Homepage | Updated 23 April, 2014


Times leader calls for chess in schools

23 Apr 2014




Primary schools’ chess – and the question of whether chess should be included in the national curriculum – has been in the news a great deal recently.


On Friday 18th April, the Chess in Schools and Communities programme was the subject of one of The Times’ leaders, a link to which can be found here.


The leader was inspired by a recent speech by Hank Roberts, former President of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), who said that “chess should be compulsory at around seven” and the government should fund chess in schools projects: http://bit.ly/1j0VKba.


In addition, The Sunday Times of April 6th included an article about how chess impacts on children’s educational and social development, and drew the public's attention to the All Party Parliamentary Group for chess that Yasmin Qureshi MP is helping to set up: http://bit.ly/1icrqOo.

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor 16 Apr 2014  

Chess 'should be compulsory in primary schools'


The former president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers calls for chess to be introduced in all state primary schools to boost children’s concentration levels



Fewer than 1-in-10 pupils in state schools currently get access

to chess at school


Pupils as young as seven should be given compulsory lessons in chess amid claims it boosts concentration levels, numeracy and reading comprehension, according to a teachers’ leader.


Primary schools should give all pupils at least one term’s worth of chess in an attempt to get them interested in the game at a young age, it was claimed.


Hank Roberts, former president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said Britain was one of the few European countries that failed to recognise chess as a sport or fund a proper “in-school programme”.


He insisted the game was hugely popular in private schools but too many in the state system failed to offer it to pupils.


Read more ...





6 April 2014 | Frances Ivens and Henry Readhead  

Smart move, young man

Schoolchildren are flocking to take up chess, and the resurgence of the game is boosting them socially and academically.



Chess players at Melcombe Primary School overseen by Jason

Kouchak from the Chess in Schools & Communities charity


Chess has long evoked images of surly Russians hunched over a board. But a resurgence in the game termed by one former champion “the gymnasium of the mind” is taking place in British schools.


Next month, an all-party parliamentary group on chess aims to meet for the first time, having gained the support of more than a dozen MPs. According to Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South-east, who has helped to set up the group, it will “work to promote chess and the benefits brings”. The group plans to lobby for chess to be recognised as a sport and to highlight its importance in early learning and primary and secondary education.


The group follows the establishment in 2010 of the Chess in Schools & Communities (CSC) charity, the brainchild of Malcolm Pein, an international master and director of the London Chess Classic tournament.


Read more ...


Photo | Jeremy Young



Tuesday 15th April 2014  

Chepstow pupils challenge chess Grand Master



Bulgarian grandmaster Marian Petrov takes on one of the

school's best Rachel McIntosh



PUPILS at St Mary’s R.C Primary in Chepstow spent yesterday battling a grand chess master in aid of the Imogen appeal.


Twenty four pupils from Year 2 to Year 6 took part in the fundraiser which involved Marian Petrov, a Grandmaster chess player playing against them simultaneously. The sponsored chess tournament has so far raised £950 to go towards the £40,000 needed for two-year-old Imogen Ashwell-Lewis’ operation.


Imogen has a debilitating nerve-muscle condition known as spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which means she walks on her toes, has stiffness in her legs and poor balance and coordination.


Full pictorial report ...




Newham Primary Schools’ Team Chess Tournament 2014



The second CSC Newham Primary Schools’ Team Tournament was held at the Old Town Hall in Stratford on March 27th 2014.


Sir Robin Wales - the elected Mayor of Newham – opened the event, and spoke of the formative experiences he had on his school chess team.


Graeme Betts - Newham’s Executive Director of Strategic Commissioning and Community – also visited, and was extremely pleased that the CSC programme in Newham was going so well and that such tournaments were taking place.


Alison Davenport and her team were fantastic and CSC hopes that they can host events at the Old Town Hall in the future.


Tournament Report



Photo © by Ray Morris-Hill | More here



Yes2Chess: Teesside

The Yes2Chess volunteering scheme is in full swing, with hundreds of Barclaycard employees – including Dave Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe – volunteering in CSC schools. Teesside has become a hub of recent volunteer activity, with 48 employees of its Barclaycard office signing up to the project. More here ...

CSC Training Courses in Sheffield, Liverpool and London (Newham)


We are pleased to announce three courses for new tutors in Sheffield, Liverpool and London.


They are open to anyone, regardless of teaching or playing experience.


Online booking available here.




Yes2Chess is a fun and exciting way for children to play games, learn new skills and meet new people from around the world. Yes2Chess is an Internet Chess Tournament that will be running during the 2013/14 academic year. Find out how your school can get involved.










Doncaster (AUS) Primary School Chess Program


Moving Forward: Music and lyrics by Jason Kouchak


Yes2Chess: London Chess Classic


Romania introduces chess to primary schools

As of the beginning of the 2014/15 academic year, Romanian children will be able to learn chess during school hours. Chess will be available as one of the ‘optional subjects’ that schoolchildren choose to take until fourth grade, at the discretion of the individual primary school.


