Saturday 6 January 2018

Just the Ticket

It has been a very busy time since our first two chess libraries launched their sessions back in August 2017.

Today I caught up with everyone at Middlesbrough and Stockton to see how things were going...

First up was Middlesbrough Central Library, where the sessions are run by David Smith and his trusty deputy, Paul Weightman.

There were some great games going on while I was there, including this one (Alice 1, Her Dad 0).

I took on the challenge of playing a simultaneous display against the club members.

You can probably tell from my expression that I was in a little bit of trouble against Alfie! He managed to create a very dangerous passed pawn that I had to monitor very closely. This ended up as the last game to finish after a rare mistake by Alfie allowed me turn the tables and reach a winning endgame.

David then demonstrated a devious puzzle, which brought some very good analysis from the students.

In play against Alice, who was, of course, one of the stars of the show at the recent London Chess Classic.

Following a very enjoyable morning, it was soon time to head off for the afternoon session at Stockton Central Library.

It would have been perfectly natural to see a reduced turnout at Stockton due to a clash with the Middlesbrough vs. Sunderland FA Cup match that was being played at exactly the same and also because the schools don't return until Monday, meaning most people would still be on holiday mode.

However, I was very pleasantly surprised to see 32(!) chess students in action.

A packed room!

 Sean Cassidy in full teaching flow.

Brian Whitaker will be the man in charge of the forthcoming sessions at Thornaby Central Library.

I don't need to add many more comments to this report. Just take a look at the photographs and judge for yourselves if you think people were enjoying themselves or not.

Harry Potter chess! That reminds me; don't forget our forthcoming Harry Potter evening.

This photo sums up the all-inclusive nature of chess. Alan Stockley (right) is Sean Cassidy's deputy and without giving too much away the age difference between these two opponents is a staggering 79 years.

The combined efforts of many people have made this project a big success and once we have the Thornaby sessions up and running we will look to expand yet again.

It is not enough to look at certain aspects of the world and then shrug your shoulders and add to the negativity and apathy. NO. There are plenty of people creating and supporting things - and not just in the world of chess. Ignore the negative side of life and join our positive revolution.

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