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THIS article is primarily about creating opportunities for our local youngsters to excel in chess. Why? You may ask. Because playing the game is great fun and has proven spin-off benefits into other dimensions of the child's life. These include social skills, meeting new people, and playing competitive games in a sporting way. And also study skills, match preparation, improved concentration and mental stamina. Then there are cognitive skills like reasoning, analysis, and imagination. And of course simply sitting quietly and thinking purposefully for extended periods of time. All qualities that will resonate positively through all dimensions of a person's life. If you are convinced by this then you may wish to reflect on some of the following thoughts and propositions.

The English Chess Federation, ECF, are attempting to roll out a programme of training sessions for parents and teachers, with the intention of inspiring them and providing them with the knowledge and skills to teach juniors to play chess and to play it better. The inaugural session attracted just eight interested attendees. Regretfully I was unable to attend personally but the feedback I have received, from two people who did, was that it was an excellent session targeting the very early steps in teaching groups of juniors. This session is being repeated on Thursday, May 25, and I will be there. More details about time and venue soon.

Before then, there are two events on Saturday, May 15, at Forest Hall. One is a qualifying competition for the National Championships. The other is a training event to help existing young players of all standards improve their game.

In the afternoon, from 2pm-6pm, the Northumbria Last Chance Saloon for the Delancey UK Chess Challenge will be held at: Forest Hall Ex-Servicemen's Institute, Crescent Way North, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 9AR.

It will be hosted by Forest Hall Chess Club. Entry fees of PS8 per player can be submitted online via the Northumbria Junior Chess Association website: or can be paid on the day The Last Chance Saloon is for Under 11s only, as all children 11 years and older can enter the MegaFinal at Newcastle Royal Grammar School on May 20 directly without pre-qualification. Children from any county, town or city are welcome at the event.

The Last Chance Saloon will consist of seven rounds, and the best performances will qualify children to the MegaFinal one week later.

Before the Last Chance Saloon, earlier in the day Forest Hall Chess Club is also hosting a combined Grandmaster Training session for junior and adult players, led by three experienced coaches: Grandmaster Daniel Gormally, FM Tim Wall and Mike Smith. The theme will be: "How to Improve Your Tactics".

This follows an earlier event but with a rather different format. It will start with an introduction by Daniel lasting about 30 minutes where he will present ideas about identifying opportunites for and executing tactical motifs.

This will be followed by a one-hour session in three groups working on prepared positions to practise and consolidate the ideas involved.

Then there will be a half hour session to pull the ideas together and to deal with any issues that people have identified.

The whole programme should be both informative and good fun This will run from 11.30am to 1.30pm, and will be open to chess players of all ages and abilities. Cost is PS10 per player.

Entries for the Grandmaster Training are being taken by Mike Smith: By email: By telephone: 07717 718 761 In the English Grand Prix Circuit last year 14 local juniors qualified in the top 100 in their age group... which is good... but we can do better still!

They were: Under 18 Hanif Zaman 29th, Under 17 Joseph Dalton 5th, Under 14 John Wall 20th, Max Turner 27th, Under 12 Jamie McIntosh 37th, Ishaan Mahmoud 63rd, Under 11 Charlie Mooney 82nd,Under 10 Jerry Zheng 19th, Harman Gill 96th, pawn.

h the for clear is path the and Bxh7 4.

move other any if and promotes pawn h the Pxg6 if and Bxg6 3.

Kxd7 Qxd7 2.

Ke7 Bf7ch, 1.

B) promote will pawn the Rxh7 if and Qthe wins Qxg5 2.

Kxh7 if Rh7ch 1.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 5, 2017
Next Article:48 hours Your next North EastHot List.

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