Chess has become an important part of school life at Westgarth Primary School. We enjoy weekly sessions throughout the school year on Friday afternoons.
The impact of chess on concentration, problem solving and many other transferable skills is self-evident but there are many wider aspects that should not be underestimated. Chess is all-inclusive and every child in our classes is able to participate to the best of their ability. Children who wouldn't necessarily be chosen to represent the school in sporting activities can find their place in our school chess team with just a little commitment and endeavour.
Westgarth’s chess stars took part in many top events this year, including the Project 30 ‘Chess for Life’ festival, which included talks, book signings and a simultaneous display by Grandmaster Matthew Sadler (one of the world’s top players) and Woman International Master Natasha Regan.
A simultaneous display features strong players taking on numerous people at the same time. Westgarth’s players were out in force and gave a really good account of themselves.
Next up was the Megafinal phase of the UK Chess Challenge. Alex Gray shared first place in the U-10 section and Alice Sturman was the U-11 Girls’ Champion. This meant they had qualified for the Manchester Gigafinal, along with Effie Poole and Benjamin Clayton, both of whom had scored well in their respective sections. They all played well in Manchester, where they were up against some of the country’s top juniors.
Alice went on to win the Under-11 Girls’ Teesside Championship and share first place in the inaugural CSC Teesside Problem Solving competition.
In addition to all of the individual success, Westgarth (Alice Sturman, Alex Gray, Matthew Finn, Benjamin Clayton, Sam McGreal also retained their title at the 8th CSC Team Tournament, with a perfect score of 8/8