The programme, which has been devised by the Romanian Chess Federation, will last two years. As well as teaching the laws of chess, the programme will explore chess strategy. Sorin-Avram Iacoban, president of the Romanian Chess Federation, said that it was “a great day for Romanian chess”.

Hereford MP plays chess at Holmer School

Tuesday 18th March 2014  





Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, is supporting Holmer school in Hereford in their ambitions to be Yes2Chess UK chess champions.



Jesse Norman playing chess at Holmer School


Mr Norman, who is a strong chess player himself, visited the school on Friday 14th March to give a simultaneous chess display against the school's elite development squad as they prepare for the International Yes2Chess tournament at the end of March.


Speaking after the event Mr Norman said:


"It was fantastic to meet the young students from the school chess programme and play against them in the simultaneous display. There are some strong players at Holmer and they should have a great chance in the Yes2Chess tournament.




It would be fantastic if they were able to win the UK Section of the Tournament and go on to represent our country in the International final later in the year."


Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive of Chess in Schools and Communities, said:


"I am delighted that Jesse could take time out of his busy schedule to visit Holmer school and take on their best young players. He is an accomplished player and I am sure the children learnt a lot from the games. This will be a massive boost for them as they prepare for the Yes2Chess International tournament."

Chess in Schools and Communities’ pupil qualifies for England Junior Squad



Chess in Schools and Communities are delighted to announce that Oscar Idle, formerly of SS Mary and John Primary School in Oxfordshire, has qualified for the England Junior Squad.



Oscar learnt chess when he was four, and started to play the odd game with his dad and his aunt. He began playing more regularly a few years later, at SS Mary and John Primary School. This was at their recently launched chess club, under the guidance of CSC tutor Sandy Ruxton.



It was there that he discovered how much he enjoyed playing, so his parents looked for other opportunities for him to play chess outside of school. This led to him playing for the U9s county team and for his local chess club in Cowley. As well being selected for the U12 England team this year, he continues to play for the county, for Cowley Chess Club, for his secondary school and in other individual tournaments around the country.


Oscar says, 'I really enjoy everything about chess: strategy and tactics and the complexity of the game - everything except losing.'


As well as chess Oscar is a big sports fan, and particularly enjoys playing tennis and running. He also really enjoys opportunities to write poetry, and is involved in drama and public speaking at his secondary school - Oxford Spires Academy - who host the Oxfordshire Megafinal every year.

Yasmin Qureshi MP presents school chess awards


Pupils from eight Bolton primary schools competed in the Bolton Primary School Chess League tournament on Thursday 13 February 2014, at Kearsley West Primary School.


Yasmin Qureshi, Member of Parliament for Bolton South East, who spearheaded a campaign to promote chess in schools, presented the awards at the end of the tournament.


Chess is mated well to schools, says charity


PUPILS do not normally get away with playing games during lessons – but an educational charity says chess can improve children's concentration and ability to learn.

Read more ...

Chess in Schools and Communities wins Innovative Project Award

10th July 2013


The Earl of Wessex presents the Innovative Project Award to Chess in Schools

and Communities Chief Executive Malcolm Pein, alongside Sam Franks (Hiscox).


On 9th July 2013 Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) was presented with the Innovative Project Award at the 2013 Sport and Recreation Alliance Awards sponsored by specialist insurance company Hiscox.


The award was presented to the charity’s Chief Executive, Malcolm Pein, by HRH The Earl of Wessex at St. James’s Palace in London after the charity impressed the judges with their ground-breaking initiatives over the past year.



With studies showing a clear link between playing chess in primary school and improved concentration and educational attainment, CSC has doubled in size in the past year ...


Read more ...






Kasparov at the Aquaprofit-Polgar Chess Festival 2013






This year Garry Kasparov was the guest of honour of the annual Aquaprofit-Polgar Chess Festival held in Budapest.


The Russian world champion visited many programs at the event and held a presentation on one of his most memorable games, which he played against Anatoly Karpov at the World Chess Championship in Lyon, in 1990.


At the press conference of the event Kasparov recalled his first memories of the Polgar sisters from 1988, when he was playing for the Soviet Union at the Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, and yet he gave his support to the very young and talented Hungarian women team that included Susan, Sofia and Judit Polgar.


More here ...





Louise Ellman MP visited Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

On Friday April 26th, Louise Ellman MP visited Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Liverpool which is in her constituency to present the chess team with prizes in honour of their performance at the National Schools Under 11 Girls Championships.



Louise Ellman MP for Liverpool Riverside with CSC tutor John Gorman, CSC

Chief Executive Malcolm Pein (right) and the winning team.


Sacred Heart's Under 11 Girls' team scored spectacularly well against pupils from fee paying schools with a long standing chess tradition, beating the teams from King's Chester and Bolton School. Sacred Heart A would have qualified for the national final but lost to their own B team!


Mrs Ellman also awarded the prizes to the winners of the Delancey UK Chess Challenge competitions held within the school and these winners will be going forward to the Mega Final.


CSC Chief Executive Malcolm Pein congratulated the team and thanked the Head Teacher Charles Daniels for agreeing to host the next Liverpool CSC Training Course. Malcolm also expressed his appreciation for the work done by chess tutor John Gorman which has been inspirational.


