Thursday 28 June 2018

Project 30: Problem Solving Competition

Today brought another brand new competition for our local CSC stars.

I invited all of our CSC Teesside schools to send two children to Park End Primary to participate in the Problem Solving Competition, as part of Project 30.

Some of our schools were busy with other end-of-term activities but  I was very pleased to see those who could make it along today.

We had represpentives from Ings Farm, Mill Lane, Park End, Sacred Heart and Westgarth.

Hard at work
The children were magnificent as I tested them on an increasingly difficult set of chess problems. It is always very rewarding to see everyone working so hard and showing that our special chess activities mean something to them.

Mr Holmes of Park End spoiled us all with drinks and sweets

Mr Bethell plays chess too!
More checkmates - more hard work
When I started marking the papers I was surprised to find the first five I assessed had all scored 10 points and I was beginning to think we were in for a 12-way tie.

However, two leaders eventually emerged: Bobby Salt and Alice Sturman, who finished ahead of Thomas, Eleanor, Jacob, Ben, Rona, Jordan, Sid, Sanuli, Zak and Ebony.

Fortunately, I had anticipated the possibility of a shared place and had brought along two identical trophies.

Congratulations, everyone!

Alice continues her extraordinary sequence of success!

Thank you to all of the children and staff who made the afternoon such a great success.

Friday 22 June 2018

Chess in the Sun

Chess in the sun as part of Westgarth’s fabulous Open Afternoon!

Despite tough competition from a whole range of other activities, the chess tables were crammed full with players of all ages, from Nursery-age to Grandparents.

Let’s do more days such as these!

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Gigafinals Fast Approaching

The Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Gigafinals (for all those who qualified from a Megafinal) are coming up very soon and here is a reminder to enter if you haven't already done so.

Simply head here to enter.

Those who have entered can check their name is on the list by going to this page.

Gigafinals are much tougher than Megafinals so please set a sensible target score.

As always, it's all about enjoying the experience and we should be proud of all our Teesside players regardless of their final scores.

Monday 18 June 2018

'Why Don’t You Do Chess in Our School?'

Why don’t you do chess in our school?

It’s a good question and one I am asked on a very regular basis.

Over the Easter period, I tried to email every primary school on Teesside to alert them to what CSC has to offer. I say ‘tried’ because some schools didn’t have an email address on their website. Some had contact forms instead but others had no visible means of entertaining electronic communication.

A number of schools had obsolete or invalid email addresses displayed on their websites, leading to instant ‘bounce backs’.

However, despite such obstacles, I was still able to send emails to the vast majority of our local primary schools.

Three schools from 250+ replied, expressing an interest and requesting further information.

Two of the three have yet to reply to my follow-up emails.

One of the three did reply – and quickly – and I am delighted to say they signed up for the CSC curriculum sessions for the school year 2018-9. We have also arranged some starter sessions for the end of this term – at no extra cost to the school.

It was a time-consuming exercise, ‘just’ to sign up one new school. Was it worth it? Yes - because I signed up one new school!

I know some emails will end up in spam boxes or be filtered out by staff who think they are not relevant to their school. They are probably inundated on a daily basis. Even when parents give to me a named contact and tell me that the person in question has been actively seeking information the replies are very few and very far between.

Nevertheless, we do continue to make progress and we are definitely actively seeking new schools.

I wouldn’t bother contacting schools if I thought we had nothing to offer. I genuinely believe the work we do will have a very positive impact wherever we go. Just ask the schools who currently are in our system. Or take a glance at our CSC Teesside blogFacebook page and Twitter to see news and reports of just some of our activities and special events.

Why don’t we do chess in your school? Ask your school and you could help to make it happen. If YOUR school is interested you can help the process by guiding them to this page, where they can sign up for further details.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Project 30 Problem Solving Competition

The latest Project 30 event will be the Problem Solving Competition at Park End Primary in just over a week's time.

All 16 of our CSC Teesside schools have been invited to send two delegates (one boy, one girl) to the competition.

This will be the first event of its kind on Teesside and I am hoping all of our schools will show their support and give their children the opportunity to attend and compete.

Friday 15 June 2018

Best Chess Student Award

All 16 of our CSC Teesside schools will be awarding this special Best Chess Student trophy to one of their chess children between now and the end of the year.

