News 2012




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.

CSC continues to receive good publicity


Chief Executive Malcolm Pein speaks about the work of the charity since 2010.


Introducing learners to chess at an early age will help boost matric results


By: Kelvin Kemm

9th November 2012

Dr Kemm is a nuclear physicist and is the CEO of Stratek Business Strategy Consultants


Newspapers recently announced the start of the annual matric exam trek for thousands of school learners. One could virtually hear the drum roll as the country waits, with bated breath, to see what the results will be. It is not only the matric pass rate that is of interest, but also the subjects that learners take. Maths and science are always the big-ticket subjects.


To drive our industrial economy, the nation needs people who can actually ‘do’ things; we need people who can think, people who can analyse and come to conclusions.


When some company employs an individual, that company will be investing in what that individual will do for the company in the future – it will not simply be buying what the person knows.


A person who is a walking encyclopaedia but cannot put any of that information to good use is not of much use to the company. It is output that makes money. At times, the public asks why the matric pass rate is not higher. Teachers tell me that, frequently, they can see, in the first couple of weeks of the school year, which learners in the class will not pass. It is rather immoral to allow a person to study all year, knowing that he or she is virtually certain to fail. But what can a teacher do? [Full article at Engineering News].

Chess is Free for Children at the London Chess Classic 2012


The 4th London Chess Classic 2012 will again offer free admission to children for the duration of the event which runs from December 1st to 10th.


Once again we are offering a comprehensive program of schools activities.


Adult and junior ticket holders receive admission to the tournament, which is being staged at London's prestigious Olympia Conference Centre, plus a guaranteed seat in the auditorium and access to the Commentary Room where some of the UK's leading Grandmasters will give insights into the play and answer questions.


The field is now complete and is absolutely stellar, with world number one Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the first two London Chess Classic tournaments trying to unseat the 13th world champion Vladimir Kramnik who won in 2011. The world champion Vishy Anand has yet to take the London Chess Classic title and having retained the world crown earlier this year, he will be looking to add the LCC to his long list of tournament victories.

Students take the chess route to sharpen their skills


TNN | Nov 5, 2012, 06.27AM IST

This November, thousands of school students in Belgaum are set to sharpen their thinking and improve their IQ.


Chess is the new mantra the education department is chanting to enhance students' concentration. All the 1,400 schools in Belgaum have been directed to observe November as 'Chess Month'. Deputy director of public instruction Diwakar Shetty has instructed block education officers (BEOs) and school heads to purchase at least two chessboards, and ensure that children are taught chess during the time allotted for games. [Read more].

First EU municipality introduces chess as school subject

The ECU President, Silvio Danailov, opens the first school chess year in Slivnitsa.


The ECU President, Silvio Danailov,

opens the first school chess year in Slivnitsa.

31.10.12 - Bulgaria has become the first European Union country to introduce chess as part of the formal school curriculum, the European Chess Union has announced. ECU and national federation president Silvio Danailov and local education officials were in the Bulgarian municipality of Slivitsa on 26 October for the formal opening of a new term which will feature chess on the curriculum for the first time, in accordance with the continental chess federation’s Chess in Schools initiative.


Eighty of the 240 children at the St Cyril and Methodius School in Slivitsa have chosen chess as a subject, which means that they will be the first students from the European Union to be formally assessed in chess in this academic year.


See complete story and more photos.




Photo - ECU



Leeds MP takes on primary school youngsters

11th October 2012


MP Rachel Reeves takes on Annabelle Waterhouse at St Peters School Bramley, Leeds.


She’s used to thinking one step ahead in Parliament but Leeds MP Rachel Reeves swapped politics for pawns for the day.


The former junior chess champion tested her wits against youngsters from St Peter’s Primary School, in Bramley, during eight games of simultaneous chess.



Pupils at the school have been learning how to play the game since the start of term as part of an initiative to help boost their education.


The scheme is run by charity Chess in Schools and the Community which aims to teach youngsters about the game for one hour each week as part of the curriculum.


Full Yorkshire Evening Post report ...



Photo - Simon Hulme


CSC Teesside Report - September/October 2012

08.10.12 - The number of CSC Teesside schools has now increased to 11 and we are delighted to welcome on board our new coach, Richard Harris. Richard will be working alongside David Smith and myself as we continue to deliver the chess curriculum to hundreds of eager new chess players.



It has been a busy and very productive start to the term with our new schools - Errington, New Marske and Sacred Heart - all settling in very well indeed. The desire of the children to learn something new is truly inspirational.


We have already had one of the major events on our annual calendar, in the form of the 18th Yarm Team Championship. Approximately 100 children - arranged in teams of four - contested the Under-9 and Under-11 titles. Teams from tournament hosts Yarm School took the top places in the Under-11 section and Ings Farm B took the title of 'Best CSC School'.


