Spalding pupils are the checkmate kings in schools tournament

Kings and queens of the chessboard with their trophies. SG210117-145TW
Kings and queens of the chessboard with their trophies. SG210117-145TW
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Pupils from Spalding’s St John the Baptist Primary School won seven out of a possible 12 trophies in a chess tournament held at the school on Saturday.

In the under 9 boys’ competition, St John’s pupils Oscar Haunch, Jake Duffill and Liam Holdsworth were checkmate kings as they took the first three places respectively.

Medal winners from the chess tournament. SG210117-146TW

Medal winners from the chess tournament. SG210117-146TW

St John’s was one of five schools taking part from county towns, including Bourne.

Other results were:

Under 11 boys: 1 Joseph Seaborn (St John’s), 2 Nitesh Anbazhagan (St John’s), 3 Cameron Cook; under 9 girls: 1 Freya Willerton (St John’s), 2 Erin Nicholson, 3 Evie Metcalf; under 11 girls: 1 Harrie Metcalf, 2 Marie Siecker and 3 Rosie Willerton (St John’s).

The tournament was organised by the Lincolnshire Schools Chess Association.

Association member Paul McCarthy, a St John’s volunteer who runs the chess club at the school, said it was the first time the tournament had come to Spalding.

Paul was taught to play chess as a boy of four by his father and says the game is not only fun to play but boosts children’s abilities in the classroom.

He said: “It’s been well documented by academic research and projects that show children’s abilities in numeracy and literacy are improved by playing chess.”

More than 30 children belong to St John’s chess club.

• There’s a tournament for secondary schools in Grimsby on February 5 and anyone who wants more information can call Paul on 01775 719554.