Checkmate for Stanningley Primary School pupils in global chess event

Stanningley Primary School pupils with Rachel Reeves MP.

Pupils from Stanningley Primary School were joined by Leeds West MP and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves as part of a global chess event this week.

Along with 29 other schools from all over the UK, they took part in a range of activities in London’s Manchester Square Gardens. They become real ‘knights’ on giant chessboards, taking part in live action games, and having chess lessons from real life masters.

ChessFest is a three-day event which encourages kids and adults to get ‘on board’ with the world’s oldest game, which culminates with an event in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 16 July. 

10,000 visitors are expected for the free event, which is open to all. Trafalgar Square will be covered in chess sets, the centrepiece of which will be a giant board occupied by 32 actors dressed as fantasy chess pieces, who will replay iconic games from chess history.

Members of the public will be able to challenge the UK’s top two players Michael Adams and David Howell and other England internationals in simultaneous matches. There will also be free tuition from professional chess teachers, with separate teaching zones for adults and children.

A giant screen will broadcast live chess matches played online between children from London, Liverpool, and Hull as well as a ‘Battle of the Prodigies’ between the USA and England.

ChessFest aims to build on the surge in popularity of chess after the success of Netflix show ‘Queen’s Gambit’ and showcase its universal appeal as we approach ‘International Chess Day on 20th July. The event was organised by Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), a charity that uses chess to enhance children’s educational and social development.

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