The Under-9s saw a great success for CSC's Whale Hill. Their A team took the title and the B team came third; Yarm A had to be content with second place.






Pein at the Palace


31.07.12 - IM Malcolm Pein, the CEO of the British charity Chess in Schools and Communities, received the Royal seal of approval earlier this week at St James’s Palace.


He was presented with the ‘highly commended’ award by HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex during the Sport and Recreation Alliance's Community Sport and Recreation awards ceremony. Congratulations!

Royal Commended Performance


25.07.12 - 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 |







BBC Newsnight


07.09.12 - A recent BBC Newsnight current affairs programme titled "Why is there so much child poverty in working families?" included three boys from Liverpool. One of the boys, Ben, was a chess team member St. Margaret's Anfield Primary in 2010/11.


Benefits, history, and cultural significance of chess

Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:00 PM


The Summer Olympics are well under way, but chess is not included in the list of events even though it is an officially-recognised sport. This hour, Rob Ferrett and his guests discuss the benefits, history, and cultural significance of chess. [Runtime: 60 mins]






  • Susan Polgar, Chess Grandmaster and winner of 4 Women's World Chess Championships. Director, Susan Polgar  Institute for Chess Excellence (S.P.I.C.E), Webster University.

  • Lisa Suhay, journalist and children's book author. Founder, Norfolk Initiative for Chess Excellence (N.I.C.E).


Pein at the Palace


31.07.12 - IM Malcolm Pein, the CEO of the British charity Chess in Schools and Communities, received the Royal seal of approval earlier this week at St James’s Palace.


He was presented with the ‘highly commended’ award by HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex during the Sport and Recreation Alliance's Community Sport and Recreation awards ceremony. Congratulations!

CSC Teesside Summer 2012 Update - Part 1

25th June 2012


It’s been a very busy term! Time now for an update on our recent activity. Part 2 should follow next week.


UK Chess Challenge ‘Megafinals’


We had players at two Megafinals again this year. Our top players from Billingham South and Throston competed in the Northubria Megafinal in Newcastle and players from our other seven schools were all invited to participate in the North Yorkshire event in York.



At Newcastle, our players won a significant number of certificates but the main titles were a little too evasive.


The Hartlepool Mail were on the ball once again to provide excellent post-event coverage.


At York, Frankie Whelan (Whale Hill) comfortably captured the Under-8 ‘Supremo’ title to add to his Under-7 title from last year.

Laura Burt (Whale Hill) shared the top spot in the Under-11 Girls’ section but lost out on the trophy on tie-break.


A sprinkling of our stars qualified for the forthcoming Gigafinal. Joining Frankie and Laura in the next stage will be Ryan Skelton, Jason Highfield, George Waites, Adam Highfield (all Ings Farm) and Reggie Ryan (John Emmerson Batty).


As usual, playing in the UKCC provided all of our players with fantastic experience of tournament chess and everybody enjoyed the experience whether they became champions or not.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


A Borough Park public school is teaching kids to play championship caliber chess


A Borough Park public school hopes a budding chess curriculum will one day help its students checkmate the competition.


Starting next year, every student at Public School 160 on Fort Hamilton Parkway will be taught to play chess. Administrators at the school believe the new chess course will give kids an intellectual boost and motivate them to rack up championships — like students at chess powerhouse Intermediate School 318 in Williamsburg.


Read more ...


Photo © George Lauro for New York Daily News

UK Chess Challenge Gloucestershire Megafinals - Robert Chandler

29th May 2012


Urban Chess school Westbury on Trym Academy won 2 age groups with the U11 Girls (Danielle Ramiah) and U9 Boys (Laurence Chandler) Champions at the Gloucestershire Megafinals.


There were 14 children who took part with an amazing total of 8 qualifying for the Gigafinals in Derby! The Westbury on Trym players; Danielle Ramiah, Finn Wisloff, Jake Garrod, Robin Jones, Diarmuid Wisloff, Joseph Speers, Laurence Chandler, Thomas Melichar, Stephen Ramaih, JunMin Kwon, Luke Wolfram, Wilbur Hornby and Eskil Wisloff battled it out over 6 rounds coming up against the best chess players in the region. Well done!

3rd Manchester CSC Congress - David Hardy

29th May 2012


The 3rd CSC Manchester Congress of the year took place over the weekend of May 26-27 2012 at Broadoak & Smallshaw Community Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancs.


Despite many of us enjoying temperatures of over 26 deg C - 41 children braved the weather to take part!


Once again the 8 prize winners came from different schools in the area - there were 15 schools represented with ages ranging from year 2 to year 6. As well as receiving trophies and medals the winners and runners up also won chess books which will help them to improve their game.


CSC's next event in the 2012 Grand Prix will be in September with the final event in December.

