County Championships

The Association runs teams in the SCCU County Championships, all sections, and – for those teams which qualify from the SCCU competitions – the ECF national stage).

Essex League

The Essex Chess League has been in being since 1902-03. While we continue to recover from the covid hiatus, the League competition is still in transition. Currently, the League comprises three Divisions and a “Minor” competition. Board numbers: Division 1, 8 boards, Division 2, 6 boards; Division 3, 5 boards; Minor competition, 4 boards. For 2022-23 Divisions 1 and 2 comprise 8 teams and Division 3, six teams. The Minor Division has six teams.

For 2022-23, Divisions 1 and 2 will have a single round of matches, with venues reversed from 2021-22, playing October to February inclusive. Then there will be a further three matches for each team in the “play-offs” to decide Championships and promotion/relegation. The top four at the end of the first series of matches (concluding in February) will play each other again, with venues reversed, to decide first place in the Division (Division 1 = League Champions) and the bottom four in those Divisions will play-off for the dubious right of relegation. 10 matches in all. There will be no promotion from Division 2, in order to reduce Division 1 to seven teams and revert to the pre-covid format of seven teams playing double round, Home and Away.

Division 3 and the Minor Division will each play double round Home and Away.

Team Blitz

This is an ECA interal event, played on a summer Sunday morning at the end of June. Teams of four representing an Essex Club, playing blitz chess at a minimum of seven minutes on each clock.

Summer Rapid Team Knockout

First round in June, Final usually in September. Teams of five representing Essex Clubs, Schools, or other organisation. All teams play in Round 1. Plate competition for R1 losers. Each match comprises two rounds of G20+10 Rapid chess.

Individual Activities


The Essex Blitz Championship is held in September at Wanstead House. Swiss pairing. Rate of play: 5 minutes + 4 seconds per move.


The Essex Lightning Championship is held on the afternoon of the same day as the Team Blitz. Lightning chess is played with a buzzer, not a clock. The buzzer sounds every 10 seconds and the player on move must play their next move while the buzzer sounds; not before, not after.


The Essex Rapid is held at Writtle, late June or early July. Six rounds, Swiss pairing, G20+10. The Rapid is open to all Essex, not simply Essex Chess Association members. However, non-members pay a small surcharge on top of the normal Entry Fee. Sections subject to entry, but generally Open, Major, Minor.