Northern Counties Chess Union
A constituent unit of the English Chess Federation
The NCCU normally aims to make three awards of one sort or another as follows:
For each of these, the option to nominate a candidate for the award or to facilitate the award is normally offered each year to a county selected on the basis of turns determined by alphabetical order of county name. The county rotas are different for each award, so that three different counties would normally be involved in any one year. For the school awards, the option is to nominate a school to receive the award, such nomination being subject to Council approval. For the British Championship place, the option is to nominate a congress to host determining who receives it.
NCCU School Award
This award is essentially for meritorious contribution by the school to the promotion of chess, which might of course take any of a number of different forms. It is the responsibility of the county allotted the option to identify a suitable school and to supply the nomination backed by some form of citation to Council. Acceptance of a nomination, or otherwise, is decided by Council. The winner receives a set, board and clock, appropriately inscribed.
The option is normally allotted at the AGM (normally June), and the nomination is to be presented to the following Council meeting (usually December).
A citation might consist of only a few paragraphs of text. An example of a more ambitious effort can be found here.
British Chess Educational Trust Award
To quote from the ECF website,
Recipients receive an engraved board, set of wooden pieces and a digital clock.
The NCCU endeavours to stimulate the process by inviting a member county (determined as above by rota) to advance a nomination (as for the NCCU School Award) for the NCCU to forward to the BCET, whose closing date for receipt is normally 31st of May in a given year, but if they know one is on its way then an extension might be granted.
British Championship Free Place
Participation in the British Championship in a given year is by qualification only, but there are numerous routes by which a player may qualify. Rules for qualifying potentially vary from one year to the next, but one traditional route was been nomination by an English Chess Union (such as the NCCU). Thus, as things stand, the NCCU’s current Champion or nominee as at 1st May in a given year is granted entry to the British Championship of that year (usually starting around the start of August). Provided the nominee takes up the place in the British Championship, and actually plays, the NCCU will refund the entry fee, which is where “free” comes in.
Of course, timing may be a problem for a qualifier, so qualifiers via this route may play either in the championship they qualify for, or in the immediately following championship.
The NCCU offers, to a selected county, the option to nominate a congress to produce an NCCU nominee for this qualification route. This is normally linked to the awarding of the hosting of the NCCU Individual Championships, and is awarded to a county on the basis of the same alphabetical rota, for which click here.
Rotas for School/Junior Award