When it’s time for “big lunch” in Blarney Street CBS, you might expect the boys to make a mad dash outside to play chase or football. Instead, many make a move in a different way: their lunchtime sport of choice is chess.
The strategic board game has been a feature at this Cork primary school for years, a tradition principal Billy Lynch brought with him from his primary school days.
At a time when screens are blamed for shortening children’s attention spans, Lynch finds chess is luring pupils away from their phone screens and helping to foster crucial skills we once took for granted.
“It’s quite social, during lunch they chat away while they are playing,” says Lynch.
He has also noticed how chess is helping his students develop emotional resilience. “You bare your soul when you are playing chess because it’s all about you – you can’t blame the equipment,” says Lynch, “Chess teaches you how to lose.”
But it is the impact of the strategic game on students’ concentration that really stands out.
“In this day and age, when concentration levels are not what they were previously thought to be, you can see them thinking two or three moves ahead.”
Up and down the country, other schools are embracing chess too and seeing the benefits among schoolchildren.
April Cronin, a retired primary school principal and former Irish chess champion, runs chess workshops for teachers in Dublin.
She has noticed social awkwardness becoming more prevalent in her chess clubs of late. It prompted her to teach basic social interactions during her chess lessons. “The first thing I taught them was how to actually shake somebody’s hand and look them in the eye. It was extraordinary how many children didn’t know how to do that,” she says.
Frimley Junior Chess Club is delighted to announcing a partnership with Camberley Chess Club with a reciprocal arrangement to benefit us.
As our members develop as chess players and increase their desire to play more chess and challenge more experienced players we recommend Camberley Chess Club as a thriving club which meets on Tuesday evenings locally.
Camberley Chess Club was established in 1972 and plays in two local leagues and we are pleased to have confirmed a partnership between our two clubs.
The partnership means we will recommend Camberley Chess Club to FJCC members who wish to take their chess further and play in evening league matches and attend club sessions.
In turn, Camberley Chess Club will recommend FJCC to any junior members who may wish to play other juniors of similar experience on a Sunday morning.
We are having a break for Christmas and wish all of our members the very best for Christmas and the New Year !
See you all again on January 7th 2018 !
John Upham, Peter Tart Colin Purdon and Kim Chung Shek !