Wednesday 26 September 2018

In Their Own Words (Series Three, Part Five)

I enjoy the chess tournaments as they are hard but fun! I also enjoy playing games with my friends and the worksheets with checkmate puzzles. I enjoy it all!

William (11)

I've learned that chess is easier than it looks. When I first started I didn't know what I was doing but now I know how to play a game.

Ayla (11)

I enjoy the checkmate in one move puzzles as they help me test my skills. I enjoy playing people in my class because I can see how my skills are against their skills.

James (11)

Chess is one of my favourite lessons because it is fun.

Daisy (7)

I really like chess. I liked it when I got my friend in check. I enjoy our chess books because sometimes there's tricky challenges. 

I got a chess set for my birthday and I play my family and I beat my cousin.

I have learned loads of stuff because of our amazing teacher.

Lacey (8)

Monday 24 September 2018

In Their Own Words (Series Three, Part Four)

What I like about chess is it is quiet and really peaceful. I love to play chess. I am going to play in a chess tournament and I can't wait to go.

Tanisha (8)

Chess is the best ever. I play it with my mam, dad and sister. Some times I win and sometimes I draw. Chess is a smart game.

Grace (7)

I like doing chess because it is easy to win if you keep your king safe. I like the competitions as well.

Lucas (8)

I enjoy the chess lessons because I can learn new tactics and play in tournaments. It is a lesson I can enjoy and learn something at the same time. My favourite piece is the queen because she can move all over the board.

Lexi (8)

I like to checkmate the king and every time I do it people say 'aww, come on!' I like en passant because it is something new.

Austin (7)

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Three More Training Days

Three more dates have been added to the CSC Training Day Tour.

They are in Cardiff and London (two dates - as part of the London Chess Classic).

Nine forthcoming dates are now available on the website and more will follow soon.

The days are selling out wherever we go so please book early if you would like to attend.

Last year broke all records for attendance and geographical coverage. This year is easily going to break the records again.

To enrol, please head here.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Fifth Library Ready To Launch

Sessions at our fifth CSC Teesside Chess Library will start on Friday 21 September 2018.

Billingham Library will offer the chess sessions on Friday afternoons, from 3.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m., starting on Friday 21 September.

Paul Weightman will be the session leader and Graham Edwards will be his trusty assistant.

Paul and Graham have both attended CSC Training Sessions and Paul has already gained a lot of experience during the sessions at Middlesbrough Library. They have both been local chess league stalwarts for many years.

There is no entry fee for there sessions and everyone is welcome, from complete beginners to Grandmasters.

For further details, please contact the library:

Billingham Library
Billingham Library & Customer Service Centre
TS23 2LN
(01642) 528084

Details of all our library sessions can be found here.

Sunday 16 September 2018

In Their Own Words (Series Three, Part Three)

Chess is an incredibly silent game and I enjoyed the silence. It is much better than chatter because you can concentrate.

I like Lightning Chess the most, because it puts you on the spot and forces you to move. I didn't lose single game of Lihgtning Chess!

Seb (11)

I find chess really fun and I know how to checkmate the king. I learn more and more every day.

Joshua (10)

I like chess and it is a lot of fun. It is a nice game and it teaches me lots. It helps me develop skills and is a good game to play when I'm bored.

I like chess as subject because it is a time that I'm sure I'll be able to play. It also helps me learn as I play against children who are better than me. This will help me improve.

Musa (11)

I want to go to the Megafinal! I like chess because you play fun games and I like writing in my book too.

Kayden (8)

Some games are easy and some are hard, but I am a bit good.

Dylan (8)

Friday 14 September 2018

In Their Own Words (Series Three, Part Two)

I love playing chess because it is easy and it is better than sitting on an iPad all day. I am an expert and I got a bronze medal.

Katie (7)

When I play chess I fell happy and excited and over the moon. Chess is a little bit hard and a thinking game.

Lily (9)

Chess has been fun. The bets thing was seeing how well people do in chess and to see people play their best. It has been fun getting to play in tournaments, going against the best players in the class. I was helped by the chess problems and workbooks.

Grace (11)

I really like chess because it is very calm and peaceful. I really try hard to master the moves and it is really fun. There are also really good online games that help me with my moves and games. I really like chess and everything about it!

Sophie (11)

I enjoy doing chess because it is a lot more fun than sitting doing writing. Chess gets your brain working really quick which can help you to think. My favourite part of chess this year was the tournament because it was fun to play against your friends to see who would do better.

Corey (10)

Thursday 13 September 2018

CSC Training Day Tour 2018-9

The CSC Training Day Tour for 2018-9 made an excellent start last week with the first of the London dates. More than half of the delegates are already making their next move to become CSC tutors, which is a very impressive number.

Dates for Bristol, The Isle of Arran, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Brighton, Manchester and Leeds have now been added to the calendar and Newcastle, Carlisle, Teesside and more London dates will definitely follow. Other areas are in the planning stages.

This is going to be the busiest and best tour to date.

For further details and an online enrolment form, please visit the relevant page at the CSC website.

Wednesday 12 September 2018


I have played lots of chess variants over the years but last weekend I played one which was brand new to me.

'5asidechess', played on 5x6 board, is a simplified version of classical chess. However, playing the game is secondary to the main mission of the project.

''We are a Social Enterprise determined to reconnect people in a disconnected world. Loneliness and Social Isolation, which often lead to poor Mental Health, have never been more prevalent here in the UK. To combat this, our Chess Sets are used as icebreakers to get people back into the 'Art of Conversation.' You can contact us today and buy a set. However, you must agree to our pledge beforehand, which states that the boards are only available if you promise to use them to connect with other people across the UK.''

