Monday, September 05, 2016

Junior Chess Club for Kilcullen

Chess is on the rise in Kildare primary schools, writes Liam MurrayIn January 2016, Scoil Bhríde in Kilcullen was one of ten primary schools in Kildare county to participate in a new primary schools chess league.

Other participating schools included Two Mile House, Scoil Niocláis (Dunlavin), Crookstown, Moone, Straffan, Scoil Mhicil (Athy), St Corban's (Naas), Scoil Eimhin (Monasterevin) and St Patrick's of Newbridge. Such was the interest and enthusiasm from students in representing their school in chess that league organisers are confident the number of chess league schools will double in the coming school year.

A junior chess club in Kilcullen is getting under way this month, starting Monday 19 September at 5.30pm at Kilcullen Community Centre. Places are limited to 14. I hope the junior chess club will offer students another outlet to play chess and make new friends through chess. I would love to see students from Kilcullen, Two Mile House, Athgarvan, Dunlavin, Halverstown, Suncroft and other local schools come to play chess together.

The many benefits of regular chess practice include increased logic and problem solving skills as well as boosting creativity. Chess promotes critical thinking as well as challenging students to plan ahead and take responsibility for their actions. But kids don't care about all that; they enjoy it because its fun and they try to out-smart their opponents.

Chess tournaments are traditionally organised between October and April when evenings are dark and the weather deteriorates. I plan to prepare students to play tournament chess for anyone who is interested in competing but the emphasis will simply be on enjoying the game and improving their strategy skills.

Kilcullen Junior Chess Club will begin lessons on Monday 19th September in Kilcullen Community Centre. A chess club group is limited to between 10 and 14 players. Early booking is advised as places are expected to fill up quickly. For more information contact Liam on 085 1651137.