The sun was shining in the large, spacious, Central Library’s conference room and all was quiet as the team were preparing for the Junior Chess Team Challenge, whilst 22 excited kids were waiting outside to play chess.

Park School who were playing in the chess event for the first time, fielded a full team after having chess coaching since last September by Paul Errington and yours truly.

In opposition, the Central Library Team, with several very keen and enthusiastic juniors who were also playing for the first time.

By 4.15 pm after a short delay due to waiting for some boards to arrive; the pairings were announced, whilst parents, teachers and players were anxiously watching on – maybe a total of 35/40 people in all.

All formalities completed, hands were shaken, clocks started and here we go……15 minutes each player, 3 rounds .. eyes down!

Silence, immaculate concentration from the young 7 to 11 year olds, tension, brain power, and the results started to come in. It was clear from the onset Park were very strong on boards 1-3 with Oliver Smith/Hugo Svedberg and up and coming Joey Li. BCL were stronger through the middle boards with 4/5 players all girls – sign of things to come. On the lower boards you could take your pick and several mating possibilities were all over but finishing off is another thing. Checkmate is the name of the game but they all did so well. By 4.40pm Graham was posting the 1st round results and it was Park 5 BCL 7 – nothing in it.

The 2nd round started at the same pace – click clock click clock. Some really good and thoughtful chess was being played on the top boards and the BCL team did all possible to stop the ongoing march of the top boards but Oliver and Hugo were just too strong and had wins. However through the middle boards Park were getting better and there were some very close results with pieces all flying all over the board – not the floor. End of the 2nd round -5-5 so overall Park 10- BCL 12.

It was now 5.15pm and once all the refreshments were devoured the 3rd and Final round commenced with the tension was very high and all players realising it was anyone’s match. In no time, bang, bang, bang, bang – all winners for Park who took a 2 point lead but wait a minute the girls fought back and these results were reversed and BCL re took the lead. The crowds gathered by the remaining boards and after some clearance was necessary – no security control necessary here, the final games came in with an overall score of another 5-5.

Final result – Park School 15 – Bournemouth Central Library team 17.

There were 32 games of chess played in 2 hours, all rules respected, no issues, the kids embraced the challenge and the event.. Head Teacher Mel Dowler helped with the prizegiving, all players received a medal, and an attendance certificate and the winners Bournemouth Central Library team were handed the trophy!

By 6.15pm, tables re-arranged, equipment sorted, the room was cleared, the sun was still shining and a moment of reflection when I thought quote’ did this really take place’ unquote.

Happy memories, pictures and trophy to remind us all.

Well done all and to the team of helpers, Graham Morris/Steve Bailey/Dee Nustedt and Paul Errington.







April 4, 2019