Monday 28 March 2016

UKCC Last Chance Saloons

As previously mentioned, we are hosting a Megafinal here on Teesside for the first time ever, reuniting all of our local schools (in former years they were split into the York and Newcastle Megafinals).

It is worth mentioning that any players who didn't qualify from their own school tournaments - or, indeed, attend a school that does not even run the UK Chess Challenge - can turn their attention to the 'Last Chance Saloon' events, which provide extra opportunities for Megafinal qualification.

Details can be found here.

Sunday 27 March 2016

From the Archive (9)

Another dip into the archive.

I ran a number of Easter Chess Extravaganzas at the Links Primary School back in the 1990s.

Here's my Herald & Post report for the 1996 event. (Click on the image for a larger version.) And no, I didn't write the headline. That was always left to the in-house staff.

I remember buying a large amount of Easter as additional prizes. The children preferred to win them over the trophies and books.

An eight-year old Gawain Jones was already a force to be reckoned with. He is now a world-famous Grandmaster with many extremely notable achievements to his name, as player and author. Find out more at his website.

Wednesday 23 March 2016


We combined the Y3 chess classes at Sacred Heart this week to let them finish off the Easter term in style. 40 children - lots of games!

A Splendid Wall Display

A fabulous wall display at The Avenue Primary School, created by Mrs Sayer and her class of chess-mad Y4s!

Monday 21 March 2016

The Teesside Tornado

A secret training session with 'Teesside Tornado' Richard Kilty, World Champion sprinter.

Sunday 20 March 2016

From the Archive (8)

Our U-11 county team qualified for the national finals for the first time back in 1993 with a splendid performance down in Derbyshire.

This achievement meant a lot to us and we flew the Cleveland flag with pride.

Alas, just three years later, Cleveland was abolished and replaced by the four boroughs currently in operation (Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Hartlepool), so we lost our county identity. Some of our players now represent Durham and others play for Yorkshire.

The newspaper article is from my weekly column in the Teesside Herald & Post, which I wrote from 1985-2000.

Monday 14 March 2016

CSC Teesside London Expedition Index

Here is a handy index of all the CSC Teesside London Expedition reports. Just click on any headline below to activate the relevant link.

Photos © Sean Marsh unless otherwise stated.

Secret Training
               Photo © John Saunders

Reunion Evening

Tom's Blog
Photo © Fay Anderson
Caitlin's Interview
Tom's Interview

Memorable Moments
Photo © Steve Armstrong

Sunday 13 March 2016

Teesside Megafinal

**Special Announcement**

Following nearly a full year of negotiations, I am delighted to announce CSC Teesside has secured a Megafinal as part of the 2016 UK Chess Challenge.

Children qualify for the Megafinal by scoring highly in their own, internal school phase of the UK Chess Challenge.

Hosting a Megafinal on Teesside provides an excellent opportunity for many more of our children to participate and to qualify for the next stage of the competition (the Gigafinal).

Further details will follow in due course, but for now it is enough to know:

The venue: Yarm School

The date: Saturday 7 May 2016

Securing a Megafinal is a major achievement for CSC Teesside and if it is supported as well as I think it will be then it could become a permanent feature of our annual calendar of events.

Monday 7 March 2016

CSC Teesside at the London Chess Classic: Memorable Moments

Here are a few more memorable moments from CSC Teesside's trip to the 2015 London Chess Classic.

The expedition was made possible thanks to generous donations from the Michael John Norwood Memorial Trust, The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust, Chess in Schools and Communities, Ings Farm Primary School and Westgarth Primary School.

Thank you also to Jonathan Bryant for organising the junior sections and for being very amenable when some of our plans had to change at the very last minute.

The photos show various moments from the arrival at King's Cross to Tom receiving his silver medal.

Photo © Steve Armstrong
Photo © Steve Armstrong
Photo © Steve Armstrong
Photo © Steve Armstrong
Photo © Steve Armstrong
Photo © Steve Armstrong

Photo © Steve Armstrong
Photo © Steve Armstrong

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Interview: Tom - Silver Medalist

Photo © Steve Armstrong
Last week we interviewed Captain Caitlin of the London Expedition. This time we present an interview with Tom, who won a silver medal at the 2015 London Chess Classic. 

Q: How did you feel about the whole London experience?

Well, the time there was pretty fun...! Quite nice restaurants in London.

Photo © Steve Armstrong
Studying with CSC Tutor Jerzy Dybowski
Q: A connoisseur!  How about the chess itself? Did you feel nervous about your games?

I wasn't worried about them. I was actually excited to see who my my opponent would be. Some of them were very cocky, trying to show that they were so good but I was better than them.

Q: You taught them a lesson?


Q: What was your final score?

14 out of 15. I came second.

Q: How many wins and draws was that?

I won four and drew one. They stopped one game just before I was going to take his rook and I would have won. That would have been five wins.

Q: Four wins and one draw is excellent by anyone's standards. I understand you won something at the tournament. What was it?

I won a silver medal, which I'm wearing now!

Q: Did you get to see the World Champions in action?

Well...we missed them, but Caitlin stayed to watch.

Q: Caitlin showed great dedication.

Yes, but she missed going to Five Guys.

(Captain Caitlin: 'I don't care!')

Five Guys is the best!

Q: Anyway, never mind about Five Guys. What else about the London expedition stuck in your mind?

It was fun all the time. We played tig, my sister set a croissant on fire...Oh! And the theatre was class.

Q: Do you go the theatre often?

Photo © Steve Armstrong

Q: What else have you seen at the theatre?

I've seen Cinderella, and all this girly stuff...because my Dad keeps getting free tickets from work.

Q: Do you feel you are a stronger player following the London games?

Every time I play chess I feel I'm a stronger player.

Q: Did you enjoy playing people you didn't know?

Yes. Some people asked me where I was from. They had no clue! I told them - Teesside.

Q: And they had no idea where that was?

Nope! They had no idea.

Q: Well, they sure know where it is now. If you had the chance to go to London again to play chess, would you take it?


Photo © Steve Armstrong