North of the Thames v South of the Thames
A Match to Celebrate 125 years of the Southern Counties Chess Union
The Hall School, Crossfield Road, London, NW3 4NU
Saturday 16th September 2017, 1.00pm to 6.00pm.
The SCCU, founded in 1892, was the first of what was to become five English Chess Unions; the first three of which (South, North and Midlands) in 1904 founded the British Chess Federation, the predecessor of the current English Chess Federation.
Over the years, the SCCU has spanned the River Thames from West Coast to East Coast and out of which spawned the West and Eastern Unions, with the SCCU contracting to its once Metropolitan District. Some 25 counties have been part of the SCCU at some point in its last 125 years, supplemented by leagues and congresses and in its more recent history Junior Chess Associations and Clubs.
The rules of SCCU competitions were established at a Special General Meeting in 1893 when the 25 affiliated counties were organised into four regions North (West and East) and South (West and East).
The first North v South of England match also takes place in 1893 played over 100 boards, as became the norm for inter-county matches before the grade limited competitions we know today were introduced.
In September 1921, thirty years after the founding of the SCCU, 800 players competed over 400 boards in a North v South of the Thames match at Westminster Central Hall, London, as a fundraising event for the London Congress, which was soon to become International. You will have to wait until the rematch (not quite 100 years later) to discover the result.
In 1948, a jubilee year for my own county, Essex, saw the SCCU county match programme structured on three divisions, Western, Metropolitan and East. By the time of the first SCCU bulletin in 1958 it had converted to North v South.
As shown below, some counties, therefore, have claims to be considered both SCCU South and SCCU North. For the purposes of the 125th Jubilee The River Thames will decide.
|01:00 pm||Meet and Greet – plenty of catching up to do|
|01:25 pm||Opening Ceremony: Presidential address|
|01:30 pm c||Match announcements and Match Start|
|05:45 pm c||Closing ceremony: The Winners – then and now|
All moves in 125 minutes over as many boards as we can muster. 125 boards is the target but we should be able to cater for 200 !!
All games will be ECF graded.
Players will be drawn from those counties, clubs and associates affiliated to the SCCU over the last 125 years comprising all abilities and ages.
It may also be possible to arrange activities later in the afternoon for those junior players whose matches might not last the distance or to supplement the match in some way.
Light refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon free of charge (though a small charge may be levied subject to entry levels).
Any player or parent with special dietary requirements should contact the Tournament Director once registered with the appropriate Team Manager please.
Directions: Nearest tube stations: Swiss Cottage (4/5 mins walk) or Belsize Park (15 mins walk), Buses on Finchley Road and surrounding area are also good.
Public transport is advised as on street parking is limited and oversubscribed on a Saturday.
SCCU will not be providing supervision of junior players at this event. Spectators including parents and guardians are permitted in the playing hall.
Supervision by parents, guardians, carers or notified responsible adult is required at all times for participating junior players.
Photography will be controlled in accordance with the SCCU safeguarding policy.
Players with disabilities are requested to contact the Tournament Director to arrange any special requirements once registered with the appropriate Team Manager please.
Entries and Match Organisation
See below as to the allocation of the 25 counties to Team North and to Team South.
If you would like to participate in this historic event please register your interest with your Team Manager as soon as possible to not be disappointed:
North Team: Manager Chris Majer at
South Team: Manager, Mike Gunn at
Registrations will appear in due course on a dedicated anniversary tournament page on the SCCU website.
Other enquiries and notification of special requirements should be addressed to:
Tournament Director, Mark Murrell at:
SCCU 125 Tournament Director,
12th July 2017
Is Your County in the North or the South?