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On Thursday 28th May Chess Club invited Old Blues from right across the UK and around the world to join them in an online chess battle, the first of its kind in Blue Coat history. Chess Club coordinator and Old Blue Jenny Long, from the Class of 2009, takes up the story. 

“Organising a match with our Old Blues is something we’ve been looking to do for a long time, as we know that our alumni network is full of fantastic players with plenty of stories and memories to share. We were thrilled to have former students from as far as New Zealand signing up to participate and, based on the ratings, we knew that there’d be some tough games in store for our current Blue Coat students!

Amongst the Old Blues was Jim Beaty from the Class of 1978, who led Blue Coat to its only national championship victory in 1977. Despite having not played for nearly forty years, Jim showed us exactly why he was able to lead the School to victory, remaining unbeaten for the course of the tournament and coming second with 22 points. Just pipping him to the post with 23 points was the elusive Michael Banks, from the Class of 2004, whose chess matches are still fondly remembered by Mr Shipgood. With the top two Old Blues taking 45 points between them, and the remainder of the Old Blues earning 35, the Old Blues claimed the victory 80 – 45.

We would like to thank all of our Old Blues who dusted off their chess boards and joined in (though we suspect claims of being “rusty” were just to lull us into a false sense of security!). Our current students really enjoyed the very high level of chess displayed that night and we hope that our Old Blues enjoyed it as much as we did. Now, who’d be up for a rematch?!”

If you are an Old Blue and you’d like to take part in a future Old Blues v Current Blues tournament please contact Chess Club coordinator Miss Jenny Long at 

Thanks to a generous donation from an Old Blue following this event, we are launching a new Chess Prize, in memory of former Blue Coat teacher and Chess Club leader Mr Ken Champion. Each year the prize will be awarded to the most improved Chess Club player. 

Read more in Old Blues, Competitions, Extra-curricular

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