Monday 30 October 2017

2018 Delancey UK Chess Challenge

As we start the new half-term, here is a timely reminder that entries are due for the 2018 Delancey UK Chess Challenge.

All CSC Teesside schools will enter, as usual, but it is important to realise that *any* UK school can enter also, whether or not they are part of the CSC or indeed any other group or project.

Click here for further details.

Thursday 19 October 2017

From the Archive: Westminster Celebration

It was on this week back in 2011 that we took a party of children from CSC Teesside to London celebrate a fantastic first year of Chess in Schools and Communities.

Guests on the day included former World Champion Garry Kasparov and a gallery of stars from British chess.

One of our players was interviewed for 'Newsround' and we all had a great day.

Chess in Schools and Communities has grown considerably since that first year.

Here is the report I wrote back in October 2011.

Monday 16 October 2017

New Pupils at Broadway

The first of my three scheduled visits to Sunderland's Broadway Junior School took place today and I had the pleasure of meeting the two new classes of Year 4s.

Prior to today, my most recent visit had been back in April, when I worked with last year's Year 4s for the third and final time.

Long-term chess supporter and Year 4 teacher Lisa Hastie had already taught the new students half of the pieces and we were able to examine two more during my time there today.

It was a good day to be involved in an indoor activity, as the remains of Hurricane Ophelia had turned day into night with a sinister surfeit of Sahara sand.

Concentration is required while moving around the room like a chess piece
Today we covered the powerful queen and the tricky knight, utilising a range of mini-games, quests and other tasks.

Two brave volunteers demonstrate the Queen vs. Pawns mini-game
Suddenly everyone is playing
Make way for the Queen of Chess!
The children worked hard all day and I am looking forward to seeing how much they will remember by the time I return in the New Year.

Lots of questions from attentive students
Two more volunteers for a mini-game
I wonder who won?

The pain of defeat and the joy of victory

Thank you, Broadway!

Sunday 15 October 2017

Training Day Tour: New Dates Announced

The CSC has three more training days on the horizon.

One is in Manchester and two are in London.

Full details can be found here.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Project 30: Simultaneous Display

The first two events for Project 30 were unveiled at the start of October.

We can now reveal the next event will be a simultaneous display by WFM (Woman FIDE Master) Sarah Hegarty.

Sarah, the owner and organiser of the UK Chess Challenge (the world's largest chess tournament) is an England international, former British Champion and former winner of the UK Chess Challenge.

Find out more about Sarah and her chess on her official website.

Sarah will be appearing at one of our schools soon to play against 15-20 of our juniors at the same time.

Further details will follow.

Schools can enrol here for the UK Chess Challenge.

There will be at least 10 more announcements for Project 30. Stay tuned!

With Sarah at the 2017 UKCC Gigafinal. David Hardy looks on

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Project 30: More Announcements Tonight

Project 30: More events will be announced tonight...

Tactics Test

An extra feature at our recent junior tournament was an open workshop run by my great friend and long-term supporter of chess on Teesside, Mr Nevil Chan.

Nevil very kindly spent the day demonstrating all sorts of strategies and tactics to anyone who wanted to improve their play.

The children visited the workshop after every tournament game and we are very keen to make this a permanent part of our future events. 

Top solvers, earning a travel chess set, were:

Eden & Freya (Westgarth)

Lilaia & Joe (Hemlington)

Jasmine & Connor (Broadway)

Leia & Lili (Outwood)

Amelie, Natasha, Schlok & Edward (Yarm)

Thank you, Nevil! Your efforts are greatly appreciated, as always.


Our CSC workbooks have now started to land at our schools.

Hard work ahead, pupils!

Monday 9 October 2017

Training Day Tour 2017-8: Edinburgh

It was Richard Payne's idea to make a CSC Training Day part of a weekend junior chess tournament.

Richard, Chairperson of Lothian Junior Chess, had enjoyed the Newcastle leg of the 2016-7 Training Day Tour and was very keen to bring a similar day to Edinburgh.

As Scotland is a missing piece in the CSC jigsaw, it was agreed to proceed with this experimental, innovative idea and to align our training  dates with the Edinburgh Junior Chess Congress.

Arriving the day before the event gave me a little time to investigate Edinburgh and to enjoy the sights.

Suddenly, the Duke of Wellington appeared and suggested there was something of great interest to me if I walked a few more yards and then took the next left turn.
Thank you, Arthur Wellesley
He was right! Fortunately, there were tickets available for the very next showing...and very good it was, too.

On to the chess, which took place in the excellent venue of Broughton High School in Stockbridge. With plenty of room and excellent facilities, the school proved to be an ideal venue for both playing and training.

All is ready!
The training day was in two sessions and featured 25 people in total. There were parents, tutors and teachers; an excellent mix.

We couldn't cover as much ground as we could on a normal training day - we crammed a lot into the time available, but only scratched the surface - but the impact was undoubtedly bigger.

Andrew MacQueen, in full 'serious mode'

Moving like a bishop

What is the best move?
The queen of chess!

Group one!
Dice chess
Suddenly the morning session was over and after a quick turnaround to was time for group two, who worked just as hard as group one.

David Stewart, explaining his winning technique
Another brave volunteer moves around the room like a bishop
Group two
Group two again; spot the difference
We should always remember to have fun!
Make way for the queen!
I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of the wonderful delegates in Edinburgh and I am very much looking forward to a return trip as soon as possible.

There is a tremendous swell of great enthusiasm for promoting chess in schools and it will be very interesting to see the effects of the impending chess explosion.

Thank you Richard and to everyone else who made me feel very welcome.