The club was formed in April 1978 as a result of the success of the first Neath & District Junior Chess Championship, held at Alderman Davies’ School the previous March when 122 entries resulted in 79 participants. (The following year there were 182 entries and 18 others were stopped from entering). A record 135 took part in the Championships. The primary aim of the new club was to foster chess amongst school children and young adults in the Neath Area. The first meeting was held at Alderman Davies’ School on 10 April and tere were 35 people present, including 8 adults. This number grew so that when the club was formally founded on 5 June there were 15 adult members. The club name of Castell Nedd was adopted the following week.
The club held a series of friendly matches to test its strength, the first being played on 12 June against Killay, losing 4.5-8.5. The first winners for the club were Andrew Thomas, Robert Williams, Gary Hughes, all Junior, and Howard Roberts, a local dentist.
In the first season (1978/9), two teams were entered into Division 5 of the West Wales Chess League. A third team was entered late after Tycoch withdrew from the league. The ‘A’ Team comprising Lloyd Watkins *.5/12, Tony Roberts 7/10, Andrew Jones 6.5/10, Andrew Thomas 7/12, Michael Thomas 7.5/13 and Karl Griffiths 5/8 won promotion to the Fourth Division by finishing third. This was in spite of being the bottom but one team as late as February!
1979/80 saw 5 teams entered by the club. The ‘A’ team – Martyn Griffiths, Michael Thomas, Karl Griffiths, Paul Grieg, Andrew Thomas and Lloyd Watkins (who left after 5 games to work in Germany), were the Fourth Division Champions with 12 wins, 2 draws and no defeats. The ‘B’ side finished third and only missed promotion on Game Points. The ‘C’ team, led by A.D. (Tony) Roberts and Keith Whitehouse also won promotion from Division 5.