The Match Captain and the Assistant Match Captain are elected at the AGM. The Match Captain usually takes charge of the Open team. The remaining team captains are appointed by the Executive.

The new Match Captain, following Ivor Smith's retirement from the position, is Mark Murrell. The Assistant Match Captain is unchanged, being David Smith, Email:

Following the Executive appointments the team captains for 2015-16 are:

Open - Mark Murrell, Email:
U180 - Gavin Strachan, Email:
U160 - Peter Nickals, Email:
U140 - Simon Moth, Email:
U120 - Malcom Crane, Email:
U100 - Peter Hughes, Email:

In addition to the above sections, in recent seasons when the Open team has failed to qualify for the ECF Open, Essex has been offered a place in the ECF Minor Counties competition. The SCCU does not currently run a Minor Counties section, but at the ECF level, this competition is for teams with a maximum average grade of 180. Essex are the current ECF Minor County Champions, having won the Final against Suffolk on 4 July 2015.

Players who would like to represent Essex in the County Championships, but who are not yet involved in the County Match Programme, are invited to contact the appropriate Captains as listed above to indicate their availability.

Eligibility for the grading limited sections will be determined by players' grades "included in the last list published, or scheduled to be published, on or before 15th September 2015", i.e. the new Grading List, when published and when it has passed through the revision stage in August.

Update 28 Aug 2015: The August Revision of the Grading List is now available on the ECF Grading Database. The SCCU County fixtures have now been published and are listed in the ECA Calendar.

Essex Chess Association

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