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I first learned how to play the marvelous chess game at the age of 8. My uncle spent time with me, teaching me the rudiments of the game that was undoubtedly one of the best things he could have taught me. A year later I beat him and developed in chess strength and my uncle then did not want to play me anymore! Many years later, we would play again only this time I would play without a queen!

Kevin set up the chess club in January 2001 and it has run every Wednesday apart from the summer and key holidays since. The club is a great place to come and learn how to play the game and to develop your chess brain.

The discipline of chess has kept my brain sharp, opened many doors & led to a number of chess projects.

I offer a an educational day in schools teaching chess skills and taking on pupils or the entire chess club in a chess simultaneous display. A school in Kings Lynn has invited me several times for a full chess day experience, taking on the entire chess club and teaching skills to pupils in the classes. I can offer this day only on Fridays but am prepared to go to schools in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Kevin recently has offered to run the chess ministry at the Christian Vision For Men weekend at the end of June in a field near Swindon. In June 2016, 2500 men gathered to learn about fellowship in the Kingdom of God and the Christian gospel message. During the free time afternoon on Saturday, I ran the chess ministry with a simultaneous display to start and then got a number of chess games going, awarding four men prizes in the big marquee later that evening. I have been asked to facilitate the chess ministry again this June where approximately 3000 men will come together.

The board game is a complicated, logic solving game that requires you to think strategically to wear your opponent down or to expose a vulnerability in their defensive positioning. You have to be patient to do this and the better the opponent the harder the task! So patience and concentration are important qualities to develop and mental gymnastics too. Speed of thinking is an important discipline to develop as you are normally playing with limited thinking time and to be able to think quickly is helpful to be able to put pressure on your opponent. Perhaps that extra few minutes on your clock will help in the end game.

You may be interested to know that I set up a unique, week long, chess residential holiday called Checkmate, for boys and girls aged 9-17 years.

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There are times on the board that the game gets deep, with lots of tricky situations. In times like these, it is important to take longer time to consider the options and this is why you have to be versatile to be able to play fast and slow. A player who always plays fast will undoubtedly make blunders & miss some of the traps and disguised moves of their opponent. To be able to think though the multiple options that might help you gain position or material on the board is so important.

To be a good chess player you often have to be a mental gymnast.

One Headteacher employed me to teach chess to a mixed class of year 2 to year 6 children for two years. The chess experience was rewarding and each child gained a level of chess playing ability and confidence.

Looking for that key move can be crucial to winning the game. Sometimes it will be a series of moves, other times it could be a single devastating move that blows open your opponent’s defense. Patience, concentration, mental gymnastics, the ability to vary the tempo of your game are key disciplines to the game.

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As you can see chess players make great life drawing models!

Mental conundrums are faced at various points in a game. Do you take, do you not take? What happens if I sacrifice a piece for position? How do I unlock a bad position or a bad piece? It is all good stuff and the important thing about the game is to enjoy it. You certainly gain from the mental exercise [that compliments physical exercise] and can be just as tiring too. Keeping your brain sharp will help you in those decision making situations you will face at other times in your life.

Checkmate residential, Bedfordshire

Teaching chess at Canterbury House, a half way house for men and women who often have alcoholic or drug related issues was a rewarding experience. Over the board I found you can talk as well as think and it helps you to relate to people from various nationalities. Chess has a therapeutic quality and can help towards dealing with stress situations. The staff appreciated me going in for a year to offer to play the men and women in the home.

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Chess has a therapeutic quality and can help towards dealing with stress situations.

The game will pose many problems and overcoming obstacles will be part of your game. Sometimes you will retreat from a situation, other times the best way to overcome a problem is to go on the offensive. You will need to assess the options and make a decision. As you learn the game you will make mistakes but if you can learn from those experiences, you will become a better player. In time you will recognize positions on the board that are ones to avoid if at all possible. Knights are great pieces to overcome tight situations as they are only piece that can jump out of danger. They can be very dangerous working in tandem with each other and can be tricky pieces to play against if your opponent is a canny player. Watch out for those forks!

Kevin before embarking on the chess simultaneous display at Checkmate

My latest chess adventure has been teaching adults as part of the Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health initiative at Thetford Library on Friday mornings. People attend from Thetford to Bury and surrounding villages, it is always good to meet new people in life. My experience in teaching chess enables me to take people forward even though they may be at different playing abilities. I enjoy working with adults as much as children and young people & find chess and art open many doors to relate to people.

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With a king and a knight it is impossible to win a game so you will need to keep some other pieces! A king & a rook or king & a queen will be fine to win the game, but a minor piece like a bishop or knight will not be enough on their own with a king. A king & a pawn can also win depending on the position. There are times you might be up against it & the best thing to do is battle the game out for a draw. Pieces maybe working back to back to achieve this end result.

 Checkmate has drawn children from across the world, literally from South Korea to join the holiday for young people. Children have also attended from France, Germany and Spain.

Chess is great for the brain, use it or lose it they say! I intend to use it!

Through the Checkmate holiday I have had the privilege of working with many great young people who love games. Jake, pictured, has served on the Checkmate holiday pretty much every year from its beginning in 2008. As a result he has developed his chess play but also he has developed in many ways with young people.

You may be interested to know that I set up a unique, week long, chess residential holiday called Checkmate, for boys and girls aged 9-17 years in 2008 and have successfully developed this educational holiday in August over the years. It is open to young people across the UK and abroad. Internationally we have so far had young people from France, South Korea, Spain, Lithuania, United States and Germany, so if you are reading this abroad, you can still come!


I work for Face2Face Educational Trust and take chess into schools as part of an educational experience, clubs, churches, libraries and even into open air situations sometimes in the street or forecourt of a church. If you would be interested in booking me to come to your club or school, please make contact.

Contact emails for Kevin: kevinmoore758@btinternet.com or kevinmooreface2facetrust@gmail.com

Kevin Moore

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