Playing for England

There are two main routes to selection to represent England at chess; selection to an ECF delegation to a tournament abroad, or selection to the National Chess Junior Squad.

** This is a very complex area; if you are interested please do take the time to explore what is involved more deeply with our coaches at any of our events. **

Invitation to join an English Chess Federation (ECF) delegation to a specific tournament.

Events are largely individual events where you are part of an England delegation but are competing as an individual. There are a few team events – in particular the Glorney-Gilbert Cup (a home international for teams at U12, U14, U18 and Girls U18). There are events for all ages from U8 upwards.

The details of the selection policy are tweaked annually and vary depending on the event. Generally there is a distinction between ‘major’ tournaments (e.g. World Junior CC, European Junior CC) and ‘developmental opportunities’ (e.g. World or European Schools Individual Tournaments). Refer to the ECF Junior website for the up to date selection policy.

Having read the selection policy prospective players need to register their interest in being selected by completing the ‘expression of interest’ form on the ECF Juniors website.


Invitation to join the National Chess Junior Squad (NCJS).

Amongst other activities, the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) runs an England Under 11 team and an England Girls’ Under 11 team.

Selection for the England U11 team is by competitive trial, usually held in Liverpool in April. In order to be invited to attend the trial players must attain good performances in two or more pre-selection tournaments (usually referred to as achieving ‘half-norms’).

The list of pre-selection tournaments is published on both the EPSCA website and the NCJS website.

Players who are unsuccessful at the U11 trial can still join the NCJS as U12s or even older (up to U16) by achieving ‘half-norms’ at qualifying events.

Once invited to join, membership remains until the player reaches age 16. Most squad members are offered a fixture most years.

Selection to the England Girls U11 team is much looser, based on performance at pre-selection events through the year.