The team of Ross and Ryan are currently on an extraordinary tour all across the country, setting up their tour bus and engaging with the public.

The Battling Suicide Tour had two dates in Manchester last weekend and I caught up with them in Platt Field Park to see their project in action.

I saw for myself how they engaged the public, utilising an unusual first move; namely, 'Your 1st Move Is Hello.'

Passers-by of all ages and chess experience were attracted by the unusual chess sets and needed very little prompting to sit down and play a game. It was interesting to hear the stories of some of the people, a lot of whom had aspects of their lives that had been directly affected by suicides. The tour has been deliberately named to bring the (virtually taboo) subject out into the open.

Another aspect of promoting the art of conversation is to combat the growing sense of isolation as the world recedes behind on online wall. It does seem ironic that the more 'connected' we are, the less connected we really are. 

Further details of this remarkable project can be found over at the official 5asidechess website.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

In Their Own Words (Series Three, Part One)

Hear now the wise words of our chess children, as we start the third series of our popular feature.

I think chess is great because it is basically all about brain skills. My cousins can't play very well so I can teach them how to play. I think that would be a whole lot of fun. I think I am one of the best players.

Michael (7)

I love playing chess. I love winning. I like learning chess and I like the queen.

Luke (6)

Chess is fun and the best part is the work books. I like playing games and wining.

Nicole (6)

I like the pawns because they are the best chess pieces. I like the queen because I love the queen.

Lily (6)

I really like chess. I love playing but I never win.

Daniel  (7)

I like chess because you can play games with friends.

Millie (10)

I like when we play against each other because you and your friends feel competitive but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter who wins. It is good as well because some people who were good at the start of the year can now compete against the better people.

Alex (11)

I like chess because it is really fun to learn about an fun to play. My favourite piece odd the rook. It takes a lot of time to learn it but it is worth it and I am good at it now. I have only been playing for six months so it proves how much I have improved.

Husnain (11)

I love chess. It is very fun to play. My best memory in chess is when I won a chess game for the first time. Sometimes it can be a little bit tricky but apart from that I love chess. You can play it with friends too.

Alisha (11)

Monday 10 September 2018

24th Yarm Team Chess Championships

Our first big tournament of the school year is coming up next month.

It is for Teesside school teams of four players.

It is rare indeed for any series of events to reach number 24 and while on the subject of numbers it should be noted that Yarm School is currently celebrating its 40th year (1978-2018).

All of our CSC Teesside schools will have received entry forms from me, so please check with your tutor or teacher if you would like to play in this event.

I will also be running a section for Secondary School children, for which I will arrange all entries into teams of four players, as in previous years. 

Sunday 9 September 2018

New CSC Teesside Library Sessions Announced

We can now unveil our fifth CSC Chess Library.

Billingham Library will offer chess sessions on Friday afternoons, from 3.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m., starting on Friday 21 September.

Paul Weightman will be the session leader and Graham Edwards will be his trusty assistant.

Paul and Graham have both attended CSC Training Sessions and Paul has already gained a lot of experience during the sessions at Middlesbrough Library. They have both been local chess league stalwarts for many years.

There is no entry fee for there sessions and everyone is welcome, from complete beginners to Grandmasters.

A poster for the Billigham sessions should be available soon.

Here is a reminder of our other library sessions. As usual, it is best to check with the libraries themselves to confirm the sessions if you are thinking about attending.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Training Day Tour 2018-9: London

The new school year has only just begun and we have already had the first CSC Training Day of the 2018-9 tour.

The venue was once again the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, where we are always sure to find a warm welcome and excellent facilities.

I wasn't sure how many people would be tempted to enrol on a training day so soon into the school year and I was delighted to receive 10 delegates, which is above the norm.

One particularly good aspect about having a day in London is that it gives some of my CSC friends and colleagues the opportunity to come along and see the training in action. 

The trusty Aga, London Coordinator (and Assistant to the Senior Management Team - plus many other titles), was there all day, as usual, to help me and to ensure all of the delegates were looked after in style. Chief Operating Officer Chris Fegan was there for the initial part of the day to make his opening remarks. We were also very pleased to see Chief Executive Malcolm Pein, London Coordinator Matt Piper and Newcastle Coordinator Tim Wall at various points throughout the day.

Training delegates don't often have the opportunity to see so many of the top CSC people on the same day.

Despite the presence of our illustrious guests it was, of course, the magnificent delegates who made the day such a great success. 

It was fabulous to hear how everyone found out about CSC and why they decided to enrol for one of our days. There were connections to our current schools, new schools, libraries and the prison programme.

All of the delegates worked hard throughout the day and it will be interesting to see where their chess journeys will now take them.

Thank you, everyone!

We conclude with some more captured moments from our busy day.

Incidentally, The CSC Training Day Tour will be more extensive than ever this year and new dates are soon to added to this page of the main website.

Sunday 2 September 2018

New School Year

The new school year is now upon us!

Here on Teesside, we have more CSC Tutors than ever before and we going to reach more people, in more areas, than ever before too - armed with our brand new curriculum.

The CSC Teesside Quartet - Coming to teach you chess!
There will be more events than in any previous year.

Over the course of the week we will be able to announce the dates for our forthcoming tournaments, news of a brand new CSC Chess Library (our fifth, since starting that particular project just over a year ago), some details of the World Chess Championship match, the London Chess Classic and more on the second season of Project 30.

The number of CSC Training Days will be increased and I have lots of dates in the diary for those special events.

I have so much to tell you as I head into my 31st year of teaching chess in schools - so stay tuned!