Kajan Ramakrishnalal


Kajan Ramakrishnalal


Kajan Ramakrishnalal

Sharpness Primary

Kajan Ramakrishnalal


Kajetan Wandowicz


Kajetan Wandowicz

Stone with Woodford

Kajetan Wandowicz

Upton St Leonards C of E

Richard Jones (teacher at the school)














Charitable Funding in Gloucestershire since 1989















CSC Gloucestershire Championships 2016 by Kajetan Wandowicz

17 June 2016 | Berkeley Primary School


Participants: 44 children (27 boys and 17 girls)



Weather was fine and spirits were high as teams representing rural Gloucestershire schools were arriving at Berkeley Primary to contest the 3rd annual Chess in Schools Gloucestershire Championships.


Double defending champions from Coaley looked focused and motivated, determined that their late entry would not negatively affect their form, but several strong challengers were seeking to deny them, hungry for the title. Stone-with-Woodford, having underperformed on home turf in recent years, ceded the right to host the event to Berkeley in a strategic move to take away the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd.


The hosts knew that they were much better than the last place they shared in 2015 and determined to prove themselves. For the first time we welcomed two teams from Nailsworth Primary School who surely will be contenders in the future.


Prizes were generous this year thanks to some extra funds which the charity had secured and everyone could see what they were playing for.


The trophies and prizes display


The playing hall was spacious, quiet and well-lit, comfortably accommodating five matches. As the number of teams was odd, some additional chess sets were put up in the corner of the playing hall in case the team having a bye wished to do some last-minute preparation. Nobody really thought they’d be used: after all, all day of chess is enough to tire out anyone. But they were in use every single round.


The playing hall with the round’s pairings projected onto the wall and the prizes display in the far corner


What do you do when you’re not playing in that round? Why, play some more chess of course!


The contest was extremely even: by round three there was no team without wins. Coaley Checkers looked poised to make it a hat trick but lost 3-1 to Woodford Wizards in the penultimate round who thus leapfrogged them to the lead. It is always difficult to pick yourself up after such a tough loss and Berkeley Toxic Paralysis smelt blood: they were now even with Coaley Checkers on 6 points and playing them in the last round. Focused and motivated, the home team pulled out a narrow 2.5-1.5 win to assure themselves of at least silver.


Berkeley Toxic Paralysis v Coaley Checkers in the last round: the match which decided the silver medals


Meanwhile, on the top table Woodford Wizards found themselves facing Hillesley Hotshots, for whom 2016 finally was the breakthrough year. In the previous round, the Hotshots had pulled off the only 4-0 win of the tournament, and earlier on had only narrowly lost to Coaley Checkers and split the points with Berkeley Toxic Paralysis. Riding high on the wave of their fantastic form, they certainly were going to be no pushovers for the tournament leaders, but in the end the Wizards kept their cool and won 3-1 where a 2-2 draw would have actually sufficed due to a favourable result on the second table. Third time lucky, the Wizards finally managed to bring the Gloucestershire gold trophy to Stone-with-Woodford.

The last round was immediately followed by the prize-giving ceremony. Third were Berkeley Check Mates (see what they did there with the name?):


Bronze medallists: Berkeley Check Mates


The second-place trophy went to the fearsome-named Berkeley Toxic Paralysis, the last-round vanquishers of the defending champions from Coaley:


Silver medallists: Berkeley Toxic Paralysis


And here are the victors with their trophy:


2016 Gloucestershire champions: Woodford Wizards


After team prizes had been given out, there were individual top scorer prizes. Amazingly, on all four boards nothing short of perfect score would suffice to win this prize, and on the top board it was even shared and the tie had to be broken due to additional rules!


Top scorer on Board 4 was the very appropriately named Emma Champion from Berkeley Check Mates. So that’s what “play like a girl” means!


Top score on Board 4: Emma Champion from Berkeley Check Mates scored a perfect 5 wins from 5 games


We at Chess in Schools and Communities would like to wholeheartedly congratulate all players on their fantastic performance and immaculate chess behaviour from which no small number of professional chess players could learn. Last but not least, we are ever so grateful to Berkeley Primary School for their hospitality and help with organisation of the event. And for – you did not think we forgot to mention this, did you? – cake! Yes, there was cake for all players between the second and the third game. Chess and cake. ‘Nuff said.


