Bellevue Place Education Trust

The Queen's Gambit 2024

Halley House School, Watling Park School and Whitehall Park School all arrived at Kilburn Grange School ready to battle it out on the chess board for the annual BPET Queen's Gambit tournament. At the same time, Whiteknights Primary School welcomed players from Evendons and Rivermead for the Berkshire hub gathering, including some parents who came along as spectators.

This year's competition saw a total of 48 keen boys and girls, ranging from Year 4 to 6, compete in five exciting rounds. The atmosphere was solemn and silence reigned supreme as the players were carefully evaluating their next move.

Once the London tournament drew to a close Jonny Pein, from Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), commended the pupils for their incredible focus, high level of playing and their fantastic sportsmanship. Medals were awarded to the top three individual highest scorers, and the trophy was presented to the school with the highest combined score. Every child was also gifted a fantastic magnetic chess set to encourage them to keep on playing wherever they are.

Whitehall Park School emerged victorious in the London tournament by a narrow margin, and retained their champions title from last year. 

The youngest member of the winning team, Melissa (Year 5), expressed both shock and delight at her results in the second round: "Everyone I've played against is in Year 6, so I'm surprised that I won"! Melissa didn't let the age difference hinder her, instead she let her strategic thinking and calm demeanour help her earn 12/15 points for the Whitehall Park team.

Whilst in Berkshire, Whiteknights Primary School, represented by two teams, topped the scoreboards and took home the trophy! Matt, from CSC, said: "The improvement of Whiteknights' pupils over the past 12 months was amazing. They came last in 2023 and this year won comfortably. Since last year, we’ve had a tutor going in for a couple of hours each week for Whiteknights' after school club, and it has clearly made a difference."

Well done to all the players who partook in the tournament, they showed resilience, patience and incredible skill.

Individual medal winners

London hub:
  • Anna (Whitehall Park School) 13/15 points
  • Lewis (Whitehall Park School) 13/15 points
  • James (Whitehall Park School) 13/15 points

Berkshire hub:

  • Aarav (Whiteknights Primary School) 15/15 points
  • Samuel, Aiden, Theo (Rivermead Primary School) 13/15 points
  • Daniel (Evendons Primary School), Yunus, Tisya, Deepak, Joel (Rivermead Primary School), Arth, Joseph (Whiteknights Primary School) 12/15 or 11/15 points.

Many thanks to CSC for facilitating the tournaments, and supporting our pupils throughout the day.