Wednesday 24 May 2017

CSC Training Day Tour: Leeds

Following on from the Newcastle Training Day of last month, today we travelled to Leeds continue our tour.

The delegates were an excellent blend of seasoned chess players (including England International Jim Burnett) and lesser-experienced players.

Among other subjects, we discussed the CSC in general, how we teach chess in schools, the benefits of chess and the use of chess mini-games and variants.

Chris Fegan at the start of the day

CSC on Parade: Chris Fegan, me, Dan Staples
Jim moving around the room like a Bishop 
Mary moving like a Queen
Working on the benefits of chess

Dice Chess: Sophia (champion for the day) checkmating Winston (her Father!)

Four sixes wins the game immediately!
Thank you, everyone!

If you would like to take part in a CSC Training Day then please keep an eye on this page of our website.

Wednesday 17 May 2017

7th CSC Teesside Team Tournament

Today's tournament featured teams from 13 different schools and acted as a showcase for our local chess talent. We had players all the way from Y2 to Y6, with some making their tournament debuts and others playing their final games for their respective school teams.

Yesterday's history post shows the previous winners. Who would be triumphant on this occasion?

Mrs Watson and The Avenue were the perfect hosts; the playing conditions and facilities were excellent.
Mrs Watson is undoubtedly one of CSC Teesside's top supporters
We played two rounds on the Jamboree system (the best way to handle lots of teams over a short number of rounds).

Two teams shared first place after the highly competitive first round: Sacred Heart and Westgarth. Sacred Heart were the defending champions and they were clearly very keen to keep hold of the trophy! Several teams were hovering close behind, hoping the leaders would slip.

The second round was even more competitive than the first (although everyone played in a very sporting manner, of course).

Sacred Heart couldn't quite keep their early pace going and this allowed Throston and Billingham South to become the main challengers to leaders Westgarth.

Westgarth held onto their lead - just! - to take first place. Billingham South finished in second place and Throston took bronze.

Final Scores

7.5/8: Westgarth 

Westgarth are the new champions!
7/8: Billingham South 

Silver for Billingham South
6.5/8: Throston 

Bronze for Throston
5.5/8: Sacred Heart, Wheatlands

5/8: Ings Farm

4.5/8: Park End, Whale Hill

2.5/8: Hemlington Hall

2/8: Eskdale

1/8: St. Benedict's

0.5/8: The Avenue

0/8: Pennyman

Congratulations to everyone on being part of a fabulous afternoon of chess!

Thank you to all adults who helped with this event. Your support is greatly appreciated! 

The 8th CSC Team Tournament will be hosted by Park End around the same time next year.

Tuesday 16 May 2017

CSC Team Tournament: A Short History

Ever since 2011 we have held the CSC Team Tournament.

Tomorrow will see the 7th such event, to be held at the Avenue Primary School.

Here is a short history of the tournament to date.

Venue: Whale Hill 
Champions: Ings Farm and Throston
Ings Farm and Throston
Venue: Caedmon
Champions: Ings Farm and Billingham South

Billingham South

Venue: Ings Farm
Champions: Throston


Venue: Throston
Champions: Errington


Venue: Sacred Heart
Champions: Throston


Venue: Brambles
Champions: Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart

Venue: The Avenue
Champions: ??

Sunday 14 May 2017

6th Teesside Individual Junior Chess Championships: Details

All 17 of our CSC Teesside Schools have received a copy of the entry form. Please check with your school if you have not received a form.

A list of the CSC Teesside schools for 20-17-8 can be found here.

Event: 6th Teesside Individual Junior Chess Championships.

Venue: Yarm Preparatory School, Grammar School Lane, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, TS15 9ES 

Please note - if you played in the recent Megafinal, that was at the Senior School just across the road from the Preparatory School.

Date: Saturday 10 June 2017

Timings: Please arrive for 9.45 a.m. Play will start at 10.00 a.m. The prize giving will be at approximately 2.30 p.m.

Format: All players will play five rounds, on the Swiss system. 

We have sections for Under-7s (Year 2s), Under-9s (Year 3s and 4s) and Under-11s (Year 5s and Year 6s).

We will also have a special section for Over-11s, which will feature a selection of specially invited players. This section is being trialled at this event and we hope to build up the numbers in subsequent years.

The champions (Boys and Girls) of each section will receive the trophies and titles. 

