Chess in schools


Sandal Castle School jumbo chessJumbo chess boards have been presented by Wakefield Rotary Club at two city schools. Rotarian Roland Mold (left) helped set up chess clubs at Sandal Castle Primary School and Sandal Magna Academy and he is pictured here at the former with teacher Jonathan Dore and some of the children who are enjoying learning the game in an unusual way.

As part of a European initiative to encourage young people to take up chess, for several years Wakefield Rotary Club has been involved in promoting the game in schools. The effort has been led by Rotarian Roland Mold and has also seen the club providing prizes for special competitions in the Wakefield Junior Chess Championships.

Sandal school chess June 2015Roland has been involved in a volunteer reading programme at Sandal Magna Community Academy since 2003 and in 2005 he started up a school chess club, teaching pupils to a level that led to success at local competition level. Now he is helping the recently-launched chess club at Sandal Castle Primary School and he is pictured here (on the right) with teacher Jonathan Dore and five club members (from left) Max Brzezicki, Daniel Spiers, Willow Pindar, Oliver Spiers and Leon Drzewicz.

Roland is a member of the Rotary club’s vocational committee whose chairman, Martin Perry, is a governor at Sandal Castle school and it was at his invitation that Roland joined in the chess activities at the school.

Magnetic chess board in use at Sandal magna schoolAS PART of the Rotary Chess Initiative, the Wakefield club presented a magnetic chess board in November 2009 which is now being used for teaching the game to students at the city's Sandal Magna junior school.

Some of the youngsters are pictured here with club member Roland Mold, a volunteer who has been instructing youngsters and tutoring the school's chess team. Helping with this session is Sandal Magna's chess captain, Sam Liddicott (left).

The club has given chessboards and sets to various schools in the area.

Roland said: "I've been doing this work at the school for six years now and it's a real pleasure to see the joy and interest the youngsters get from learning the game and taking part in it competitively."

Wakefield junior chess championships

Rotarian Rold Mold with members of the 2009 team from Sandal Magna J & I SchoolFOR the third time junior schools in Wakefield have faced one another across the chequered boards to compete for a Rotary chess trophy.

The Stanley Grundy Memorial Trophy award, presented by the Wakefield club, honours a Rotarian from Teddington who launched the Chess Initiative, a charity that provides funds to encourage chess among young people.

The competition took place at Lofthouse Gate school, which received £50 for its funds. Its team clinched the under-9s title but they were pipped at the post in the under-11s section by St Austin's school, who took the main trophy.

Cups and medals were presented by Wakefield Rotary Club president, David Pickover, who congratulated all those who had taken part. Adjudicator for the day was John Newsome, well known for his contribution to junior schools chess in the Wakefield area.

Rotarian Roland Mold, who set up the Stanley Grundy trophy, said: "We hold the competition each March, as near as possible to the 7th, which was the day on which Stanley died three years ago. This year (2009) we were able to hold it on the exact anniversary."

The Wakefield club is involved in promoting chess to young people in various ways and has given chess sets to several schools.

Photograph above

ONE of the schools the Wakefield club has ‘adopted' through its chess and literacy initiatives is Sandal Magna J & I. Here Roland Mold is pictured with the school's team, which came third in the under-11s chess competition. The youngsters are (from left): Jack Bingham, Sam Liddicott (captain), Charlotte Nye, Ondrej Herda and Safia Alam.

Under 9 chess winners 2009 - Lofthouse Gate J & I 









See REPORTS - 13.07.08

Junior Schools' Chess Championship

THE second annual Wakefield junior schools chess competition for the Stanley Grundy Memorial Trophy took place on the 8th March 2008. It was a great success with teams from Lofthouse Gate taking the top awards on their home ground.

The award, presented by Wakefield Rotary Club to be competed for by local schools, honours the memory of a Rotarian from Teddington who set up the Chess Initiative, a charity providing funds to promote the game to young people throughout the world.

The under-11s trophy went to Lofthouse Gate A team, with the school's B team taking the runners-up prize. The same school's under-9s, the only team to take part in that section, received a cup. Because they had no opposition, they played one another, individual awards going to two of the team. Medals for meritorious play went to four other youngsters who had performed well throughout the competition.

The event was organised by Andy Colley, secretary of Wakefield Primary Schools Chess Association. John Newsome, well known for his contribution to junior schools chess, acted as adjudicator and the prizes were presented by Peter Gallivan, president of Wakefield Rotary Club.

Roland Mold, chairman of the club's vocational committee and a chess player himself, said: "This has been a great day and all the youngsters have shown incredible enthusiasm. "The competition is held each March, which is the month in which Stanley Grundy died in 2006. His Chess Initiative charity gave us the money to run this event and provide the chess sets as well as the cups and medals. We have also been able to give chess sets to the Wensleydale and Elland clubs, who are already involved in promoting chess in their local junior schools." In addition, the Wakefield club has given chess sets to a number of schools in its area.



Expanding the chess initiative

District Governor Ken Robertshaw's visit to the Wakefield club on the 17th January 2008 was used as an opportunity to hand over chess sets and T-shirts to two Elland past-presidents who are heavily involved with chess at a couple of schools in their area. Now that scheme may be expanded.


The material came through the Chess Education Initiative, a charitable trust set up by the late Stanley Grundy, of Teddington Rotary Club. The trust has provided Wakefield Rotary with materials to distribute to other clubs in the hope of encouraging schools chess projects in the district. Last year 60 youngsters took part in the first Rotary-initiated Wakefield area primary schools chess competition. The next tournament is scheduled for March 8.


Items presented to the Elland club also included a book on how to teach the game to young children.


Pictured are (front row) DG Ken, Wakefield president Peter Gallivan and his vocational committee chairman, Roland Mold. Standing behind them are Edward Walker and Tony Chadwick from the Elland club.