There are many opportunities for boys to get involved in playing chess at Queen Elizabeth’s School. We find that playing chess has many benefits for our pupils: it is enhances concentration and patience, as well as developing creativity and analytical and problem-solving skills. And, of course, it is enjoyable too.
Central to the School’s success in chess is our Improvers’ Chess Club, which takes place every Monday after school. The School benefits enormously from the contribution of Tony Corfe, a professional chess coach and organiser, who runs the club in collaboration with five other professional coaches. The club has long been enormously popular and is currently attended by some140 boys. Pupils are placed in ability groups: this matches them against those of a similar standard and challenges them to play themselves up into higher groups.
The Year 7 Chess Tournament and Years 8 to 11 Swiss Chess Tournament (in which players of similar ability are paired under the Swiss system) are popular annual events, with more than 50 boys typically competing in each. We are also represented by two teams of 12 players at the Millfield International Chess Tournament, the most prestigious schools’ chess tournament on the calendar, and by several teams in the National Chess Team Championships. The School Team plays in the top schools’ knockout competition, the English Chess Federation National Schools’ Championship, and has qualified for the final stages on several occasions.
In addition, we take boys to compete in the Basildon Junior Chess Congress, in the National U14 Quickplay Championships in Birmingham and in the British Land UK Chess Challenge. The school’s growing reputation in chess has been further endorsed by the invitation of boys in recent years to compete in an international tournament in Dubai.