County Chess Associations

Regular players are likely to be familiar with some of the work of the counties. On the most visible level they may organise leagues for member clubs, congresses for individuals and establish teams to participate in county competitions organised by the ECF and its constituent units.

Being selected for a county team may be as simple as letting the captain know you are available for selection, for many captains discover that a large part of their job is twisting arms to get a full team out.

Some county boundaries seem to be policed more strictly than others. For example Hinckley play in the Leicestershire league, their nearest neighbours are Nuneaton 3 miles away in Warwickshire and who play in the Coventry and Leamington leagues. Lowestoft (Suffolk) play only in the Norfolk league, whilst Northampton play in both the Northamptonshire Silver Kings league and the Bedfordshire League. Examples like these abound.

The county structure in chess was established well before the late 20th century administrative reorganisations and so is based on the traditional counties. However there are now both Merseyside and Cleveland associations. To add a little confusion to Chingland the maps show a mixture of pre- and post-reorganisation boundaries.

District Associations

District associations have been formed to organise chess in areas surrounding population centers. Their boundaries may cross county borders. For example the North Staffordshire and District Chess Association covers a circular area centerd on Hanley bus station (Hanley is the city center of Stoke-on-Trent). This area contains parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire. Nevertheless the league is affiliated to the Staffordshire County chess Association, which does not run a county league.

Yorkshire on the other hand does have a county league as well as numerous district leagues based around its many sizeable towns and cities.