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Ficheall 2023/2024

ficheall logo123 is the national network of primary teachers promoting chess in their schools for the social and cognitive benefits it has for primary school students. Ficheall teachers use chess as a tool to teach through and an opportunity for their students to develop new skills and values, as well as representing their school at Ficheall tournaments called Féile Fichille (chess festival).

The website contains many excellent resources created by fellow primary school teachers such as:

Ficheall Summer Course

Wexford Education Support Centre have hosted the Chess for Social Skills summer course previously with great success. Upon completion of this course teachers can play chess (most attend the course having never played chess before) and can teach the basics of chess to students in their class while also teaching key SPHE curriculum objectives from 1st to 6th class (all of this without worksheets).


Féile Fichille Chess Tournaments

Féile Fichille tournaments are non-competitive chess tournaments organised annually in Term 2. No medals, prizes or trophies are presented. Instead, the day is a celebration of the students learning chess and social skills as well as their teachers’ leadership skills to introduce the initiative in their school. For many students it is their first opportunity to wear their school jersey and represent their school. More details about Féile Fichille Tournaments can be found here (including a checklist to ensure students are ready for the Féile Fichille)

Féile Fichille Timeline

  • September: Registrations Open
  • October: Registrations Close
  • November: Schools informed of tournament date and venue
  • January/ February/ March: Féile Fichille tournament will be scheduled in term 2. Registered schools will be allocated one Féile Fichille tournament to attend. Schools are required to be at the venue at 9.30am with the event concluded by 2pm

Tournaments 2024

Wicklow ETNS - Tuesday 20th February 2024
Ballon NS - Tuesday 27th February 2024
CBS Primary Wexford - Tuesday 5th March 2024
Marshalstown NS - Tuesday 12th March 2024
Comórtas: Oylegate Community Centre - Tuesday 9th April 2024

Contact Us

If you have any queries regarding the Féile Fichille Tournaments please contact Ficheall using the Contact Us link here.


Ficheall 2022/2023


Féile Fichille Chess Tournaments 

in partnership with  

Wexford Education Support Centre


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Féile Fichille Chess Tournaments were organised in partnership with Wexford Education Support Centre. In total Ficheall volunteer teachers organised 2 tournaments for the 11 schools in our region who registered with Ficheall in 2022/2023.

This resulted in 216 students representing their school in chess with 648 chess games taking place throughout the tournaments.


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Below you will see details of the tournaments as well as the schools registered for each tournament. A Ficheall chess team consists of 8 players so a school with 1 Masters team and 1 Buds team is equal to 16 students attending tournaments.

Wicklow Town ETNS - 1/2/2023
Tournament Date Wednesday 1st February 2023
Location Wicklow Town ETNS
Eircode A67 E371
Time 9.15-1.45pm
See below a list of the schools participating in this tournament:
School Masters Teams Buds Teams
Wicklow Educate Together N.S 1 4
Gaelscoil an Inbhir Mhóir 4 0
Sacred Heart N.S. Aughrim 1 0
St. Joseph's Primary School, Gorey 2 1
Gaelscoil Inis Córthaidh - 2/2/2023
Tournament Date Thursday 2nd February 2023
Location Gaelscoil Inis Córthaidh
Eircode Y21 PP59
Time 9.30-2pm
See below a list of the schools participating in this tournament:
School Masters Teams Buds Teams
St Fintan’s NS Taghmon 1 1
Piercestown National School 1 1
Kilrane NS 1 1
Ballon National School 3 1
Ballymitty NS 1 0
Kilnamanagh CNS 1 0
Gaelscoil Inis Córthaidh 1 1

Ficheall will be organising a series of online tournaments on Wednesdays in November. There will be three days of practice tournaments, culminating in Lá Fichille - a one day celebration of chess in Irish primary schools. 

These tournaments will take place on the following dates:

  1. 9th November at 6.05pm

  2. 16th November at 6.05pm

  3. 23rd November 1.30pm (in school) and 6.05pm

  4. 30th November - Lá Fichille - 1.30pm (in school) and 6.05pm

All these tournaments will take place using the free platform. For information about setting up your school team on Lichess click here

Information on registering with Lichess for students and parents.

Setting up a school team on Lichess - for teachers.

You must have created a school team before registering for the tournaments.

Register your school for online Ficheall tournaments here

Once you have registered your school team, you must join the Ficheall 2022/23 team on Lichess in order to be able to participate in the tournaments. Just click on the link and “join”. Once you are approved you will be ready to go. The details of the Wednesday tournaments will be sent to all registered schools on Tuesday. Share the details with your students so that they can take part.


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Frequently asked questions:

How many players on a team?

You can have as many players as you wish on a team, but only the top 8 scoring players will count towards your team score/

Are the tournaments competitive?

Yes. Ficheall’s philosophy for over the board tournaments is to prioritise participation and enjoyment over competitiveness. However, the platform being used does not allow for this and teams scores are shown during and after the tournament.

Does the teacher need to be present for the evening tournaments?

No, the teacher can watch the tournament, but there is no requirement to be there.

Do you have to participate in all the tournaments?

No, but we would encourage everyone to try to participate in the Lá Fichille tournaments.

Can you enter 3rd and 4th class players in the 5th and 6th class tournaments?

Yes, any player can play up a level, but 5th and 6th class children cannot play in the 3rd and 4th class tournaments.

