Friday, 26 November 2021

London Chess Classic 2021

Incidentally, there will be expert commentary on the World Chess Championship games as part of the London Chess Classic.

Head to the Classic website for full details of all of the events on offer this year:

World Chess Championship: Magnus Carlsen vs. Ian Nepomniachtchi

The World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi starts today.

Carlsen, the defending champion, starts as the favourite, but I believe the match will be extremely close.

Find out more on the official website.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Training Day Tour 2021-22: Stoke Debut


Our 2021-22 CSC Training Day Tour continues to gather pace. 

Following hard on the heels of the successful tour dates in London and Manchester, plus the online training day, it was time to strike out and plant the flag in a brand new area.

It was with great pleasure that I travelled to Stoke to link up with Regional Organiser Jonathan Blackburn for our first-ever training day for the area.

There is a groundswell of interest, thanks to Jonathan's efforts, and one which we are very keen to ignite.

It was dark when I arrived in Stoke and dark again when I left the following day, so I didn't get to do my usual walk around the city.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed working with the training day delegates at the excellent venue of the Tollgate Hotel and Leisure.

It was also very good to finally repay the compliment to Jonathan, as he had travelled all the way to Teesside for a training day back in 2017.

Here is a gallery from our very successful day, showing the delegates working hard and a rare glimpse of what can be found at a Stoke fish shop.

Thank you, Stoke! Hopefully we can have another training day as part of the 2022-3 tour.

Meanwhile, the tour takes me back to London in December and there are more dates to be announced very soon. Keep an eye on the tour page.

Monday, 1 November 2021

The Delancey UK Schools' Chess Challenge 2022

It has been confirmed that the Delancey UK Schools' Chess Challenge will return in 2022.

Sarah and Alex Longson worked wonders to keep the tournament going during the COVID lockdowns and, to the delight of children all across the UK, they even managed to switch the Megafinals and Gigafinals to the online world. The final round of the competition, the prestigious Terafinal, was played at Blenheim Palace in October.

Entries are now open for the initial, school-based phase of the competition. In fact, in an interesting break with tradition, all players can now enter the Megafinals, without having to achieve the formerly required 17 points in their own schools.

The school events can therefore be seen as excellent and essential tournament experience for children before they play in a Megafinal.

We are hoping to run a Megafinal on Teesside again, for the first time since 2019. The date is already pencilled in and further details will follow in due course.

Head here for further details on the the whole initiative, including plenty of free resources.

This is the page you need to enrol your school for the Delancey UK Schools' Chess Challenge 2022.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Training Day Tour 2021-22: Online Day

Yesterday brought our third CSC Training Day in a week.

Following the success of our London and Manchester dates, this time we delivered the training online.

Online training days were, of course, a 'forced move' caused by the COVID pandemic, but they continue to offer a valuable addition to our methods of delivery. Indeed, online delivery made a big difference to our schools during the lockdowns too.

We had 13 delegates, spanning from my own area of Teesside all the way to India.

What we lost in terms of the physical capacity to play our mini-games and other challenges, we gained in being able to use a multitude of online resources, including Acorn Chess.

Chris Fegan and Dan Staples of CSC both joined us to address the delegates.

More dates will be added to the tour soon, so please keep an eye on this page.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Training Day Tour 2021-22: Manchester

Our new Training Day Tour continued this week, as we followed up the inaugural date in London with a return to Manchester.

This was our first training day in Manchester since November 2018. The venue was the Cedar Suite of the Broadoak Community Centre in Ashton-under-Lyne, which is also the venue of David Hardy's chess clubs.

My excellent friend David, was of course, instrumental in helping the Manchester training day move from idea to reality and he was there all day, making absolutely sure we all had plenty of tea and biscuits.

Staying with culinary matters for the moment, we must make note of Catherine Lloyd's magnificent contribution of cakes, which deserved their own stand.

We had an excellent set of delegates, all of whom worked very hard throughout the day.

Chris Fegan, the Chief Operating Office of Chess in Schools and Communities, joined us to address the delegates and to take questions.

It was a good day to be working inside, as we we experienced all manner of weather over the course of the day, including thunderstorms and monsoon-like rain. Nevertheless, the sunny disposition of the delegates ensured a fine day was had by all.

Our gallery shows the day in action.

If you enjoyed the Manchester Training Day just half as much as I did, then I must have enjoyed it twice as much as you.

More tour dates will be added soon, so keep an eye on this page.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Training Day Tour 2021-22: The Return to London


Our CSC Training Day tour was derailed in early 2020, for very obvious reasons.

Now we are back on track, starting with yesterday's return to London for the first time in almost two years.

It was very good good to be back at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, which is a perfect venue for our days.

We had a bumper collection of delegates, who worked hard all day on various tasks, including learning how to teach and play the famous chess mini-games.

We also broke our own training day record for our youngest delegate, thanks to the participation of 13-year-old Andrei, who is already wanting to give something back to the chess community. This beat our previous record, set on a beautiful day in Glasgow three years ago, by one year.

Matt Piper and I both enjoyed working with everyone and we were also very pleased to see our friends Nevil Chan and Chris Fegan call in to support the day.

Thank you, everyone, for supporting our event.

More dates will soon be added to the Training Day Tour, so please keep an eye on this page.

Here is a gallery from our busy day in Hammersmith.