Sunday 31 December 2017

Stand or Fall

As we reach the dying embers of 2017, it is natural to look back over the course of the outgoing year and to speculate about the one incoming.

Whether or not I have achieved anything significant is perhaps for others to judge, with the caveat that I am neither swayed nor motivated by opinions.

One of my real guiding forces is the pride I feel I am putting back into Teesside, one of the most maligned of all areas.

Just take a look at the captured moments from our successful year. I don’t necessarily measure success by the number of medals and titles a player can earn, but I am much more interested in how our Teesside stars act as ambassadors to our region whenever they travel to play the game they love.

Look at the photographs from our most recent London Classic expedition - and then try and tell me the people of Teesside aren’t as magnificent as anyone else, anywhere else.

The old song has it that pride comes before a fall, but to protect against such a setback I can assure all readers that I am well aware of what we have to do to ensure our future achievements match our high expectations.

We need to work harder. Play more; create more; teach more; write more.

We need to build on our successes and to show the world what Teesside, and the people of Teesside, are all about.

As I wish you all a very Happy New Year I can confirm I am more than ready for the challenge.

Who is with me?

Saturday 30 December 2017


Flashback to five years ago when I installed Boycie as Treasurer for CSC Teesside.

Err...I don't suppose anyone has seen him recently, have you...?

Thursday 28 December 2017



It’s a silent knight.

(Possibly due to tinselitis.)

Monday 25 December 2017


The chess world is eagerly awaiting the traditional Christmas Day Queen’s Peach.

Although we appear to be out of peaches on this occasion so grapefruit will have to do.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Festive Library Dates

The chess sessions at Middlesbrough Central Library will take a break on both Saturday 23 and Saturday 30 December.

The chess sessions at Stockton Central Library will take a break on Saturday 30 December.

Soon we will announce details of a third Teesside library which will soon be offering chess sessions.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Project 30: Chess Wizardry

Project 30 is all set to take chess further into the community by being part of a very special and magical evening at Stockton Central Library.

We will be there with a giant chess set and some special chess challenges.

There will be far more going on that just the chess, of course. The evening is open to all but booking (which opens on 4 January 2018) is essential. 

Please follow the instructions on the poster to avoid missing out.

Monday 18 December 2017

Delancey UKCC: Deadline Extended

Delancey UK Chess Challenge: deadline extended!

The 'early bird' fee is now active until 1 January 2018.

Enter here.

ALL schools should enter this fabulous competition.

Watch the video here.

White Chessmas

‘I’m dreaming of a White Chessmas...’

Season’s Greetings to all of our readers and followers. May all your dreams come true (except the knightmares, of course).

Friday 15 December 2017


Every year, the children ask: ‘Where’s your Christmas jumper, Mr Marsh?’

This year, I was ready for them...

Wednesday 13 December 2017

9th London Chess Classic: CSC Teesside Gallery

It is already one week since I met my Teesside entourage at King's Cross for the start of a remarkable adventure.

For our concluding report on the Chess Classic we now present a gallery of CSC Teesside in action.

All photos in this report are © Mile Sturman unless otherwise stated.
Travelodge Arrival

Trafalgar Square
Buckingham Palace

Photo © Annette Clayton


Interviewed by Grandmaster Maurice Ashley
A trophy and two medals for CSC Teesside!

Preparing for the journey home
Back where it all started - King's Cross
Aga and I working hard
Photo © Sean Marsh
Photo © Sean Marsh
Arrival at Olympia
Photo © Sean Marsh
Testing the equipment at Google HQ
Photo © Sean Marsh
Photo © Sean Marsh

An index to all of my reports from the 9th London Chess Classic can be found here.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

9th London Chess Classic: Final Summary

The London Chess Classic has now drawn to a close and our reports are coming to an end also.

Today we round up a few more memories from the two weeks and in the next and final report we will show one more gallery from our Teesside expedition.

Mid-tournament leader Fabiano Caruana was caught at the very end of the Classic by Ian Nepomniachtchi and the two players had to contest a series of tiebreakers to determine the Classic title.

Caruana eventually emerged victorious and is the new London Classic Champion.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen had a disappointing tournament but still did enough to earn overall first place in the 2017 Grand Chess Tour.

The full details of the tournament can be found here.

I have already posted a report on my own CSC training day but there was a second one towards the end of the Classic, this time delivered by Sarah Kett.

I spent a little bit of time in the training room and Sarah's delivery was excellent (as usual) and the delegates all looked to be having a very good day.

The day had been sold out for some time and it is great to see our events are proving so popular.

One of the highlights of the whole festival was the CSC Tutor Conference, which occurred across the second weekend of the Classic.

With Chris Fegan as Chairperson and myself as Deputy Chairperson, the two days were packed with excellent speakers and very important subjects including classroom management and safeguardung. I'm sure our tutors would have found much of value at our innovative conference.

I was very pleased to make my own presentation and delighted with how it was received.

The Sunday of the tutor conference also brought the snow but fortunately the route back to Teesside was clear enough to make the journey just 20 minutes longer than usual, which was a relief.

Here are some photos from the conference and a couple of snaps from earlier with which to conclude this report.