Second CSC Tournament in Liverpool - John Gorman

22nd May 2012


Chess in Schools and Communities organised its second annual tournament, again held at St. Michaels Catholic Primary School, Guion St. Liverpool. The teams enjoyed the superb facilities and hospitality. The format of the competition was a 4-Round Swiss for the 10 teams of 6 which included a competition for Year 4 and under.


Sacred Heart led St. Margarets by half a point after two rounds and when they met in Round 3 the former had a narrow 3˝-2˝ win. Two other matches had the same scoreline as Monksdown and St. Michaels challenged for the lead in what was proving to be a very closely-fought contest. In last round St. Margarets beat Monksdown 4-2 but another narrow win for Sacred Heart saw them take the trophy and gold medals, just one point ahead of St.Margarets. Monksdown pipped Wellesbourne by half a point for the bronze medals.



In the Year 4 and under competition. Sacred Heart were comfortable winners ahead of St. Michaels, Northway and Blueberry Park.


In an action-packed morning, the children were coached between games by CSC Director Malcolm Pein.


Many thanks to CSC coach Ian Campbell for coming along to help with arbiting.


The players and teachers said how much they had enjoyed the chess. Everyone is looking forward to an even bigger tournament next year.



1st Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

2nd St Margarets Anfield Primary

3rd Monksdown Primary School


Year 4 and Under

1st Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

2nd St Michaels Primary School

3rd Northway Primary School


Player of the Tournament

Liam Dowdall (Wellesbourne Primary School)


Sacred Heart, Liverpool reach the Lancashire Megafinal

30th April 2012


23 players from Sacred Heart Primary School in Liverpool made a coach trip to Oldham on Saturday 21 April for the DeLancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Megafinal.


Four have qualified for the Gigafinal at Derby in July and we are thrilled that Geeya Joy (following in Emily Adams footsteps) won the U7 girls with a score of 4/6.


Headteacher Charles Daniels came along too and was thrilled with the success. A few others were close to qualifying, but to get 4 to a National final is great.


More great news today – Tom McGann of Northway also went and was 3rd in the U9 with 4/6. He brought his trophy into school today.


The Head was thrilled when I told him how strong the competition was – Manchester, Oldham, Ormskirk etc. I did not see this success coming especially as it is Tom’s first season.


Tom and his dad stayed in a hotel in Oldham the night before – how about that for keenness! They are going to Derby for the Gigafinal.

Cardiff Schools – Easter 2012 report



CSC in Cardiff has just completed its second term and already scored an amazing success. One of our schools – who have only been playing the game for 5 terms have just become the Welsh Primary School Chess Champions!


We currently have four schools signed up and receiving a weekly lesson; they are:


Kitchener Primary School in the Riverside area

Mount Stuart Primary in Butetown

St Paul’s Primary School in Grangetown

Hawthorn Primary School in Llandaff North.


Most of the children had never played any chess before but now that we’ve completed two terms the over 200 pupils in the chosen classes all now know the moves, some basic openings, tactics (forks etc) and checkmates and, most of all – “to take the other guys pieces when you can!”



The enthusiasm of the children continues to delight and motivate us. We are always greeted with a cheer when we arrive in the morning. At first some of the teachers might have doubted how long the thrill would last – but now they’ve got past being surprised at how well the children focus on the game!


We’re also learning all the time and refining and improving the way we teach. Every week we try to mix up the format between Individual and Team exercises, written work and group demonstrations, over-the-board play and computer chess etc etc. We always look for ways to link with other educational areas e.g. maths (calculating values of pieces captured ) or by writing down their moves etc etc. We’d be very happy to discuss all this with other CSC teachers and share our experiences further.


What many love most of all, of course, is pure competition and the joy of winning – and apart from regular Class v Class matches within schools we encourage our Schools to play matches against each other and for pupils to take part in local competition.



Tournament News


Cardiff & Vale. The number of children participating in this popular event had always been fairly steady around the 200 mark, this year thanks in large part to CSC and a general recent increase in chess teaching in the city, the numbers almost topped 300 !




At all our CSC schools there has been some participation now in external chess activity and, although its still fairly limited in most of them, one of the Cardiff CSC Schools has achieved phenomenal success already


At St Paul’s Church-In-Wales Primary School chess has become, not just a part of everyday life, but one of its primary activities and a driving force behind the schools success. There are fewer than 200 pupils at the school and yet 50-60 regularly attend chess club and 30+ have competed in tournaments so far this year.


Matthew Richards (U11)

Euan Richards (U11)

Iestyn James (U11)

Eve Farrow (U11 Girls)

Blake Fisher (U9) and

Kane Summerhayes-Bainbridge (U9)


have all been selected for the Welsh national Age-Group squads and last weekend a fabulous season was capped by the school finishing joint first at the Welsh Primary School Teams Championship!


