News 2015 English Schools Team Problem Solving Championship - Introduction


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English Schools Team Problem Solving Championship - Introduction
Written by Brian Stephenson   
Article Index
English Schools Team Problem Solving Championship
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5
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This welcome new event in the junior chess calendar was first suggested to me by Phill Beckett, the ECF’s Deputy National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator, who works alongside Neill Cooper, who is the ECF’s National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator and Manager of Schools Chess. Phill approached me at the Sheffield Chess Congress last year where he was working as an arbiter and I, after receiving all the entries as Congress Secretary, was enjoying some peace and quiet. He proposed that I prepare a sheet of simple chess problems that he could hand out to the players at junior chess congresses to see if there was any interest in chess solving. He specifically requested that I include some ‘mates in one’, something that I wouldn’t have considered myself, but then I do not have much experience of setting chess problems for solving by juniors. I prepared two such sheets, including two ‘mates in one’ that I had to compose especially. My thanks must go to Michael Lipton, who very kindly selected some suitable ‘mates in two’.

Phill reported that he thought there had been enough interest shown for us to stage a chess solving competition alongside the ECF Team Chess Challenge at Imperial College in April. His plan was that we provide five rounds of 30 minutes each to run alongside the team rapid-play taking place in the adjoining room, so, a week or so before the event I prepared material to that specification. Luckily, I finally remembered that there had been a few ‘mates in one’ published in Chess in 1935, so I didn’t have to compose any. At the annual residential weekend of the BCPS in Nottingham, the weekend before this event, having asked other composers for ‘mates in one’, I was reminded of another large source of same, so we will be provided for in future years.

Neill and Phill had decided that this would be a team event rather than an individual one. As far as I know, this is the first time a solving competition with conferring teams has been attempted.

So, very early on the morning of 22nd April I boarded the National Express coach to London.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 April 2015 13:16
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