Thursday 26th November 2009 by C. Freeman
New members are always welcome at the after-school chess club which runs on Tuesday nights. Now around ten members turn up and play under the supervision of Miss James who teaches them new strategies each week.
The emphasis is on friendly competition and there are quite a lot of beginners. Miss James said: 'I put a player with a non-player so they learn the moves from each other. Sometimes I'll show them a four-move checkmate or something that's fun to try out, especially if their parents play. I say “Learn this move and try this one on your parents tonight just to trick them!” '
Jamie Miller from Year 7 has been playing since the club started: 'I played chess before I came here but not very well. I've been going home and practising and I like the fact that chess is a challenge.' He was opposing Year 8 player Tho-Quang Nguyen: 'It's a good game because you are facing new people each time. It's a challenge because whichever way you move they're going to come back at you. It's quite strategic.'
Anyone is welcome to join the club, which runs from 16:15 until around 17:00 and there is generally time for everyone to play a couple of games. Miss James believes it's a great aid to concentration: 'It teaches students how to focus and it's a game where you can have fun and make progress, no matter what age you are or level you play at. We might do a tournament in the spring but right now we're just having fun.'