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The British Chess Championship at DMU 20th-30th July, 2023

by Natalie Hayton on 2023-07-19T17:03:00+01:00 | 0 Comments


As custodians of the English Chess Federation collection (ECF), we are very excited to be involved in supporting DMU host the British Chess Championship, 2023!!

What, Where & When

The British Chess Championship is the largest and most prestigious chess event in the UK with a long history dating from 1904. This year is the 109th Championship and sees a return to the Midlands with Leicester hosting the event for the first time since 1960. You can find out all you need to know about the tournaments and events taking place over the next 10 days on the British Chess Championship website.

Above: Image from the official British Chess Championship website 


With tournaments being held in The Venue, as well as the main British Championship running over 9 days, there is also the British Women's, Senior and Junior Championships taking place together with a series of open competitions. On the map below, The Venue building is No. 46 and Kimberlin Library (where Special Collections is based) is No. 25, but events will be taking place across campus and the city. For the full map with directions see: DMU Campus Map



A Mini Exhibition

Welcoming players and spectators to The Venue is an exhibition featuring items from the ECF Collection, newly installed by the Team:


Special Collections Manager, Katharine and Archives Assistant, David install the exhibition ahead of launch day.

Display case and banners to welcome players and spectators.

Chess Festival and Visits to the English Chess Federation Library

Alongside the tournaments DMU is organising and assisting with the accompanying Chess Festival featuring an exciting line-up of chess-related cultural events taking place across campus and Leicester, such as a chess film mini-season at The Phoenix, a quiz evening and heritage tours. Details for all events taking place as part of the Festival can be found on the British Chess Championship website. As part of the Festival Special Collections is hosting visits to the reader room to view the ECF collection where visitors can enjoy browsing and handling items.

Close-up of the exhibition case displaying a range of items from the ECF Collection.

For those new to Chess, the English Chess Federation (ECF) is the governing chess organisation in England and is affiliated to FIDE (the Fédération Internationale des Échecs). Its mission is to promote the game of chess in all its forms, to develop chess by creating the means to enable the highest forms of chess excellence, and to expand the game as a social and sporting activity. The ECF runs annual competitions including the British Championships, the National Schools Chess Championships and the UK Open Blitz. For more information on ECF and the collection see our catalogue: S/012 English Chess Federation and the ECF website.

Highlights from the English Chess Federation Collection

A mixed collection of papers, artefacts and books, below are some highlights.


Above: Chess medals from the Henry Golombek items of ECF.


The ECF Library is extensive with a vast array of titles from guides, tactics and openings to tournaments, personalities and rankings.

Above: Pennants the Golombek items of ECF.


Above: The Library also contains a fantastic range of magazines, such as Kingpin and Polish title, Szachista.


Above: The collection also includes ephemera such as this greeting card design by Shirley Veater, chess stamper sets, and postcards of chess set designs.

Everyone is welcome to visit the collection during the Festival and beyond and we look forward to welcoming you and sharing this prestigious collection.

Special Collections wishes all taking part in the tournament and competition events the best of luck. For those enjoying the game without the pressure of anticipating an opponent's strategy: is that the Halloween, Elephant or Queen's gambit?... we hope you enjoy the show.  


Useful Links

British Chess Championship:

DMU News. 'British Chess Championships':

The Phoenix:

The Venue:

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