Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School Awarded British Chess Educational Trust Award

The British Chess Educational Trust  (BCET) is a registered charity set up over 50 years ago for the purposes of ‘The teaching, development and supervision of chess by young chess players in educational establishments’ and provides grants for awards to schools in recognition of chess activities.

The determination of recipients is delegated to the various regional Chess organisations including the Northern Counties’ Chess Union (NCCU) and within the NCCU membership are several county associations of which the Merseyside Chess Association (MCA) is one.

The NCCU asked the MCA to make a submission for an award for 2017 and consideration was then given as to which school should be recommended. After discussion among the MCA committee and with the advice and assistance of the MCA Junior Organiser, Mrs Cathy Rothwell, it was agreed to put forward MTGS as a well-deserved recipient and this was accepted by the NCCU and BCET.

Mrs Rothwell of the Southport Chess Club and Mr Jimmy Gallagher of the Liverpool Chess Club have been instrumental in the last couple of years in bringing into being a Merseyside Junior Chess organisation which has proved very active and of which a prominent member has been MTGS both for its playing teams but also for the provision of facilities and accommodation to enable multiple team matches and congresses to take place. These have been very successful and over 100 young players are expected to take part in the next congress at MTGS later this month.

On 28th September the current president of the MCA, Mr Mike Barrett of the Formby Chess Club, and a member of the NCCU Committee, visited the school to present the award of a beautiful traditional wooden chess set and board together with a very modern digital chess clock to the school Chess Club. The club meets weekly on Thursday lunchtimes and he was met by Mrs Barry and Mr Bradshaw who supervise this activity. He was then very pleasantly surprised to find approximately 30 girls from a number of school years settling down to play games or watch and advise their friends in play. It was clear from the provision of a buffet lunch for the girls and the sight of girls in Army or RAF fatigues with one or two in sports outfits that chess is only one of a number of activities that take place but that every effort is made to enable the girls to play chess as much as possible. In reply to a comment that the two adults might be unable to effectively tutor the large number of girls present Mr Barrett was told that the more experienced players helped their junior colleagues and this was apparent in that part of the room where the rudiments of chess were being explained to some beginners. He was also introduced to one or two players who had previously attended an Aughton primary school well known locally and indeed regionally for its quality of chess playing.

In presenting the award to representatives of the chess club Mr Barrett thanked the school for its hospitality and congratulated both it and its chess club members for their efforts, enthusiasm and success in promoting chess in the school and in the wider area of Merseyside. He said that those girls in military uniform especially would be able to understand the analogy of chess to war in terms of tactics, control of the board and limiting the availability of space and attacking opportunity to the opponent whilst pressing home one’s own attack either because of superior forces or with a dramatic attack. He wished all the players well in their endeavours and in return he was thanked for coming and presenting the award.

Chess Club – Kings & Queens Join Forces

Merchant Taylors’ Primary School and Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ Junior School have collaboratively joined forces to create a mammoth Chess coaching session. In all, 43 extremely keen and enthusiastic chess players attended the after school activity, coached by Chess Coach, Karl Nadin.  The girls and boys enjoyed their time together and played many games which required great concentration! We are all looking forward to the exciting year ahead of learning to be even better chess players!


Lancashire Table Tennis Association Junior (U/18) & Cadet (U/15) Trials Garstang – September 9th-10th 2017

All five of the school’s competitive Table Tennis Players (Max & Rhys Davies, Nick & Chris Moustaka and Harry Griffiths) were nominated by the Southport Table Tennis League to compete in the Lancashire County Trials held recently in Garstang.

All five played in the U/18 category against the best players in Lancashire and Cumbria with the objective of being selected to represent Lancashire in the County Championships. Lancashire have two Junior Teams competing in the Premier Division for the top eight counties with the 2nd team competing in Division 2! There would be up to seven places for boys’ and five for the girls’ to fight for. The contestants play in a series of round robin matches which then result in a county ranking from 1 to 30!

Top seed Rhys got off to a good start by winning his original group (including a win against Harry) to ensure that he remained in the battle to rank the top twelve. Only the top two in each of the six groups make this phase while all the 3rd, 4th and 5th placed players play off for places 13-30. Unfortunately, and despite some good wins, the four other players did not make the top twelve.

The second phase saw three groups of four play to reach the final part of the selection process. The three group winners would play off for positions 1-3, the runner’s-up for places 4-6 and so on. The draw had produced a particularly tough group for Rhys with all four players having previously represented Lancashire. Despite this he continued to excel, winning all three matches without dropping a set to make it through to the top group, where he continued to dominate and winning 3-1 & 3-0 to top the rankings.

This means that Rhys will represent Lancashire for the 3nd year in a row at U/18 level and this time he will lead the 1st team in the premier division against Sussex, Nottinghamshire, Kent, Middlesex, Yorkshire, Hampshire & Glamorgan.

Harry returned the next day to start the process again in the U/15s with Rhys automatically selected and ranked at No.1 due to his high national ranking. Harry gained valuable experience and notched up his 1st win at this level which augurs well for the coming season.

Rowing Success

Congratulations to Sophie Gillbanks of MTGS and her partner Georgia Shirley (St Mary’s School, Northwich RC) for their outstanding achievement upon winning their seventh national rowing title together last month in Nottingham, at the British Rowing Junior Championships 2017.

Sophie and Georgia once again achieved the fastest time in the Time Trial on the Saturday, comfortably winning their Semi-Final on the Sunday morning with a time of 08:19.19. They then went on to win the Final to gain another gold medal for their third consecutive year, with a time of 08:14.24 in the Women’s Junior 16 Double Sculls.

Sophie’s sister Lucy (an Old Girl of MTGS), also represented GB Universities at the European Championships, held in Serbia, the same weekend Sophie was competing in Nottingham. Lucy brought home two silver medals, one in the Women’s Lightweight Quad and another in the Women’s Lightweight Double.

The girls have thrived due to their outstanding levels of commitment, hard work and focus and have all performed incredibly well. We hope to see more great successes in the years to come.



British Rowing Championships. (2017). 2017 British Rowing Junior Championships.