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Open Air Chess


School Chess Ministry

Thursday, May 24th, was a beautiful sunny day so I took the opportunity to set up chess tables outside & take on all-comers in the school during the lunch hour. A number of children came to participate in games or to watch. I wore my Chelsea shirt which also stimulated plenty of discussion after the Champions League win in Munich on Saturday. I run the club each week & coach junior aged children. I also runs an after school art club on Mondays. These are ministries I offer as part of my work with Face2Face Educational Trust as it brings me face to face with children.

September 20th, overcast but dry. Set up 8 boards & sets for the lunch time club making the most of the dry weather [you never know how long it will last!]. Over lunch time I was inundated with children across the school age band, mostly novices or with some knowledge. I have been learning techniques in working with children who are complete novices.  I also work in the school on Wednesday afternoons as an art teacher so wear ‘different hats’. Being outside gives added profile to the club that competes with children ‘letting off steam in running around in general play’ & the lunchtime patterns. I reckon if you can do a lunchtime club you can do any club, it is challenging but a good starting point.

November 15th, autumnal but dry & ideal to go outside for an open air chess session. I set up tables & chairs, boards & to save time leave the children to set up the sets. As some will come who do not know how to play I have devised various lessons to begin the game. More advanced lessons follow for the beginner over some weeks before they move forwards in their playing ability. This means I can take people at different levels of play and cope at the same time. The children like being outside so if I wrap up then it can work. It will be interesting to see if there will be more open air opportunities this year!

School Chess Day Visits

Sometimes I am invited to go to a school to take on a chess club of 20 plus players and do an exhibition chess simultaneous display. This can also be linked to teaching in the classroom in the Religious Education lessons. Some visits will be all day and will include being looked after like a VIP all day! The school below is in Kings Lynn and has invited me on several occasions and the visits have always included a simul during the morning and teaching lessons after lunch.


I played 20-24 players on each visit before lunch and awarded best girl and boy prizes.


Open Air Chess Ministry

On the first Saturday of each month in the afternoon, I set up in the forecourt of King Street Baptist Church and take on all-comers from the High Street [weather permitting of course]. This has proved to be a successful outing each month and four people last year came to the clubs I offer in art and chess at The Art Studio. I find it rewarding meeting and taking on players from various nationalities living in Thetford or visiting for the day. I take the opportunity to hand out publicity to the players inviting them to the Thetford Chess Club.

Chess Residential Holiday

Each August I run a 6 day holiday for young people aged 9-17 years in Bedfordshire. If you are interested please go to the Holiday section and read about the Checkmate holiday. The holiday is open to people to book in, please contact for booking form and details.


Christian Vision For Men #TG16

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I offered and ran the chess ministry at the Christian Vision For Men weekend in June where 2300 men gathered for a weekend of fellowship, fun, Christian teaching and worship. In the free time, the chess added another ingredient to the varied options including football, seminars and axe throwing! I played over 4 hours and awarded three trophies for good chess play.


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