Sacred Heart is one of 193 schools across England and Wales with a Chess in Schools and Communities programme, meaning that they are taught chess as part of the curriculum for one hour every week. All chess equipment, books, teaching aids and software are provided by Chess in Schools and Communities.


The school was the subject of an article in the Independent newspaper.


CSC on BBC Breakfast TV


Chess in Schools and Communities launched it's first Charity-Public-Private initiative in a ground breaking project to teach 20,000 children how to play chess in London Borough of Newham.


BBC Breakfast TV featured the launch on Wednesday 13 March 2013.


More here ...





Chess in Schools and Communities launches first Charity-Public-Private initiative



Chess in Schools and the Communities (CSC), a UK registered charity and Newham Borough Council are working together with East Village in an innovative project to deliver chess to all 64 primary schools in Newham and teach 20,000 children to play the world's most enduring game.


The 'Urban Chess' program was launched on 13th March. East Village celebrated its sponsorship of CSC, by welcoming local schools to Stratford Library for a fun and educational morning of chess games and classes on a giant board - led by British Champion Grandmaster Gawain Jones.


The Urban Chess funding from East Village will bring chess sets and lessons to 14 Newham schools, with the aim of expanding to all 64 primary schools in the borough by 2015, so that every local child can learn how to play the world's most enduring game.



As well as promoting chess in schools, the partnership will develop chess clubs and lessons in libraries, and hopes to set up a chess festival and provide giant chess sets in the borough's parks, if there is a significant take up of the scheme. The borough's first chess club will open to the community from Thursday 14 March in Stratford Library.







| More photos | More Videos | Mail Online | East Village |




Hungary: Chess on the Curriculum

The Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development has made Judit Polgar’s ”Skill-building Chess” subject available for elementary schools from September 2013.


The Judit Polgar Chess Foundation for Educational Benefits has been working on the "Chess Palace” program for more than a year. Read more ...



CSC at the London Chess Classic

The 4th London Chess Classic 2012 took place at Olympia in London recently. Hundreds of school children from around the UK arrived daily for free chess lessons, tournaments and the opportunity to see the world number one Magnus Carlsen, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and current world champion Vishy Anand. Many other side events took place too including a festival of chess tournaments. The London Classic ran from December 1st to 10th.





See more photos of the junior events and visits.

Royal Commended Performance 2012

25th July 2012


Chess in Schools and Communities received the Royal seal of approval on 19th July at St James’s Palace.


Chief Executive IM Malcolm Pein received the ‘highly commended’ award from HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex at the Sport and Recreation Alliance's Community Sport and Recreation awards ceremony.



The award was made in recognition of CSC's 'innovative work in schools'.


Read more ...


  Press releases: CSC | SRA | ECF |

Strasbourg Visit Report

Wed 15th Feb 2012

CSC is working with the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe and European Chess Union (ECU) on a political campaign to garner support for chess to be introduced to schools Europe-wide.


The focus of the campaign is a written declaration which can be found here http://www.kcfe.eu/wd50.



Malcolm Pein, CEO of CSC and Rudi Valcke, chess teacher (BE)

explain the benefits of chess during the  Chess in School seminar at

the EU (on the left Garry Kasparov)


This was sponsored by 5 MEPS from the UK, Finland, Italy, Bulgaria and Malta.



Written declarations need the support of half of all MEPs before they can go before the European Commission for consideration and possible action.


For the last 6 months Garry Kasparov and his team, aided by the office of Bulgarian MEP Slavi Binev have been working tirelessly to secure the signatures of 380 MEPs. I am delighted to report that to date 377 signatures have been received!


Thanks to all those who wrote to their MEP's.


Read more ...





First birthday reception for the charity Chess in Schools and Communities

18 October 2011


Rachel Reeves MP, Member of Parliament for Leeds West, hosted our first birthday reception in the Jubilee Room at Westminster on Tuesday. A huge thank you to Rachel who recently visited one of our schools in her constituency to give a simultaneous display. Despite not having played competitively for many years, she remains a very good player and even Garry was impressed.


Children from Teesside, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Barnet, Hackney, Newham and Hammersmith and Fulham were accompanied by their teachers and parents. Every child got the chance to take on Nigel Short in a simultaneous display. Rachel spoke about how learning chess at an early age had helped her. CSC are also grateful to the 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov who came to London and spoke at the event as well as making many media appearances. Thanks also to Nigel Short who played the children and a few MPs without losing a game!





Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson and our Field Worker England international Sabrina Chevannes, also made some moves. There was an outstanding performance from Matteo Walls of William Patten School in Hackney who nearly drew. I played a few moves and came to his board to find the position completely equal after about 30 moves – well done!


Rachel’s colleagues in the Labour Shadow Cabinet; Angela and Maria Eagle also attended the event. They, like Rachel, were strong junior players but in my home city of Liverpool.

Photos © Ray Morris-Hill

Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive.                                                                                                             


Click to see more photos from the event.



Company number: 7017640 | Charity Commission: 1133120



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