Tuesday 26 February 2019

Training Day Tour 2018-9: Newcastle

This year's Training Day Tour has taken me all the way from The Isle of Arran to Truro but the latest leg was somewhat closer to home.

This year's Newcastle Training Day brought record high temperatures for a winter's day, which was in complete contrast to the conditions of exactly one year ago, when half of the delegates couldn't even get to the venue due to an uncommon amount of snow.

Newcastle is a city steeped in history and culture, with the Theatre Royal, where I famously saw Evita three times in 2018, being one of my favourite theatres...

...and Lord Grey keeps an eye on the city from the magnificent monument.

It was while I was taking these photographs that I was suddenly accosted by Radio Newcastle, who wanted to ask me how many 'Duff's there were at the start of the Eastenders theme tune.

We spoke about chess too and the show is still available, here. Scroll to two hours and 22 minutes for the exclusive chess content.

The City Library proved to be an excellent new venue for us. 

We had 10 delegates yesterday and they came from a variety of backgrounds. There were teachers, librarians, parents...all wanting to augment their existing skills to be able to take their chess ventures a shade further.

I was assisted by CSC Tyneside's Regional Organiser, Tim Wall, who was able to inform the delegates of the current chess activities in the region.

Soon enough, it was time to put the delegates to work. Everyone entered into the spirit of the day and it was clear from the start we were in for a fun and lively day.

The delegates completed a whole range of tasks and the section on the benefits of chess generated a very interesting group discussion.

Tim was game for a challenge or two and he played the delegates in two special games.

A little more work and a few more games...

...and then we were ready for a real treat, as Tim had offered to perform his extraordinary party piece - The 12 Days of Chessmas.

Well, there is no following that - but Tim is now available for festive bookings...

Thank you, everyone, for making it such a successful day.

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