Usually, throughout each school new year, there are weekly/ fortnightly chess matches that take place between schools, despite the vast distances schools may have to travel.  There are even competitions later on towards the end of the school year where schools compete with each other through small stages, before selected schools that are top of these stages come again to compete in the ultimate tournament, the most prestigious tournament to decide the chess champion of schools.

Unfortunately, this cannot happen, for obvious reasons, leaving the school chess community unsure of what to do, or if they were going to even set up competitions. Fortunately, with the help of technology and online chess websites, such as lichess or, these events were able to be set up, which, although can allow significantly more cheating or can lead to less competition during events, can create fun and enjoyment for many individuals, including myself.

There had already been weekly chess events set up between schools in the borough of surrey or neighbouring counties over the past few months, however these were very casual, relaxing and were purely for fun. The organiser of these events, Dr Cooper, also an ECF chess organiser, is currently also Wilson’s (my school’s) chess teacher so Wilson’s was always included in these ‘inter-school’ events as they were called, and there were always other internal events (between people in the school) going on at different times in the week, allowing students at Wilsons to have the full online chess experience.

Last week was possibly the largest event out of all events in online history so far. Although the purpose was not for competitive purposes, purely for fun, 38 schools all over England signed up for the event which included 500 people altogether, creating a truly phenomenal experience. Besides mass spamming of the chat and perhaps some cheeky comments here and there, everyone seemed to be having a great time and suggested ways to improve the tournament or simply wanted another tournament in the future. Wilson’s also happened to win the tournament, so it was a great time for my school too.

Overall, I recommend playing chess, or if u don’t play, maybe go around your school and see whether there is any support for chess! It is a great way to relax and train the mind to think about problems, especially during these times. Hopefully, u learned something about the school chess community today, and I hope that you may possibly choose to learn or find out more about chess.