Monday 31 December 2018

Standing Tall

It has been a truly extraordinary year for CSC Teesside.

I could go on at length, running through all of the major achievements of 2018, but this year I want to keep the message very simple.

There have been several occasions over the course of the year when we have asked a lot extra from our children. It has always been a big part of my mission and desire to show the world just what the wonderful people of Teesside are more than capable of achieving and to offer a balance to the eyes of the media, who usually offer a very negative portrayal of our beautiful part of the world.

Three high-profile occasions stood out from the rest: 

1) The appearance on The One Show.

2) Our visit to the World Chess Championship.

3) Attending the London Chess Classic. 

On each of these occasions we asked a great deal of our children. On each occasion they delivered magnificently, representing Teesside in such wonderful fashion they repeatedly brought tears to my eyes.

This time last year, I said we would stand or fall by our own efforts and promised to try and build upon our successes of 2017.

We have been able to do so due to many reasons but the main one must be the strength of our remarkable children, who have repeatedly proved their class and quality.

I am so proud of the children of Teesside. Not only those who accompanied me to the special events, but to each and every one as they continue to 'jump above their heads' in terms of their commitment, dedication and achievements.

The children of Teesside are my heroes and always will be.

I can hardly wait to see what we can achieve together during 2019.

Sunday 23 December 2018

2018 London Chess Classic Index


Junior Days

Training Days


Park End at the Classic


LCC 2018: Park End Primary

It is part of the tradition of the London Chess Classic that we plan for a group of Teesside children to travel up to London to take part in one of the junior days.

This time, we selected a group of children from Park End Primary in Middlesbrough. They enjoyed every aspect of the expedition, from the train journeys, the trip to Pizza Hut and then the theatre (to see The Lion King), to the coaching and playing activities at Google HQ.

Martha even got to make the opening move for Nakamura (the eventual champion) in front a live, worldwide audience.

To top it all, the children earned a number of medals: gold, silver and bronze!

As always, our children behaved impeccably and represented Teesside in an extremely positive light.

Very well done, everyone!

LCC 2018: Conferences

The 6th London Chess Conference proved to be the best of the series to date. The conference venue may a very successful switch of venue from the Hilton Hotel to the Irish Cultural Centre (as used for some of my training days). The facilities and staff were as excellent as always; hopefully we can return to this venue on a very regular basis.

Further reports and galleries will follow for the 6th London Chess Conference. We recorded many interviews and they are currently being edited by Etienne Mensch, who somehow found the time during his hectic schedule to teach me how to use various cameras and other pieces of equipment.

For other recent updates, head for the conference website.

The annual CSC Tutor Conference is an important part of the Classic. Apart from the essential informative aspect, it represents the one big annual opportunity for tutors to meet each other and to communicate face to face, rather than via email.

The first of the two days brought sessions on safeguarding and classroom management before concluding with a report on Project Scotland.

The second day featured a dissemination of information on a variety of topics, including a big report on the CSC prison project, the future of the curriculum and a light-hearted finale.

It was very good to see everyone and I am sure we were all able to discover new ideas and techniques over the course of the very busy weekend.

LCC 2018: Junior Days

Juniors always play a major part in the success of the London Chess Classic. We had large amounts of children in action this time, with 400+ at Olympia every day for a week and another 50+ at Google HQ. These are big numbers and it is a testimony to the remarkable teamwork of CSC that everything runs so smoothly.

I was based at Google HQ for three days, together with Samantha Ali and a whole host of CSC tutors.

Grandmaster Daniel King was there to deliver his masterclasses, perform simultaneous displays and give a generous amount of his time to the children.

The best article written on the junior aspect of this year’s Classic was written by my friend and colleague Tim Wall and it can be found here.

I don’t want to duplicate any of Tim’s fine work here, but I can add a few photographs from the Google days of a very busy and highly productive week.