Of course, to be the best student doesn’t necessarily mean to be the best player; there are lots of factors in play to determine the result.

This is a one-off award as part of my Project 30 celebrations.

If you are the winner at your school then please feel very free to post a photo of you with your trophy on our Facebook page and I will add it here too.

Thursday 14 June 2018

8th CSC Teesside Team Tournament

The 8th CSC Teesside Team Tournament continued the fine competitive yet sporting tradition of the series and all of the participating school teams played excellently over the course of our very busy afternoon.

Park End Primary were this year's hosts (this changes each year) and they did a fabulous job (as expected). Special thanks must immediately go to Mrs Rodwell (for agreeing to everything), Mr Holmes (for so many things, including moving many tables, sorting out the refreshments and organising three teams of Park End players) and Miss Mains (for facilitating the arrivals and departures of a very large amount of visitors and for printing an equally unfeasible number of certificates) plus all other Park End staff who helped during the event.

Big thanks also to all of the parents and staff of the visiting teams, whose efforts are greatly appreciated.

We had two special guests too, in the form of Mr Cassidy (Stockton Library supremo and soon to be CSC tutor) and Mr Fegan, the Chief Operating Officer of the CSC, who travelled down from London specifically to see our tournament in action.
With Mr Fegan. We are smiling because we had just enjoyed an excellent Park End school lunch
Meanwhile, some chess was played too...

All 16 CSC Teesside schools were invited to send a team but one or two couldn't make it this time. Former champions Sacred Heart tried to get there but were let down at the last minute by their transport.

13 teams played two rounds on the Jamboree system (perfect for a large number of teams playing a small number of rounds).

Mr Cassidy, pretending he is still in a primary school chess team

Defending champions Westgarth shared the lead with former champions Billingham South at the end of the first round, both with maximum scores, but The Avenue, Ings Farm, Throston, Whale Hill and Park C were all just one point behind.

Westgarth's inspirational captain and current U-11 Teesside Girls' Champion
Westgarth kept on winning in the second round but Billingham South dropped a point, which was enough to enable Westgarth to retain their title - but they had to score 100% to do it! Congratulations, Westgarth!

So close for Billingham South!
Here are the final scores.

1st Westgarth, 8/8

Westgarth retain their title!
Silver for Billingham South

=2nd: Billingham South and Throston, both 7/8

6/8: Whale Hill

5.5/8: The Avenue

5/8: Ings Farm, Park End C

3/8: Hemlington Hall, Mill Lane

2.5/8: Park End B

2/8: Park End A, Pennyman, St. Aidan's

It was simply wonderful to see so many of children playing together and clearly enjoying their afternoon, regardless of scores or final placings.

Thank you very much, everyone!

Roll of Honour

2011: Ings Farm and Throston
2012: Ings Farm and Billingham South
2013: Throston
2014: Errington
2015: Throston
2016: Sacred Heart
2017: Westgarth
2018: Westgarth

Coming up next will be the 1st Project 30 Problem Solving Championship, again at Park End. All 16 of our schools have been invited to send two children to the event and a full report will follow in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Fourth Teesside Chess Library

The fourth Teesside chess library is now up and running.

Photo © The Globe
Here is some information from the chess organiser, Michael Hardman, who is running the sessions, together with Phil Semp.

'Here's the post about the first session at The Globe, Stokesley, last month. We're now on every third Tuesday between 3.00 pm and 6.00 pm. The next session is on 3 July, then 24 July, 14 August and so on. All welcome!'

Michael and Philip both attended the recent Middlesbrough CSC Training Day.

Further details of our library sessions can be found here.

Monday 11 June 2018

7th Teesside Individual Junior Chess Championships: Gallery (2)

Here is the second gallery from the 7th Teesside Individual Junior Chess Championships, with emphasis on the prize-giving ceremony.

All photographs in this gallery are © Mr Grundmann.

The next big tournament at Yarm Preparatory School will be the 24th Yarm Chess Championships (for school teams of four players) on Saturday 13 October. Further details will be available at the start of the new school year.

Sunday 10 June 2018

7th Teesside Individual Junior Chess Championships: Gallery (1)

Today we present the first gallery from the 7th Teesside Individual Chess Championships, to follow on from yesterday's summary of results.

A concluding gallery will be posted tomorrow.

All photographs in the gallery are © Mr Grundmann.