Sunday 27 January 2019

Project Scotland: New Activity

Project Scotland continues to flourish.

My training days and community events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Isle of Arran have been built upon and I am in regular contact with numerous people who are creating their own chess groups.

Over the last couple of weeks I have heard very good news regarding Rhu Primary, Killin Primary and Govanhill Baths.

Colin Paterson, who was instrumental in helping me set up several projects in Glasgow, is now running regular sessions at Govanhill and he has provided me with some photographs showing the group in action.

Project Scotland is all set to expand with further training days already scheduled for April.

All photographs in this report are © Colin Paterson

Saturday 26 January 2019

The Art of Castling

'Is castling all one move?' asked a player before we started one of the rounds of the UKCC last week.

I confirmed that it was.

The games started and up went another hand. 'He's making loads of moves at once!'

The game had started 1 e3 and then Black had played 1 ...e5, ...Nf6, ...Bc5 and ...0-0 all at once. I asked him why and he replied: 'You said castling was all one move!'

Sunday 20 January 2019

Training Day Tour 2018-9: Hull

The first 2019 date on my CSC Training Day Tour brought me to a new area. On a personal level, Hull is a place of strong family connections and many excellent childhood memories of Hull Fair, big museums and glorious statues, but this was the first I have had the pleasure of visiting the great city in a professional capacity.

Following my long, three-train journey from Teesside I was made to feel very welcome in Hull. It is an overlooked and underrated city. Hull took a severe pounding during the blitz of World War II yet repeatedly picked itself up, listed itself down and continued to get on with things. The people of Hull are fiercely proud and famously independent. One of many highly memorable historical moments saw the city refuse entry to King Charles I back in 1642; a major spark for the fiery English Civil War.

Hull can boast famous people from so many different genres: William Wilberforce, Amy Johnson, Tom Courtenay, The Spiders from Mars and Philip Larkin, to name but few. Not forgetting, of course the currently high-flying Tigers.

The Hull Central Library proved to be and excellent venue. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful and our room, upstairs in the Local History Reference Library, had everything we needed. 

The library carpet depicted the Three Ducal Coronets -
the famous Coat of Arms for Kingston-upon-Hull

My level of excitement was already high before we even started the training and it increased further when I met the delegates. Wonderful individuals from all aspects of chess life, from schools to libraries, from teachers to an International Master, they complemented each other's skills marvellously to create an excellent, hard-working and attentive group.

Together, we spent time on the hosiery of CSC, the practical use of our curriculum, discussed the benefits of chess and introduced several mini-games and other chess challenges.

13 delegates is a larger number than the norm. which is another strong sign that this fine area is ready, willing and able to build up the strength of its junior and community chess activities.

It was wonderful to hear from the delegates of all the work already being done and of the plans for future projects.

For me, it was a fascinating experience I had plenty to think about on my three trains home.

I hope all delegates gained something useful from the day. Perhaps the gallery below will provide readers with an indication of whether or not everyone had an enjoyable time.

I hope we can make Hull an annual fixture on our Training Day Tour.

Thank you, everyone, for making the day such a great success.

During the break I went downstairs to see the thriving library chess club in a action

Head here for the next dates on the 2018-9 CSC Training Day Tour.

Sunday 13 January 2019

Library Update 2019

Our CSC Teesside library sessions continue to fire on all cylinders.

Sean Cassidy, who runs the sessions at Stockton Central Library, has recently concluded an all-play-all Stockton Library Chess Challenge.

31 players competed and the champions are Wayne Foster (Adult) and Aryan Nalawade (Junior)

Wayne had to have a special play-off match with Kevin McGrother to decide the title, as they had both finished the main tournament tied at the top.

Unfortunately, Kevin passed away just a couple of weeks ago and he will be greatly missed by all at Stockton Library and also at The Buffs Chess Club.

Well done, everyone! It is wonderful to see such a vibrant community activity in action.

We currently have five chess libraries and we are working on setting up more during 2019.

The sessions are open to all players, from complete novices to world champions.

It is advisable to check with the libraries directly to ensure the sessions are definitely on if you are hoping to attend for the first time.

Monday 7 January 2019

CSC Training Day Tour: 2019 Dates

Our CSC Training Days proved more popular than ever in 2018. 

2019 will take us into more new areas, including Hull and Carlisle.

We have forthcoming and confirmed tour dates in Oxford, Newcastle, Cardiff and Leeds too. Edinburgh and Middlesbrough will soon be added to the list.

Enrolment details can be found here.

Details of yet another new area for CSC, Truro, will be announced very soon.

Sunday 6 January 2019

6th London Chess Conference: Videos and Presentations

As previously mentioned, the 6th London Chess Conference was a great success and many topics were covered under the umbrella theme of The Future of Chess in Education.

Anyone who would like to see the presentations for themselves can now do so, as videos have been edited and uploaded to:

1) The ChessPlus YouTube channel.

2) The Videos and Presentations page of conference website.

More will be added soon, so keep checking back on the sites.

London Chess Classic: Gallery

Today we present a visual round-up to supplement our earlier Classic reports, all of which can be found here.