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.