London Borough of Barnet

Barnet children sweep the board in junior chess championships

Published Thursday 17 May 2012

Barnet is officially the best at chess in England and Wales, thanks to some of our youngest and brightest chess stars at a recent championship.

Barnet Junior Chess Under 9 and Under 11 teams have both won the Inter-Association Championships for their respective categories. The championships have been hosted by the English Primary Schools Chess Association for thirty years and are open to primary school teams from England and Wales.

On Saturday April 28, the Under 9 team defended their championship title for the second year in a row, with a 1.5 point victory against Sussex. 

Just two weeks later, on Saturday May 12 in Northampton, the Under 11 team secured the coveted championship title for the first time ever, beating fifteen other teams, including local rivals from Hetfordshire, with a total score of 49.5. 

The teams boast five players who are part of the English National Squad, and their youngest member is just six years and nine months old. 

Councillor Andrew Harper, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said: “Congratulations to our junior chess players who took part in this incredibly challenging competition. 

“This is the first time that Barnet has won in both categories in the same year, so this is quite an extraordinary achievement. 

“A special thank you to the team coaches and to Barnet Junior Chess for their support, hard work, patience and dedication in coaching the children.” 

Both teams are coached and managed by Barnet Junior Chess, a not-for-profit community association, promoting chess among school-aged children in Barnet and neighbouring areas. The association also provides up to three Barnet Junior Chess funding awards annually that enables schools to put chess on the education curriculum. 

Robin Vicary, Chair of Barnet Junior Chess, said: “Chess is known to teach children how to focus and concentrate, and builds skills in problem-solving, mathematics and other academic areas. For Barnet children to be good at playing chess is a positive sign for our educational outcomes in the borough.”

The double win at the Inter-Association Championships means that Barnet is also the winner of the Audio Chess Grand Prix Prize.  The competition awards teams with the highest accumulated points from participated competitions over the year. 

Contact Press Officer: Neha Nagin