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Lockdown has not got in the way of chess. Due to its online accessibility, chess has seen a recent surge in activity with people from all over the world participating in an ever-expanding list of events and tournaments. Our Chess Club love a new challenge and our talented members have taken part in a huge range of activities, from online simuls (courtesy of “The Chess Pit Podcast’s Phil Makepeace), to national competitions representing Merseyside.

In May, nine students, along with Old Blues Mr Henderson and Miss Long from the Class of 2009, took part in the English Chess Federation’s “Checkmate Covid-19” challenge, a 24-hour chess marathon supporting The British Red Cross’s current extra work helping those affected by lock down, and the corona virus. Pitting themselves against the very best that the ECF had to offer (including a constant stream of Masters), students each took a turn participating, meaning that at least 1 member of our school community was involved for each of the 24 hours.

Some students chose to stream their matches on Twitch and we enjoyed a number of engaging and active streams which helped us raise £190 (£90 more than our target, and almost 4 times as much as what would have been raised if we had just paid the suggested donations!).

The highlight of the event came at the twentieth hour, when Year 9 student David managed to time out a Grand Master, taking the technical victory despite being a rook down. Given that this particular Grand Master has, at one time, defeated World Champion Magnus Carlsen, David can now claim to have beaten someone who’s beaten the World Champion.

Over the course of the 24 hours Chess Club members played a total of 333 games. We’d like to congratulate to Fred, David, Sai, Pranav, Haris, Kevin, Shamal, Aadi and Frank for a fantastic effort, proving that chess can be used to achieve great things!

If you would like to help our Chess Club raise funds for the British Red Cross please click here to access their Just Giving page.

Read more in Extra-curricular, Competitions

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