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Chess Tournament for Primary Schools

A fun chess tournament between primary chess players from all over Birmingham. The event is run in such a way that pupils play the majority of their games against players of a similar strength. The entire competition is completed within an hour and a half (with each participant playing six or seven games during that time) so that pupils miss only half a day of school. In the 2018-19 academic year, King Edward's School organised two chess tournaments with each being attended by up to 100 pupils. 


There are a number of chess-playing primary schools in the Birmingham area but there is no league or inter-school competition because of logistical difficulties with time and travel. The aim of this competition was to provide a forum where players could play opponents of a similar standard from other schools all at one venue on one afternoon. A format was designed so that matches were completed quickly to allow pupils to play as many games as possible in a short period of time.


King Edward's School has a long tradition for chess. The first tournament was held in 2013 and this was expanded to two tournaments in the 2014-15 academic year. We have run two tournaments a year to date. 


The tournament is run by a team of King Edward's School staff and boys. In order that the tournament is completed within a short time precise organisation is necessary and so a fairly large team of King Edward's School pupils is required. The competition takes place in the main hall which the school provides free of charge.


Primary pupils have indicated that they enjoy the fast-paced nature of the day and the large proportion of the time during which they are playing chess. Feedback from teachers has demonstrated that they are pleased that pupils get to play opponents of a similar standard and that are different from those that they compete against on a regular basis. 

Feedback from Autumn 2019 tournament: 

"An excellent opportunity for the children. They were buzzing with excitement before, during and after the event, and I am sure will take their chess to new levels now!"

Pupil Involvement

Students from King Edward's School are involved in the running of the competiiton, including setting up the boards, assisting with queries about the rules and ensuring that the transition between rounds runs quickly and smoothly. The interaction between the older and younger pupils before and after the tournament is beneficial for both sets of children.


Currently the chess tournament is provisioned twice a year, although that may be expanded in the future if demand continues to grow. This event is hugely beneficial for all involved and we hope that it will continued to be offered for some time as part of the King Edward's School Outreach programme.