A quick reminder that the deadline to register for the one-day Féile Fichille chess tournament is this coming Friday 21st October at 5pm.
If you are new to Ficheall tournaments (last held in early 2020) please get in touch for more information (Ficheall Tournament page here) or to speak with a teacher who has previously attended.
Date & Venue
The tournament venue and date (January, February or March 2022) will be decided once all registrations are confirmed. Schools will be notified of their tournament date and venue in November. Schools can list dates which are suitable for them in the registration form. If the date is unsuitable for your school (when notified in November) then a full refund is available.
Please be aware that registration is a two step process with both steps to be completed by Friday 21st October @5pm
*€40 per team being entered - pay by card, transfer or cheque
If you have any questions please get in touch here,
The Ficheall Team
Twitter: @Ficheall_ie

 Social Benefits

The social benefits of playing chess for children are well documented and include:

  • Learning to win with grace and accept losses. Chess etiquette promotes good sportsmanship.
  • Developing impulse control: Playing chess teaches children to consider the consequences of their actions.
  • Mental resilience and confidence: Learning a new skill can help to build confidence and learning from one’s losses helps to develop mental resilience.

Chess helps children to develop everyday social skills by bringing them together playing games face to face. Chess players now make up one of the world’s largest communities – 605 million adults play chess regularly!


Cognitive Benefits

Chess has been described as the art of logical thinking. Learning to play helps children to explore and develop many new skills.

Chess may help children to:

  • improve memory
  • develop problem solving skills
  • improve concentration and focus
  • develop planning and foresight
  • improve creativity

Chess is a low cost activity that has many obvious benefits for children’s social and cognitive development.  There are no barriers to entry and children who are having difficulties with literacy or numeracy can participate in, and excel at, chess.

Chess and Mental Resilience

BeWell-DoWell provide resilence and mental fitness workshops and are one of the many organisations promoting the work of and the playing of chess in schools.

Beginner Lessons

Beginner Lessons is a series of 10 lessons to teach students the basics of chess from zero knowledge to understanding checkmate.

Using mini-games is a fun, effective, and engaging way to introduce children to chess. The game is taught piece by piece, before learning more complex concepts like check and checkmate. The following lessons were developed by Liam Murray and are complemented by a set of videos and posters by Andrew O’ Sullivan. Check out the Ficheall YouTube channel for more fun chess mini-games.

A chess teacher must first make sure that they have have enough chess sets and a demonstration board. Check out the Chess Resources page for more information on purchasing sets and demo boards.

Social Skills Through Chess

Within the series of 10 lessons you will also find lesson plans and resources to help you, a primary school teacher, to deliver a whole class/group social skills programme. The series of lessons will achieve specific learning objectives of the Social, Health and Personal Education (SPHE) curriculum for students from 1st to 6th class. The lessons achieve this through the use of short activities before and after each chess lesson. For instance, the first lesson (the Pawn) focuses on eye contact to show respect and uses the chess mini-game to practice this in a meaningful way. An short document which provides an overview of the social skills taught and SPHE learning objectives achieved from 1st to 6th class is available to view and download here:

Chess for Social Skills Overview – SPHE Curriculum


Wexford/Wicklow/Carlow is the network of primary school teachers in Ireland who promote social, cognitive and mental-fitness skill development through chess. Ficheall organises one-day chess tournaments to act as a focal point to encourage the playing of chess in schools.

Find out more about tournaments here.

Having read through the tournaments page, if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In Wexford, tournaments are organised in partnership with Wexford Education Centre.

Fees: To cover the cost of chess sets, arbiter services, venue costs, insurance, website maintenance and other administration costs charge a flat entry fee of €40 per chess team (8 players) which equates to €5 per student. a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteer teachers and principals.

Venues: tournaments are typically organised at local community halls, GAA halls and school halls. In 2019/2020, schools who volunteer their halls for use will avail of a 50% reduction in entry fees for all teams entered. Hosting a tournament has the added advantage of zero transport costs also. If you believe your school hall is suitable please view the Venue Checklist document on the tournaments page. There is an option on the registration form below to indicate your school’s willingness to host a tournament.

Registration closed on 15th November and we have 13 schools from our district (Wexford, East Carlow, South Wicklow) registered (up from 4 in 2018/2019). See map here. This growth is typical in any county we've expanded into and we anticipate similar growth in our region next year. The growth in interest from schools is helped hugely by our Education Centre supporting the initiative and providing Chess summer courses. 
We will have over 300 students representing their  school in chess in Wexford in March. Each school will attend one of the 3 regional tournaments. These are non-competitive with all schools receiving certs. We do however, invite the schools that do well in the regional tournaments to compete in Féile Fichille. The standard at this tournament is higher, and while more competitive in nature with winning teams receiving prizes, the focus is still very much on participation and fun.
Here is the list of tournament venues and dates for March 2020.
Venue Tournament Date
Wicklow ETNS Tuesday 3rd March
Gaeilscoil Inis Córthaigh Wednesday 4th March
Bunscoil Rís, New Ross Tuesday 10th March

The Féile Fichille tournament will be held in Oylegate Comminity Centre on Tuesday 31st March.

Gallery 2020 

Well done to Bunscoil Ris, New Ross  & Gaelscoil Inis Corthaigh for   hosting the regional tournaments recently  over 200 students representing their schools !