Welcome to the Somerset County Chess Association

The web-site for chess in Somerset

About the SCCA

The SCCA is a members' organisation of independent chess clubs. It is affiliated to the West of England Chess Union and to the English Chess Federation. The SCCA  organises a competitive chess league with three Divisions catering for all standards of player from novice to expert. There is also the annual Frome Chess Congress, an open congress that any player may enter. The congress is a British Championship Qualifying tournament and incorporates the Somerset Championships.

Please send news of Somerset chess events, interesting games, match reports, corrections, notifications of broken links, and suggestions to improve the website to Somerset Chess.

Site last updated 16/12/2018.

Upcoming Events in the Region

January 19th WECU County Championships: Somerset v Cornwall. Exminster Victory Hall, Exminster, Devon EX6 8DF

January 12th - 13th 3rd Somerset New Year Congress. Walton Park Hotel, Wellington Terrace, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7BL
Entry Form and Details

January 25th - 27th 2nd Simon Bartlett Memorial Tournament. The Livermead House Hotel, Seafront, Torquay TQ2 6QJ



Here is another game from the recent Frome Congress, this time from the Major section. At first sight there is nothing particularly special about the game until one notices that the player with the Black pieces is only ten years old and the youngest ever player in the 29-year history of the Frome Major. The player with the white pieces is the veteran Tim Woodward, a two-times winner of the Section.

Please send in games. These can be anything with a local interest. Interesting games from any Division of the Somerset League are especially welcome.

Previous games shown here can be found in the Games Archive.


Chess Puzzle of the Day

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Latest Somerset League results, fixtures and current League tables

04/01/2019 - WECU Counties Competition. The next match is against Cornwall on the 19th January. There will be Open and U160 teams.

16/12/2018 - Frome Congress. The 30th Frome Congress will be held on the 17th - 19th May. Full details and entry information may be found on the Congress web-site.

06/11/2018 - Web-site host. This web-site now has a new host service. Please let your web-master know if you encounter problems whilst viewing the site.

15/10/2018 - New Membership Fees. At the ECF AGM on 13/10/2018 new fees for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons were approved. The complete breakdown is here. Adult Bronze membership is set to rise from 16 to 18 and then 20. Adult Silver from 23.50 to 27 and then 30. Adult Gold from 34 to 38 and then 41. The Board's justification for this is contained in this document. Questions may legitimately be asked about the wisdom of increases of between 20% and 30% (in round figures) at a time of austerity and economic uncertainty, particularly considering the lack of any prior consultation of the wider membership. There was no mention of these proposed increases in the ECF October newsletter to members.

19/09/2018 - Somerset won the Open Section of the WECU Jamboree held on 15/09/2018 with 7.5 points ahead of Devon on 6.5 and Cornwall on 4. Somerset were less successful in the Graded Section, which was won by East Devon. Individual game results. Thanks are due to Guy Greenland for organizing the teams. Guy has also agreed to act as Match Captain for  a Somerset team in the 2018-19 WECU Counties Championship.

04/09/2018 - Somerset League Rules have been updated to reflect decisions made at the 2018 AGM.

29/08/2018 - The new season's Somerset League fixtures are now published (see link above). The club contacts page has also been updated.

29/08/2018 - Time controls. Clubs are reminded that the 2018 AGM decided to change the default time control to 90 minutes per game (i.e. no final 15 minute session). Although this is a guillotine finish it is still technically classed as quick-play and the usual quick-play finish rules apply in the final 2 minutes. However, the AGM also decided to allow matches to use a different time control if both teams agree. The principal purpose of the added flexibility is to permit the use of incremental time controls in accordance with the standard 2018 FIDE Laws of Chess. (In the January 2018 Laws quick-play finish time controls have been down-graded to the same status as a chess variant.) If an incremental time control is used, 80 minutes plus 10 seconds per move from start of game is recommended (as used successfully in the Bristol League).

19/07/2018 - Jon Underwood from Devon points out that next season will be the 100th time the County Championships have been contested (more than 100 years old but there were some wars etc...). It would be very sad if this is the year that Somerset drop out of the Championships for want of a match captain. Is there any Somerset player willing to take on this role? As noted below (07/06/2018) your webmaster can help anyone interested in taking on this post by supplying player contact details.

07/06/2018 - Your Results Officer and Webmaster would like to step down from both roles at the 2019 AGM. He is of course willing to provide any necessary help, training and on-going support for anyone interested in taking on either role. Contact Gerry for more details.

07/06/2018 - The post of Somerset match captain is currently vacant. This post is extremely important and needs to be filled urgently if Somerset are to field a County team next season. The first County match is the Jamboree on 15th September. Your webmaster can help anyone interested in taking on this post by supplying player contact details.

07/06/2018 - At the 2018 SCCA AGM held on the 4th June the following decisions were made: a) Quick-play finishes are no longer mandatory and clubs may agree an alternative time control, e.g. one with 10 second increments as used in the Bristol League. b) The default time control was changed from 15 minute quick-play finish to a 90 minute per game 'guillotine' finish. c) The default time, i.e. the elapsed time before a game may be declared lost by default in the event of a player not turning up, was set to 30 minutes. d) In Divisions 2 and 3 the restriction that a player may not play for more than one team in the same Division was changed to 'no player may play for more than one club'. (The purpose of the latter is to help clubs field teams where otherwise they may have difficulties through shortage of players.) Not all of these changes are uncontroversial.

For more on these and previous news items see the news page.