Tuesday 23 May 2023

Errington and Westgarth: Shared Chess Sessions

Now that Errington Primary School is back on board as part of CSC Teesside, I was able to resurrect an old plan featuring an afternoon of shared chess activities with Westgarth Primary School. The original plan dates back to 2015.

Mrs. Cowan walked the Westgarth children along the short journey between the two schools and I was helped by Catherine Lloyd and Nicola Harrington (two of the Angels who were part of Sunday's famous chess stream).

The 20 children were asked to find a partner from the other school with whom to work on a set of chess problems.

Then we appointed two captains, who selected teams which featured a mixture of players from each school.

Both rounds of the match were close but Team A emerged victorious.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the day such great success. More events are planned for the next school year.

Monday 22 May 2023

ECF Charity Marathon for Ukraine 2023: Catch-Up

If you missed the excellent online stream from Jonathan Blackburn and Natasha Regan, for the ECF Charity Marathon for Ukraine 2023, featuring a whole galaxy of chess stars and personalities, then you can catch up with all of the action here:

Marsh's Angels are on for an hour during the Sunday stream, from the 04.52 mark.

Sunday 21 May 2023

CSC Training Day Tour 2022-23: York

We are now coming to the end of this year's CSC Training Day Tour. Yesterday brought a fabulous day in the historic city of York, for our first training day there since I became a CSC trainer.

My last training day prior to this one was online, in April and there is one more online day still to come, although this was the penultimate in-person day of the season.

We had an excellent set of delegates yesterday - aged 16 upwards - who were a real joy to work with. Additionally, I was joined by my great friends and CSC colleagues Catherine Lloyd and Dan Staples.

York enjoys a lot of history and is almost certainly the only place in the world with a street called 'Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate'.

Anyone who would like to attend one of our training days should note that Middlesbrough is fully booked but there are a couple of places left on the final online training day of the year.

We conclude our short report with a gallery from the day.

Friday 19 May 2023

ChessFest 2023

'We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun...'

Do you remember ChessFest 2022?

Trafalgar Square full of chess players; Summer sun so hot that one could fry eggs on the pavement; Lord Nelson and the four lions sharing ice creams; Admiral Jellicoe and Vice Admiral Beattie wishing they had been sculpted wearing their hats; characters from Alice in Wonderland walking around (or were they hallucinations?)...

Of course you do!

The big news is that ChessFest is returning this Summer!

For further details, please follow the link:

Updates will follow here too, of course.

Now, where did I put my 'Factor 50'?

Saturday 13 May 2023

Open Morning

‘I didn’t get where I am today by lazing around at weekends’.

And where am I today?

At Yarm Preparatory School, helping out with their Open Morning.

Friday 12 May 2023


‘People say you’re a dinosaur and that you shouldn’t still be doing this after all these years’.

‘Luckily, I don’t care about what other people say’, I replied.

Thursday 11 May 2023

Shocking Service

The trials of a chess tutor…

I have heard of a shocking bus service, but rarely quite so literally.

Wednesday 10 May 2023

Assessing New Methods

People are always asking me:

‘How do you deal with difficult parents at chess tournaments?’

And I reply:

‘It is an evolving project and I am constantly assessing new methods.’

Tuesday 2 May 2023

10th Teesside Individual Chess Championships


Our next major event will be the 10th Teesside Individual Chess Championships, which will take place at Yarm Preparatory School on Saturday 10 June.

There are sections for Under-7s, Under-9s and Under-11s. 

I have just sent entry forms to all of our CSC Teesside schools, so please ask them if you are interested in entering the tournament (some are a lot better at sharing information via Parent Mail or similar than others but I do not want any of our pupils to be unaware of the opportunity to play).