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CLS are National Schools’ Chess Champions

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

This summer, City of London School pupils won the National Schools’ Chess Championship for the first time in the competition’s 60-year history.

In this 4-round competition, CLS was very much the underdog: our average rating of 166 paled in comparison to that of the favourite’s, RGS Guilford, (195) and the next clutch of teams’ besides. 

That’s not to say our victory was a fluke, but we were helped by the way the competition is scored. A single game of chess can be drawn by either agreement or if a player can make no legal moves (stalemate). At Uppingham however, while players could draw, between teams there could be no peaceful results: tied matches would be resolved by ‘bottom board elimination’. In case of a 3 -3 score, the team with a victory from the lowest-ranked player loses out. The system played to our advantage and we won two of the four matches on tiebreak. Indeed, our victory against Hampton school in the final, which was achieved by the relatively large margin of 4 games to 2, can be said to have been something of an anti-climax in comparison to our rather lucky tiebreak victories against Reading School in round 2 and RGS Guilford in round 3.

Overall, it was a fantastic and memorable performance, with the whole team receiving full colours for their hard work on their return to School.

CLS was very much the underdog.
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