Chess News

Ampleforth College Chess Team qualify for National 20/20 Chess Superfinal

A team of students from Ampleforth College have qualified for the 20/20 Chess National Superfinal, making them the first ever school team to go through to this stage of the competition.

The tournament was held in York in January and saw Ampleforth teams face-off against university students and alumni, including teams from Durham University and the University of York.

Seven students took part in the competition along with Mr Jon Mutton, teacher of Classics and Housemaster of St Thomas’ Boarding House.  The students split into two teams, with Mr Mutton – who has himself represented England at chess – leading the A team to victory.  Year 11 student Ben McDonnell was awarded a Bronze medal for scoring 4/5 in his matches and the B team, whilst not securing a place in the final, performed very well, especially against such fierce competitors.

20/20 chess competitions typically attract a range of entrants, from teams experiencing their first competitive chess matches, to those who are internationally recognized.

The York competition saw 64 individual games of chess played, yet not one of them ended in draw – demonstrating the skill of the players and the aggressive attacking nature of the tournament.  The seven students who competed from Ampleforth are involved in Chess Club which takes place weekly and is one of over 70 extra-curricular activities available to all students at the school.

Mr Mutton said “Both teams did very well, especially considering the tough competition they faced.  It was a fantastic experience and we are delighted to have qualified for the finals which will take place in June.”

About 20/20 Chess
The competition is a one day rapid play event with 20 minutes for each player to make their moves in per game.  All of the teams at the start are drawn at random for the first round. After the first match each team ends up on a certain amount of points (3 for win, 1 for draw, 0 for loss).  In the second round they play another team who has the same amount of points as them and so on until after round five.

Then a league table is produced from all the teams’ results and out of those the top three sides in each category (university and non-university) go through to the Superfinal in June.  Details of the York results can be found here:


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