DUKSCC Sussex Megafinal

Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Sussex Megafinal

Downlands Community School, Hassocks, 12th May 2018

Congratulations! If you are reading this you may have qualified for the Sussex Megafinal. As one of the best players in your school you will now be playing the other best players from all over Sussex!

This page is intended to give you some idea of what to expect. If you do not find the information you need, please let us know.

The aim of the day is simply to enjoy a great day’s chess against the best in the county and make some new friends! Good luck!

Do I need to qualify?

Primary School aged children (up to and including Year 6 (U11)) – This event is open ONLY to those who have qualified (usually through their School or chess club).

Secondary School aged children – qualification not required.

How do I enter?

All entries are handled through the DUKCC central booking system.

Entries must be received by midnight on the closing date Wednesday 9th May. Entries may close sooner if venue capacity is reached.

This is a very large tournament – STRICTLY NO ENTRY ON THE DAY

Venue and Parking

Downlands Community School, Dale Avenue, Hassocks

Parking is available on the school site and will be marshalled. There is also a public car park further down Dale Avenue (2 mins walk), and also at Hassocks Railway Station (fee payable – 5-10 mins walk).
There is also on street parking in nearby roads – please allow sufficient time to find parking, and please park considerately.

There will be a wide range of very reasonably priced catering items – hot & cold drinks, confectionery, sandwiches, light snacks (pizza slices, bacon rolls etc) and hot meals.

On arrival

Our registration team will welcome you on arrival and direct you to your playing hall, parent rooms and catering facilities. Registration is important because it allows us to check that players are in the correct section before play begins.

Find a base in the parents’ area and make sure your children know where to find you. Parents/carers can accompany players into the playing hall, help them find their table, and listen to any announcements but are asked to leave once play starts….so it is important your child knows where to find you as games can last any time from 5-25 minutes.

Parents and carers are responsible for their children when they are not in the playing halls.

How is the tournament Organised?

In your school qualifying competition you probably played children of all ages.

The Megafinal is organised into age groups: Under 7, Under 8, Under 9, Under 10, Under 11, Under 12, Under 13, Under 14, Under 15, Under 16, Under 17, and Under 18. In each age group there are boys and girls sections. In the most part you will only be playing children the same age and gender; although where entries are low it becomes necessary to merge sections together.

For 2017, your age will be based on how old you were at midnight on 31st August 2017. So, for example, children born between 1st September 2006 – 31st August 2007 (usually in school year 6) will have been age 10 on 31st August and so will be in the Under 11 category. We ask that you register on arrival so we can check we have your age and section recorded correctly – this helps to ensure a prompt start at 10:00am.

Timetable for the day

At your school chess club, you probably played one or two rounds each week. At the Megafinal you will play all 6 rounds in a day and you will know by the time you go home if you have qualified for the next stage (the Gigafinal).

Everyone plays in all rounds – it is not a ‘knockout’ competition.

Arrival 08:45 – 09:30
Introduction 09:45
Round 1 10:00 – 10:50
Round 2 11:20 – 12:10
Round 3 12:30 – 13:20
Round 4 13:40 – 14:30
Round 5 14:50 – 15:40
Round 6 16:00 – 16:50
Prize Giving 17:20

What else do I need to know?

The players you are drawn against is decided by the ‘swiss’ system, whereby players on the same number of points play each other. So, for example, if you win in Round 1 and so have 1 point you will play someone else who has 1 point in the next round.

Another difference from the School competition stage is the scoring: at the Megafinal you will score

  • 1 point if you win
  • 0.5 point if you draw
  • 0 points if you lose

Sometimes there may be an uneven number of players so one player does not have a match. This is called a ‘bye’ and you will score 1 point. You will probably have the chance to be paired with a player from another section for a ‘friendly’.

Matches will take place in a large playing hall where silence must be maintained at all times. If you need help, put your hand up and a referee (called an ‘arbiter’ in chess) will come and help you.

Some games, especially in the older age groups, may be played using chess clocks which measure the time taken by each player. Don’t worry if you have not used one before; they are quite simple to use and will be explained at the start of the competition.


To get a feel for the scale of the event, have a look at the report and pictures from last years Megafinal HERE.

What happens next?

The highest placed boy in each age group becomes the Sussex Supremo, and qualifies for the next stage – the Gigafinal. The highest placed girl in each age group becomes the Sussex Suprema, and qualifies for the Gigafinal.

Everyone scoring  points or more (out of a possible 6) qualifies for the Gigafinal.

Sussex Supremo/a titles and trophy will only be awarded to players that live or go to school in Sussex. Players from outside Sussex can still win 2nd or 3rd place prizes, and qualify for the Gigafinal.

Titles and prizes will be subject to tie-break rules.

  1. Direct Encounter
  2. Median-Buchholz
  3. Buchholz Cut 1
  4. Buchholz
  5. Drawing of Lots

These can appear complicated but will be explained on the day if they become relevant. For players who are used to competing regularly the important thing to know is that the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge does not use ‘sum of progressive scores’ as a tie-break.

What happens if I qualify for the Gigafinal?

The 2018 venue for the Southern Gigafinal is Orleans Park School, Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3BB. U7 – U10 boys will compete on Saturday 30th June. U11 – U18 boys, plus all girls, will compete on Sunday 1st July.

There are other Gigafinals:

  • Midlands Gigafinal – 7th-8th July 2018 : Grace Academy, Solihull. B37 5JS
  • Northern Gigafinal – 14th-15th July 2018: Wright Robinson College, Abbey Hey Lane, Manchester. M18 8RL

If you qualify you will be handed information about the format and what to do next at prizegiving.

Whether you qualify for the Gigafinal or not, we hope you have a fun day, and would love to see you again at any of our other training events or competitions in the future (see our Calendar).