The tournament is not just about winning titles and trophies. It should be seen primarily as an excellent experience for all competitors who will be able to learn a lot by playing against new opponents from a large number of different schools.

General Information: 

The closing date is Wednesday 7 June 2017.

We cannot accept late entries and will definitely not be able to take extra entries on the day.

We cannot offer full supervision anywhere outside of the playing rooms. Parents/guardians must supervise their children at all times other than when the children are in the playing rooms.

Parents, guardians, teachers and chess coaches will not be allowed in the playing rooms during the rounds.

Problems arising during the games will be solved by the tournament Arbiter. Children must alert the Arbiter to any problems by raising their hand. It is very difficult to solve problems retrospectively.

We will not be operating a tuck shop at this event and we advise you to bring a large packed lunch.

We will be working very hard on the day trying to ensure everyone has a great time. As usual with our events, we want to keep the pressure on the children to an absolute minimum. To help protect this ethos, we want the children to relax between the rounds and to temporarily forget about their chess battles. It would be greatly appreciated if all parents, guardians, teachers, chess coaches et al supported this ethos too and helped all of the children to enjoy the day without applying any pressure between the rounds.

Full reports will appear across our range of social media platforms. Please let me know on the day if you have any concerns regarding the use of photographs, names or any other information.

The Arbiter's decision in all matters relating to the tournament is final.

Any late announcements and updates will follow on here, on our Facebook page and via our Twitter account.

Saturday 13 May 2017

Teesside Megafinal: Gallery 3 and Summing Up

A week has flown by since the 2nd Teesside Megafinal took place at the fabulous Princess Alexandra Auditorium of Yarm School.

Today we round off our coverage of the event with a new gallery and some concluding thoughts.

Happy Birthday!

The Megafinal started with a song! It was Lily's birthday and she decided to defer her celebrations in favour of playing chess all day!

I surprised Lily by bringing her onto the stage (there we are, on the left) and everyone present sang 'Happy Birthday' to her. Lily's box of chocolates was the first of many things we awarded on the day.

I would like to say a very big thank you to Zoe, my Personal Assistant at the Megafinal. Zoe, (a chess champion herself) who was mentor and chief CSC Teesside ambassador for last December's famous London expedition, never stopped working all day and without her valuable assistance the Megafinal would definitely not have run as smoothly as it did.

Thank you, Zoe!

Looking ahead to 2018, we hope to be able to run another Megafinal at the same venue, if the main organisers are happy with our work.

As always, we will seek to iron out any faults discovered this time and try to make as many people happy as we possibly can.

This time, the new online entry system worked very well but led to confusion in a couple of instances. One or two children ended up in the wrong age section due to the days and months on their dates of birth being inverted on the original entry. I managed to spot some and change them in good time but unfortunately a couple (from St. Benedict's) slipped the net. To compound the mistake, an email correction failed to reach me.

This was entirely my fault as I did the final input of the relevant data. Apologies to those affected! We will tighten that up next year.

We also need to highlight tiebreak methods more clearly, especially as they do tend to vary between tournaments.

We will also review our capacity to see if we can open up more places. This time we exceeded our stated 150 capacity to 154 due to a large block entry. Next year we can perhaps officially increase the capacity a shade more.

Other minor matters will be ironed out too. We will not be idle, believe me.

We conclude with our third gallery from the event.

At one point there was just one game left going on...and it was a pair of Under-8s!

The Under-11s and Over-11s played in the Recital Room

Incidentally, the Princess Alexandra Auditorium hosted Leo Sayer the very next evening and the famous singer/songwriter occupied the very same spot on the stage as our children had, a little over 24 hours earlier! 

 ...and now, on to our next event...

Megafinal Coverage Index

Thursday 11 May 2017

Gigafinal: Online Entries Open

The UK Chess Challenge Gigafinal online entry system is now open for business.
There is, however, a slight problem in that some of the Teesside qualifiers are not present on the drop-down arrow.

The organisers are aware of the problem and it will be fixed very soon.

Meanwhile, it is easy to check if a player qualified from our event by perusing the results, here.

Simply click on the 'Teesside' option.

Our players will be going to the Northern Gigafinal, the full details of which can be found here.

Tuesday 9 May 2017

Teesside Megafinal: Gallery 2

Today we present a second gallery from last weekend's Megafinal, this time showcasing the prize giving ceremony.

All photographs in this gallery are © Johannes Grundmann.

 One more gallery and a final report on the Megafinal will follow soon.