Sunday 30 October 2016


...or treat?

A cautionary tale.

Brave Trick or Treaters
Show no distress;
I'll give you some sweets 
If you can beat me at chess

Brave Trick or Treaters 
Your defeat could be quick;
After 600 years
I've learned the odd trick

Brave Trick or Treaters
It won't go your way;
Lose the chess game - 
There's a forfeit to pay.

Brave Trick or Treaters
We welcome your call;
Others have tried here
And I've eaten them all...

Thursday 27 October 2016

UK Chess Challenge Saved

Following a period of great uncertainty, it has been confirmed that the UK Chess Challenge has been saved.

The new organisers are Sarah and Alex Longson. Sarah won the UK Chess Challenge back in 1996.

Schools should receive their entry forms very soon and it is hoped the tournament will be able to run to the normal schedule from the Spring term onwards.

We have confirmed our support for the new organisers and also our provisional interest in hosting a Megafinal on Teesside, just as we did this year.

Further updates will follow.

Monday 17 October 2016

Broadway Chessday

Today brought my first Sunderland Broadway Junior School Chessday of the new school year.

The story of Broadway chess can be discovered by reading this post from last Summer. I spend one full day per term at Broadway to supplement their First Move chess programme. All of the other chess at Broadway is masterminded by Year 4 teacher and long-term chess supporter Lisa Hastie.

I introduced the Year 4s to the chess board, the pawns and the bishops and they played lots of min-games with those pieces.

The children were playing mini-games in no time at all.

70 new children have now been introduced to chess and it will be interesting to see if they can match the fine achievements of last year's players.

The day was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to my next trip to Broadway, which will probably be in April 2017.

Meanwhile, it was great to catch up with last year's Year 4s - this term's new Year 5s! - as they told me how much they had enjoyed the recent Yarm Chess Championships. More tournament opportunities will follow soon!

Broadway at Yarm School

Monday 10 October 2016

Target Practice (1)

Time to practice your checkmate skills.

It is White's move in each of the five positions given below.

All you have to do is checkmate the Black king - in just one move.

From the Archive (17)

Back in October 2011 we celebrated the first successful year of Chess in Schools and Communities with a day-trip to Westminster, where we met many chess luminaries, including Grandmaster Garry Kasparov (the 13th World Chess Champion).

Thursday 6 October 2016

Special Visitor

Chris Fegan, Chief Operating Officer of Chess in Schools and Communities, was on Teesside today to see one of our top schools in action.

Last week, when I mentioned to the Park End Y3s about ''a special visitor from London'' one girl became very excited and said, ''Oooh! I hope it's Harry Styles from One Direction! I like him!''

However, despite him not being able to sing his way through Live While We're Young, the children were not disappointed when Chris helped them with their lessons, workbooks and chess mini-games. 

Chris was rewarded with a healthy Park End lunch, which set him up for his return journey back up to London.

Chris enjoyed his day on Teesside, just as he did last year, and hopes to return in 2017.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

22nd Yarm Chess Championships: Gallery (3)

Today we conclude our coverage of the 22nd Yarm Chess Championships with a gallery from our prize giving ceremony.

Thank you to everyone who supported our record-breaking event. We hope to see you again at our next tournament.

22nd Yarm Chess Championships: Gallery (2)

Our second gallery from the 22nd Yarm Chess Championships features the Over-11 section, which brought together 26 Teesside stars who were specially invited to take part in this new, experimental section.

Feedback has been very positive indeed and we are definitely planning on adding a similar section to our next tournament.

The third and final gallery from the tournament will follow tomorrow and will feature the prize giving ceremony.

Monday 3 October 2016

22nd Yarm Chess Championships: Gallery (1)

Today we present the first of three galleries from the 22nd Yarm Chess Championships.