Final Tournament Standings




Team Name

Total Pts





Stone Woodford Wizards





Berkeley Toxic Paralysis





Berkeley Check Mates





Stone Purple Dragons





Berkeley Chess Raiders





Coaley Checkers





Hillesley Hotshots





Berkeley Chess Monsters





Nailsworth Ruling Rooks





Nailsworth Mighty Knights





Kingswood Gladiators










CSC Gloucestershire Tournament

27 June 2014, Stone-with-Woodford Primary School



The normally peaceful parking lot was rather busy that sunny morning, with 12 teams from 7 schools arriving to fight for the ultimate chess crown of the year: the 2014 Chess in Schools Gloucestershire Championships.



29 boys and 19 girls with determination firmly engraved on their faces, focused on all the pins, skewers, forks and back-rank checkmates learnt this year in CSC lessons. Kingswood Whizz Kids, an all-girl team from Kingswood Primary, were chatting with the other team from their school, the Wizards, motivating each other for the task to come.


The starting list looked very formidable, some teams sporting fearsome names like Kingslayers and Destroyers, and some with more to-the-point monikers like Checkmaters or Captures, making a statement about the treatment they intended to serve their opponents. Meanwhile, final preparations were being carried out inside. The host school did a superb job indeed: the playing area was well-lit and comfortable, there was a waiting room with refreshments and biscuits and possibility to go out to the playground. Class M very helpfully volunteered to help set up the 48 chessboards arranged into six 4-board match tables. Six rounds of fighting chess was awaiting, with 20 minutes per game.



1st Prize

After a short welcome and technical briefing, the competition begun. No sooner had the arbiter started the round than the adults waiting outside looked at each other with worried expressions: was everything all right? What was going on? Why could they not hear a single sound coming from a room full of effervescent Year 3's, 4's and 5's? The answer was, naturally, chess. A visiting headteacher remarked that he'd never seen his pupils quieter. We can be sure he won't, either: you can't beat absolute silence. Each of the 144 games of chess played over the next three hours was contested in perfect professional atmosphere from which Grandmasters could learn. There was not a single conflict or protest, on the contrary: some professional chess players could do with a class of chess behaviour run by the children! Each round started with 24 firm handshakes, 48 friendly smiles and an ubiquitous murmur of "Best of luck"s and "Have a good game"s. But let great sportsmanship and friendly atmosphere not deceive you: games were fought out to the end, with determined attacks, desperate counterattacks being found when everything was all but lost, elegant checkmates, few resignations and bare-king draws aplenty. Yet another lesson professional players could learn!



The championships were extremely close, with final podium standings only decided in the last round. That is, all places except the first: Coaley Captures dominated the tournament throughout, winning all their matches. They finished a full point above the second-placed Stone Class M, who benefited from having a very even team, as they finished on the same number of match points as Coaley Kingslayers and North Nibley Checkmaters, and only beat the latter two by virtue of winning more individual encounters throughout the entire tournament. No team finished on nil.


The last round finished at 1.20pm and after a short break the prizewinners were announced at the awards ceremony. The winners took home gold medals and a gold cup for their school, the runners-up got silver medals and a silver cup. We didn't have a bronze cup, but there were bronze medals! But team prizes weren't everything. Four very nice chess books were given out as well, for best individual performances in the boys' and girls' categories. Oswell from Hillesley Hawks did not leave others a chance and snatched the best individual performance prize with a cool six wins in that many games, with Max of Coaley Captures in close pursuit, but not quite there, having "only" managed to win five and draw one. Ruby from Stone Class M won the girls' prize, having only played (and beaten) one other girl but going 4-1 against boys; Emily of Coaley Kingslayers came second.


Those that thought it would be over then were in for a surprising treat: Mrs Kim McCalmont, headteacher of Stone Primary, held a random prize draw and gave out further 8 chess books sponsored by Chess in Schools! And then everyone got a certificate, congratulating them on making that Friday a memorable day of fantastic chess and great sportsmanship.


- Kajetan Wandowicz (CSC Tutor)



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