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Ulster Team Championship

Winners of the Ulster Team Championship 1985-2004

League competition between clubs in Belfast and the nearby towns had started in the 1890s. The winner of the Ulster Trophy, the tournament for Senior (from 1945, Division 1) teams, was regarded as the Ulster champion team. However, with the emergence of a strong City of Derry Club in the mid-1950s, this status could no longer be taken for granted. Although City of Derry did compete on two occasions in Division 1 in the mid-1960s, the distances involved in travelling made this difficult. Therefore, usually a match was held between the winners of the "Belfast and District" Division 1 and City of Derry to decide the Ulster champion - and Ulster's representative in the Irish National Club Championship.

From 1985 onwards the Ulster Chess Union established an entirely separate Ulster Team Championship. In its first year this tournament was run on a 6 round Swiss format. The trophy presented to the winners of the competition had previously been awarded to the winners of a weekend competition for Belfast and District clubs, held in 1982 and 1983 and won respectively by Newtownards and Queen's University.

In 1986 a knock-out system was used and this continued to be the format until 2000. This explains why the championship is frequently referred to as the "Knock-out Cup".

In 2001 the format changed to an all-play-all rapidplay qualifier followed by a normal time-rate final between the top two teams. There was a return to the knock-out system in 2002, but in the two subsequent years the event followed the system first adopted in 2001.

1985 - QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY
1986 - FISHERWICK
1987 - FISHERWICK
1988 - FISHERWICK
1989 - FISHERWICK
1990 - QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY
1991 - CITY OF DERRY
1992 - CITY OF DERRY
1993 - CITY OF DERRY
1994 - FISHERWICK
1995 - NORTH BELFAST
1996 - CITY OF DERRY
1997 - NORTH BELFAST
1998 - NORTH BELFAST
1999 - RVH
2000 - NORTH BELFAST
2001 - NORTH BELFAST
2002 - FISHERWICK
2003 - RVH
2004 - CLIFTON HOUSE

The format for the Ulster Team Championship was radically changed by a decision at the UCU AGM in June 2004. The Championship moved to an early season date and became a competition for the top three teams from the previous season's Belfast & District League Division 1 plus a "wildcard" entry chosen by the UCU Committee. As a result of the earlier date in the season, there were 2 Championships held in 2004.

2004 - FISHERWICK

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