It was the general feeling of the 1999 Annual General Meeting of the Northern Counties Chess Union that it would be wrong to allow the Centenary of the Union to pass by without some reminder to mark the occasion. It would be impossible to cover the entirety of this proud affiliation of eight Northern Counties (Cheshire & North Wales, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumberland and Yorkshire) over the last one hundred years without a great deal of time and academic research.

I hope instead this small history section goes some way to giving a flavour of the Union and what it has achieved for chess-playing throughout the North of England this century, and what it does now and hopes to do in the future. Further still, I would like to think it might also inspire other chess enthusiasts to get involved with the organisation of chess playing and administration in the North, be it through their club, county, local congress, local rapidplay, junior coaching or bulletin writing. Because one thing is very evident over the last 100 years – the game we love to play can only exist through the efforts of motivated volunteers. Here’s to the next 100 years.