Thursday, 29 March 2018

Project 30: England International at Park End

Part of Project 30 is to bring top players to Teesside to inspire our local juniors.

Today we had England International Jacob Yoon at Park End Primary to help the children - and the staff! - with their chess.

Of course, Park End are no strangers to chess publicity. Last Summer, for example, they were famously featured on the ITV news. Today's visitor has had his share of the headlines over the years too, with this article being an early example.

Jacob, who came all the way from London for today's excellent day of chess, demonstrated his great chess skills by playing 10 games simultaneously in both of our Y5 classes. Jacob won every game!

After lunch, he entertained the staff with further wins in the staffroom.

Here are a few images from our busy day.


The England International has arrived at Park End!
Jacob made playing 10 games simultaneously look easy
Traditional school dinner photos

Mr Holmes was the second of Jacob's victims, lasting just four moves
Mrs Gaskarth lasted much longer, but still ended up losing

Miss Mains gave Jacob his toughest challenge of the day. Claiming to practise only on 'a Disney set at home', Miss Mains thwarted most of Jacob's attempts to force a brilliant checkmate and survived until the end of lunchtime. A fine achievement against an England International!
Jacob had to concentrate for this one
Miss Mains also claimed she 'makes chess cool' - and I'm certainly not going to disagree

Thank you, Jacob! Come back to Park End soon. The staff are after a rematch now they know how good you are!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Chess at the 2018 SCBY

There was something different for the Stockton Library chess sessions last weekend. Supremo Sean Cassidy was invited to be part of the Stockton Children's Book of the Year 21st Birthday Weekend and he held sessions on both the Saturday and the Sunday.




Join in with the chess sessions at our three chess libraries. They are free and open to ALL.

Head here for further details.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

2018 Teesside Megafinal Details


Event: 2018 Delancey UK Chess Challenge Teesside Megafinal. This for anyone who has qualified for a Megafinal through their own school or club. Over-11s (children at Secondary/Senior schools) do not need to qualify; they can just enter at this stage.

Venue: Yarm Senior School, specifically the Princess Alexandra Auditorium.  This is one of the North East's premier concert venues and we are delighted to be back here. Parking is available on site.

Date: Sunday 6 May 2018

Timings: Please arrive for 9.30 a.m. Play will start at 10.00 a.m. The prize giving will be at approximately 5.00 p.m.

The full list of timings and other information can be found here.

Format: All players will play six rounds, on the Swiss system. We will combine some of the sections but the champions of each one will receive the trophies and titles. Tied places will be resolved by the Sum of Progressive Scores tiebreaker.

Arbiter: Sean Marsh

Gigafinal Qualification: All players require three and a half or more points out of six to qualify for the Manchester Gigafinal. 

Gigafinal dates can be found here.

The tournament is not just about qualifying for the Gigafinal. 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.

If you have not qualified for a Megafinal and would like to try to do so, please consider the Last Chance Saloons.

General Information: 

The Megafinal has a set number of places. Once these have been booked the online entry system will not allow any more.

We cannot accept any more entries once the Megafinal is full and we will definitely not be able to take extra entries on the day.

If you miss out on a place on Teesside, please try another Megafinal. They are listed here.

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.

The venue's cafe will be open and basic refreshments will be on sale throughout the day. However, we advise you to bring a packed lunch too.

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.

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

A full list of Megafinal rules can be found here.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

New Library Event

As you know, we work closely with libraries and even though this forthcoming event is not chess-related we are very pleased to be able to share the information.

Please support the event if you can!



Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Forest Hall Chess Congress

Tim Wall, CSC Tyneside Regional Coordinator, has announced details of another new chess event.

Please direct all of your questions and queries directly to Tim.



Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Megafinals Open For Business

The Delancey UK Chess Challenge Megafinals are now open for business.

Players in our Primary Schools need to qualify via their school tournaments or the Last Chance Saloons. Qualifiers will receive instructions through their schools (our own school tournaments should be over by the end of the month).

Players in Secondary Schools can enter straightaway.

Full details can be found here.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

UKCC Last Chance Saloons

Our schools are approximately halfway through the Delancey UK Chess Challenge and everything is going very well.

Any players who do not qualify for the Megafinal stage of the competition through their own school, or go to school which does not run the UKCC, can try to qualify via the Last Chance Saloons.

The details can be found here.

Keep checking that page, because more Last Chance Saloons may be added.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Project 30: Event Announcement

I am delighted to announce that two very special visitors will be coming to Teesside on Saturday 21 April.

Grandmaster ('GM') Matthew Sadler and Woman International Master ('WIM') Natasha Regan will be at Yarm School to give talks, simultaneous displays and a book signing.

This event is part of Project 30, (my year-long series of celebratory events).

GM Matthew Sadler about to demonstrate and instructive game
WIM Natasha Regan lecturing on chess strategy
Matthew and Natasha co-wrote Chess for Life, which was published by Gambit in 2016.


Chess for Life has proved to be a very popular book with players of all ages and abilities. Indeed, I was part of the English Chess Federation Book of the Year panel that awarded it the Book of the Year title in 2016.

Presenting the award at the 2016 London Chess Classic
Head here for further details.
Places are strictly limited for this event and, at this stage, will be offered by invitation only.

Readers may recall the excitement generated by Woman FIDE Master ('WFM') Sarah Hegarty's simultaneous display on Teesside earlier in the school year.

Further updates regarding the new event will follow...