In April we reported that the English Chess Federation was going to give 250,000 chess sets to England’s 25,000 school – 10 chess sets per school. The results are already making themselves felt.

Anne Carter, a special educational needs co-ordinator at Park Primary PRU, contacted the ESF after reading about the program. Ms. Carter said she has been “staggered” by the impact chess had had on her pupils’ all-round education.

She said: “Playing chess has helped improve pupils’ confidence, self-esteem and concentration. It’s absolutely staggering when you consider the children we have got at the school.

“I am amazed at the difference it has made to the children and am amazed at the way they have performed at the tournament today.”

They have arranged tournaments, and as often happens in news articles, the tournament winner was interviewed. I wonder how much of an effect these programs have on those who are, shall we say, not top tier players. I suspect it’s still pretty positive.