School plays winning move with chess club

Paul Bielby, centre, president of the Northumbria Junior Chess Association, presents the award to Henry Gormally, watched by headteacher Maria Wilson and pupils Joe Hemsley, Ruby Juggins, Gabriel Brown and Ryan Harrison-Frater. Picture by Jane Coltman
Paul Bielby, centre, president of the Northumbria Junior Chess Association, presents the award to Henry Gormally, watched by headteacher Maria Wilson and pupils Joe Hemsley, Ruby Juggins, Gabriel Brown and Ryan Harrison-Frater. Picture by Jane Coltman
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A school certainly has the right strategy when it comes to chess.

Now St Paul’s RCVA Middle School in Alnwick has been presented with an award for its promotion of the game and its participation in the UK Chess Challenge.

Every year the Northern Counties Chess Union makes an award to the school it feels has done its best for chess in the previous few seasons.

Paul Bielby, president of the Northumbria Junior Chess Association, presented the award to Henry Gormally, who runs the club, members Gabriel Brown, Joe Hemsley, Ruby Juggins and Ryan Harrison-Frater and headteacher Maria Wilson.

The school was given a wooden chessboard and pieces and a digital chess clock.

Mr Gormally has been taking children to the UK Chess Challenge Newcastle Megafinal, held at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle, for almost eight years.

As well as the mix of years at the middle school, students from the Duchess’s Community High School still come back to St Paul’s to take part and help out with the club.

High-school student Gabriel Brown said: “As an ex-student, it is terrific to see the club still going strong and achieving such great things. It’s great seeing a club much treasured by those who go to it continuing to thrive and I strongly advise all those who attend St Paul’s Middle to go.”