If one part of CSC’s mission is to show how chess can bring mainstream success within the grasp of inner-city schools, this is an amazing ‘bullseye’ for a first season on the programme! The Welsh School Team title has always been the preserve of the elite until now - no state school had ever won it before!


Tim & Sarah Kett

19th April 2012

Manchester CSC Quickplay Congress

Over the Easter weekend CSC's second Manchester quickplay tournament of 2012 was held at our new venue of Broadoak & Smallshaw Community Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancs.


45 children attended with the 8 age group winners and runners up being represented by 8 different schools.



Our 3rd event will take place on May 26th at the same venue with the final 2 events of the Grand Prix taking place in Octover and just prior to Xmas.


The idea is that children will choose their best 3 scores from the events they attend to win mega prizes that will be awarded at the December event.


- David Hardy

4th London Chess Classic confirmed

London 5th April 2012


I am delighted to announce that the 4th London Chess Classic will be held from December 1st - 10th, 2012. The tournament will again be a nine player all play all. I will announce the players, venue and prize fund in due course.


The tournament should be at least as strong as the 3rd London Chess Classic and will run along broadly similar lines to the previous edition. There will be play on two weekends and I anticipate organising weekend and FIDE rated side events.




Chess in Schools and Communities will organise free classes and tournaments for schools as well as courses for potential chess teachers. The opening ceremony will take place on November 30th and the fund raising dinner for CSC will be on December 10th.


Malcolm Pein

Chief Executive

Bristol Training Course

14 March 2012

A training course for teaching chess in primary schools was given at Bristol by John Foley. The 17 attendees had an enjoyable day in the fine premises of the Bristol Conference Centre in Shirehampton. The attendees comprised teachers, classroom assistants, a special needs instructor, a parent and a chess tutor attending for the second time. There was also a teacher of the deaf accompanied by his sign language translators. Amongst the comments from the attendees:




“Informative session on why chess is very important to the school curriculum.”


“Pacey delivery with humour.”


“Plenty of ideas.”


“Networking with other schools was useful.”


“Role-play” helps understanding things like pins, skewer and castling.”


Malcolm Pein, the Chief Executive of CSC, along with Robert Chandler, the CSC Bristol project organiser, had a full programme of activities on the same day including meetings with Bristol Council who are very supportive, an interview on BBC Radio Bristol, simultaneous displays in two schools and a visit to Clifton College, a centre of excellence for junior chess. Chess is alive and well in Bristol. 





King, bishop and knight


Practising chess variant


Theory training session


Robert Chandler has an idea!

Opening move in chess campaign

16 March 2012


A CHESS master has been playing students at a time at a Bristol school in an attempt to challenge people's views of schools in deprived areas.


International chess professional Malcolm Pein played against pupils from Blaise Primary School simultaneously, as part of a campaign organised by the Chess in Schools Charity.



Mr Pein, Chief Executive of CSC, said: "Bristol is the outstanding scheme in all the country. Children are improving very fast. The game helps improve their memory and teaches them to understand the consequences of their actions."

Chess in Schools started a programme called Urban Chess in Bristol in 2011 and now has 13 state primary schools in Bristol.
The schools benefit from a chess coach who comes in to teach one hour of chess per week to the whole class.


See this article on our Bristol page | larger image




The above visit is also on BBC iPlayer:





Breakfast with Steve Le Fevre featuring CSC in Wednesday’s show (14 March), 10 minutes before the end of the programme.


Broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol,

6:30AM Wed, 14 Mar 2012

Available until 9:02AM Wed, 21 Mar 2012



Vodafone Award

5th March 2012


Chess in Schools and Communities is delighted to announce that one of our coaches, Clive Hill, has recently won a Vodafone World of Difference award. He was one of 500 winners chosen out of 8,000 applications in a national competition organised by the Vodafone Foundation. His part-time paid placement will last for four months (March to June 2012) and he will be working on our relations with other charitable and voluntary bodies on teaching in some of our West London partner schools, and on new fund-raising ideas for our organisation.


In the next few months, Chess in Schools and Communities will be seeking to initiate partnerships with like-minded bodies who are also seeking to improve educational outcomes, and foster social development amongst disadvantaged children through extra-curricula activities such as art, music, drama and physical sport.


If this is an idea that might interest you or your organisation, Clive can be contacted directly at .

Strasbourg Visit Report

Wednesday 15th February 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



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 associated with CSC who wrote to their MEP's.


[Read more here]







Why chess deserves a place in schools

7 February 2012


In Armenia all six-year-olds study chess; in UK schools it 'fell off a cliff' in the 1980s. But its educational benefits are plentiful.


Guardian online commentator calls for chess to be in schools. [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.





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