The Queen’s Gambit 2023

On 22 March, Kilburn Grange School in London and Whiteknights Primary School in Berkshire saw teams of chess players congregating into their halls, ready to rack their brains for the Queen’s Gambit competition with the help of Chess in Schools.

This is the second year BPET organised a trust-wide chess tournament with teams from both the hubs of London and Berkshire taking part. Pupils have been preparing for this occasion for weeks, and were glad to practise under the supervision of professional chess players before the actual start.

As Nevil Chan, the London regional coordinator, put it: “Chess is a game that goes beyond languages, cultures or disabilities. You don’t need to speak each other’s language, if there is a chess board, you can sit down, exercise your brain and connect with your opponent. Chess helps in developing logical and strategic thinking, creativity and patience”.

London hub

In London, the team trophy was awarded to Whitehall Park School, although Watling Park School was so close behind that the Chess in Schools team had to re-count all the points.

Individual medals were awarded for top three scores, with Freddy and Robinson from Whitehall Park School deciding to draw and share the gold medal.

Berkshire hub

Exactly at the same time, in Berkshire, Braywick Court School won the team trophy, with Whiteknights Primary School coming second, and Evendons Primary School third.

Matt Piper, who managed the Berkshire hub said: “It was a pleasure to run the BPET chess tournament at Whiteknights Primary School. All our tutors were really impressed by the standard of the children’s play and by the supportive manner in which they treated their opponents. We’re delighted that both Whiteknights and Braywick Court are in the process of setting up permanent chess clubs and we’re looking forward to supporting them in those projects.”