Chess in Sweden
The Swedish Chess Federation estimates that around 2.7 million Swedes know how to play chess. Out of these 2.7 million, there are 250 000 people who continuously follow news about chess in magazines or on the Internet.
The Swedish Chess Federation
The Swedish Chess Federation (Sveriges Schackförbund, SSF) is a member organization for district associations and chess clubs in Sweden. SSF has about 40 000 members in 1 000 clubs in 24 districts.
Since 36 000 of these are youth, that means 25 years or younger, you can say that SSF is to be considered a distinct youth association.
SSF was established in 1917 by the chairman of that time, Ludvig Collijn, of Stockholm’s Chess Federation (Stockholms Schackförbund). Its aim was to broaden the interest in chess and to raise the playing strength of the elite players in the country.
Activities of the Swedish Chess Federation
The Swedish Chess Federation is led by an elected representative board of 9 people. The chairman up until the congress in 2020 is Ted Gemzell, Stockholm.
The work in SSF is divided in several committees with, among other things, the following tasks:
- Allsvenskan (”the All-Swedish”) is the Swedish league and consists of Elitserien (”the Elite Series”), Superettan (”the Super One”) and divisions I-III. In total there are about 175 teams playing in Allsvenskan.
- Through their club manager, Peter Bergström, SSF selects teams for the big international team tournaments: the Chess Olympiad and Lag-EM (Euro Championships for teams).
- SSF is responsible for participation in international exchange on the junior as well as the senior side. SSF also arranges national tournaments where the most important one is Schack-SM (”Swedish Chess Championship”). Schack-SM is a tournament for both local club levels and the elite levels and takes place for nine days every summer.
- On the youth side SM-tournaments are arranged every year, for among others school youth, girls and school teams. In “Tränarskolan” (”the Trainer’s school”) new youth leaders are trained every year in the entire country.
- The Swedish Chess Federation publishes the member magazine “Tidskrift för schack” (”Chess Magazine”) and is responsible for daily news coverage on www.schack.se.
Schack i skolan (“Chess in school”) and Schackfyran (”The Chess Four”)
Schack i skolan and Schackfyran might be the most important activities right now in the Swedish Chess Federation.
Today there are around 750 school chess clubs and every year 15 000 children participate in one of Schackfyran’s many qualification rounds.