CSC has a long-standing partnership with Newham Council which has led to chess flourishing in many of the primary schools in the London borough. CSC currently delivers weekly chess activities in 18 Newham schools, some of these receiving lessons for full classes of children across multiple year-groups. In Rosetta Primary, for example, our tutor teaches six curriculum lessons each week as well as running an after-school chess club. 

On Tuesday 25th June, CSC was delighted to run our annual end-of-year tournament for these schools, giving pupils the chance to test their skills against their peers, as well as to make friends with children from other schools with whom they share an interest in chess. The tournament was held in the magnificent setting of Stratford Old Town Hall and twelve schools took part. 

The day began with chess lessons for the children, delivered by CSC tutors. These were followed by simultaneous games, in which the children pitched their knowledge against that of our chess experts. After this warm-up, it was time for the serious action to begin. 

The tournament itself was a 5-round Swiss featuring 139 players. Each round, one of the school teachers bravely stepped in to ensure there were no byes. The standard of chess was very impressive, the children developing their pieces well, demonstrating a good knowledge of basic tactics, and delivering some spectacular checkmates. Equally impressive was the manner in which the games were played: the children competed hard but did so un a very sporting way. After two and a half hours of deep concentration, Gallions Primary School emerged as the winners, taking home a magnificent trophy for a second year in a row. Gallions has fully integrated chess into school life, with CSC tutor Alan Bright being ably supported by Bisi Imafidon from the school teaching staff. 

The tournament was supported by several Newham councillors and officers who came long to watch the competition. Some of these enjoyed some blitz chess games with CSC tutor Aga Milewska, recently back from the English Women's Chess Championship. Every child attending received some chess goodies to take home with them and the highest individual performances were rewarded with medals presented by Cllr Sarah Ruiz, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Education.