Youngsters at Newham chess competition show Mayor how it‘s done

Young players Yola Stephenson, 7, and Samuel Gulipilli, 10, pose with Mayor Sir Robin Wales

Young players Yola Stephenson, 7, and Samuel Gulipilli, 10, pose with Mayor Sir Robin Wales - Credit: Archant

Youngsters from local primary schools demonstrated a talent for strategic thinking when they taught Mayor Sir Robin Wales some game-winning moves as part of a local chess tournament launched recently.

The launch of the Newham Primary Schools’ Team Chess Tournament kicked off at the Old Town Hall in Stratford where more than 160 children from 13 schools across the borough joined the mayor.

Sir Robin made the first ceremonial move at the school tournament and told the children about his involvement in his school chess team.

The mayor said: “Chess is another skill that young people can learn.

“Giving children opportunities to find the things they enjoy builds their resilience, and that’s what we’re about.”


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Now teaching chess in 23 local schools, the Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) programme has got over 4,000 pupils involved with the project since starting a year ago and arranged the tournament as part of their partnership with Newham Council.

The council-supported programme has also seen the formation of a successful chess club at Stratford Library and a 20-strong Newham under-11 chess team.

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Director of CSC Malcom Pein said: “The sheer number of children playing chess today is a testament to the work being done in schools.”

The chess competition drew to a close with Ravenscroft School sharing first place with St Joachim’s from Custom House.

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