Don’t forget….

29th-1st March4NCL Division Rounds 7-8Mercure Daventry Court
Hotel and Spa
14th-15thWelsh Junior Championships (U16, 13, 11, 9) **CANCELLED**The Cathedral School,
Cardiff Road,
Cardiff CF52YH
21st SaturdayWCPL Round 5 and U1850 Round 3 **CANCELLED**Bishop Hedley High School,
Merthyr Tydfil, CF42 9AN
28th-29thWelsh Junior Championships (U14, 12, 10, 8)**CANCELLED**Bishop Hedley High School,
Merthyr Tydfil, CF42 9AN
28th-29th4NCL Division 2
Rounds 7-8 **CANCELLED**
Mercure Daventry Court
Hotel and Spa



First Rank Newsletter 36

This can be viewed here.

Brian Heath RIP

Sad news has reached us that former WCU Executive Director Brian Heath has passed away.

Funeral details to follow.

ECU E-Magazine April 2020

This can be viewed here.

First Rank Edition 35

This can be viewed here.

Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC)

Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), which as I’m sure you know delivers chess to schools mainly in inner cities, has launched a campaign to get 1 million children playing chess online during lockdown. While schools are closed, both schools and parents would appreciate an activity for children that keeps them entertained constructively and imparts some learning objectives.

Malcolm Pein, CEO of CSC, has convinced the best and most secure chess website for kids,, to donate 1 million memberships (value £25 million) to the cause. CSC are offering these free memberships, valid for three months, to every child of primary school age in the UK via their schools or parents. The memberships include access to videos, lessons and puzzles. Children can play others from all over the world once they’ve learnt the rules.

See: and

You can see a 1-minute video about ChessKid here:–xlkw, and you can read the English Chess Federation’s website post about the campaign here:

Please not only share the details of this wonderful initiative with your junior players, but also spread the word to as many teachers, head teachers from any UK school, parents, chess coaches and chess clubs as you can?

UKCC Online Chess Challenge

Last week we setup the official UKCC Online Chess Club  This is free for all players and we are running daily events plus multiple events at the weekend. If this doesn’t clash with anything you are doing we’d love it if you could direct any chess playing children this way. If you’d like to get involved by playing in the tournaments or some other way please let us know. For example we could setup an online simul giving a chance for local juniors to play against a titled player with some live commentary.

We are streaming some of the tournaments and offering some free daily lessons on our twitch channel

The next online event is tonight at 6pm on It’s a 10 minute blitz arena (90 minutes duration)

Alex Longson

P.S. We are running some interactive lessons in the summer as an alternative to the chess clubs we would normally run. We’ve got some interesting learnings from using zoom and lichess. If you were thinking of doing something similar and wanted a bit of advice or help getting setup we’d be more than happy to help out if we can.



First Rank Edition 34

This can be viewed here.

Postponement of Meetings

In the light of the ongoing restrictions caused by the Covid-19 crisis, the Annual General Meeting for 2020, originally set for 17 May, has been postponed. When rearranged, suitable advance notice will be given in accordance with the terms of the WCU Constitution.

Similarly, the Management Board meeting scheduled for 15 April is also postponed until further notice.

Paul Scott

Deputy Executive Director

5 April 2020

ECU E-Magazine March 2020

This can be viewed here.

Chess Activities Online

Advice for Parents about online chess for their children

If parents are interested in allowing their children to play chess online there are lots of sites available, many of which are free to use.  However there are a number of features of which they should be aware with regard to Safeguarding.  Some of the sites offer games against a chess computer or engine; others offer games against other players.  If opting for the latter then make sure you supervise your child when they are online to ensure there is no inappropriate “chat” or choose a site that does not allow “chat”.  One such website is plenty of videos and puzzles plus games against the chess engine and against other players, but no “chat” facility.  The only communication a player can have with their opponent is to click on a selection of icons that say “Thanks” or “Good move”, for example.  The website is free to a certain level and then $50 (approx £35) for an annual subscription.  The WCU have no commercial arrangement with but parents should satisfy themselves of the Safeguarding features of this and any other website that they allow their child to access unsupervised.

FIDE is also planning some other activities, like weekly lectures. For those parents who are now in shelter-in-place with their kids and developing an improvised “homeschooling” program, FIDE will produce and distribute some basic chess-teaching materials. And FIDE will start a digital library on the FIDE website, giving access to all chess lovers to selective chess books, which authors are kindly granting permission to reproduce digitally.