Youngsters in Sheffield schools are making all the right moves – after discovering chess is a great way to make a mate, writes Mike Russell.
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National charity Chess in Schools and Communities has introduced the game to four inner city primary schools as part of the curriculum.
Meanwhile at the nearby Fir Vale secondary chess is all the rage among pupils after University of Sheffield students volunteered to help run a weekly club.
Chris Kirkland from the university is a member of the charity and has seen the children’s enthusiasm at first hand. “We’ve been teaching chess at Byron Wood, Firs Hill, Owler Brook and St Catherine’s primaries, all in the Burngreave and Pitsmoor areas,” he said.
“The project resulted in our first ever inter-schools tournament which we held at St Catherine’s. It was a great opportunity for the children to demonstrate their knowledge of chess and show just what they had learned over the last 30 weeks.’’
It’s a similar story at Fir Vale where nearly 100 students are signed up to the weekly chess club.
The big event of the summer term was an inaugural tournament played between pupils from Fir Vale and Ecclesfield schools – with the visitors coming out on top by 139 points to 121.