Wednesday 28 September 2022

27th Yarm Team Chess Championships: Essential Information

All of our CSC Teesside Schools and CSC Libraries have received a copy of the entry form. Please check with your school if you are user whether or not they are entering a team.

Event: 27th Yarm Team Chess Championships.

Venue: Yarm Preparatory School, Grammar School Lane, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, TS15 9ES

Date: Saturday 8 October 2022

Timings: Please arrive for 9.45 a.m. Play will start at 10.00 a.m. The prize giving will be at approximately 2.30 p.m.

Format: All teams will play five rounds, on the Swiss system.

We have sections for Under-9s (Year 3s and 4s) and Under-11s (Year 5s and Year 6s).

The champions of each section will receive the trophies and titles.

Open to junior players in the boroughs of Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool, Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough.

The tournament is not just about winning titles and trophies. It should be seen primarily as an excellent experience for all competitors who will be able to learn a lot by playing against new opponents from a large number of different schools.

General Information

The closing date is Wednesday 5 October 2022

We cannot accept late entries and will definitely not be able to take extra entries on the day.

We cannot offer full supervision anywhere outside of the playing rooms. Parents/guardians must supervise their children at all times other than when the children are in the playing rooms.

Parents, guardians, teachers and chess coaches will not be allowed in the playing rooms during the rounds.

Problems arising during the games will be solved by the tournament Arbiter or another member of the control team. Children must alert the officials to any problems by raising their hand at the time. It is very difficult to solve problems retrospectively.

We will not be operating a tuck shop at this event and we advise you to bring a large packed lunch.

We will be working very hard on the day trying to ensure everyone has a great time. As usual with our events, we want to keep the pressure on the children to an absolute minimum. To help protect this ethos, we want the children to relax between the rounds and to temporarily forget about their chess battles. It would be greatly appreciated if all parents, guardians, teachers, chess coaches et al supported this ethos too and helped all of the children to enjoy the day without applying any pressure between the rounds.

Full reports will appear across our range of social media platforms. Please let me know on the day if you have any concerns regarding the use of photographs, names or any other information.

The Arbiter's decision in all matters relating to the tournament is final.

Any late announcements and updates will follow on here, on our Facebook page and via our Twitter account.

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Training Day Tour 2022-23: London and Online

The 2022-23 Training Day Tour started in style with two consecutive days of training action; one in London and one online.

The original plan was for three days, but the announcement of untimely train strikes meant we had to combine the proposed Bristol and Cotswolds dates into a single online delivery day.

In an unexpected twist, the strike action was called off, due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. This, in turn, added large potential problems to my London expedition, but all turned out well.

Matt Piper and I delivered the training and we were very pleased to meet - and work with - so many people.

We had a new venue for the London day - the London MindSports Centre, which proved ideal for us.

I tested the London congestion and found it was surprisingly easy to get around, despite the build-up to the Queen's funeral. I was pleased to take in some of the London culture on the evening before the training day.

Following London, it was back to the less scenic venue of my office to deliver the online training.

Both days brought a significant number of hard-working delegates. Thank you, everyone!

Here are some captured moments from the two days.

CSC COO Chris Fegan, making the opening remarks

Meeting old friends!

Together with Modesta, Aga and the great Matt Piper

Training days are coming soon to Hull, London and various other towns and cities. There is another online day coming up too.

Further details can be found here.

Thursday 8 September 2022

Park End Staff Training Day

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day at Park End Primary today, delivering a CSC Staff Training Day.

It was at Park End, back in 2016, where we delivered a full series of Staff Training Days, prior to chess starting in the school.

Today brought an excellent and highly attentive set of delegates, who will now be able to help me to deliver sessions throughout the school.

The chess roots are very strong at Park End and we are looking forward to seeing what we can achieve this year.

Tuesday 6 September 2022



Linda Milne and I had two excellent years working together at Errington Primary, almost a decade ago.

Now we have been reunited for more Errington chess capers!

Monday 5 September 2022

27th Yarm Team Chess Championships

The first big chess tournament of the new school year is now taking entries.

All of our schools and library clubs have received entry forms and we are looking forward to seeing how many teams will be in action on the day.

Sunday 4 September 2022


CSC Teesside chess tutor Catherine Lloyd and I returned to the River Tees Multi-Academy Trust to present Headteacher Leanne Chilton and her staff with two sets of giant white chess pieces.

The pieces, which were donated by a friend of Catherine's, were originally purchased without their black counterparts.

Therefore, Leanne is going to set up a school project in which the children are going to paint half of the pieces black (besides, Yoko Ono has already taken the headlines for her all-white chess set).

The chess set will then become an important playground resource.

Back to School

Traditional 'back to school' photograph.