Menacing moves: Haileybury’s chess club begins tournaments

Over the past few weeks, members of the Haileybury Chess club have been taking part in online chess tournaments. Lead by Mr McCarthy, the Chess club is home to 65 pupils in total; a mixture of both boys and girls across all year groups, coming head to head in a bid to ‘check mate’ their opponent.

As the pupils are not currently on site, they have been using an online platform to run the tournaments. Before playing, they can practice their skills by playing against bots or by completing various puzzles. It is also recommended that pupils learn more about the game by watching tutorials or other games on YouTube, to “hone their skills before taking on opponents” Mr McCarthy said.

The online game keeps track of their movements and scores, as if they were playing in person. It captures everything from good moves to blunders, giving advice on which move would have been better and has a scale showing which player is dominating the board.

The tournaments begin at 4pm every Wednesday and last for a total of 90 minutes. In last week’s tournament, 15 players took part, with Middles pupil Kevin winning, Upper Sixth pupil Beliz coming 2nd and Fifths pupil Tommy coming 3rd. Upper Sixth pupil Sam was playing against Tommy when he blundered by moving his knight, which inadvertently meant that he served his queen to black (pictured).

At the end of every tournament, the top 3 players are awarded Green Tickets for their success and excellent use of logic and understanding of the game.