Chess pupils hoping to make all the right moves

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Next week sees the 29th playing of the Borders Primary Schools Chess Championships with primary school teams from across the region be vying for the title.

There will be 17 schools competing in the championships, which are sponsored by David Matthews Associates and which take place at the Focus Centre in Galashiels next Friday.

The day’s schedule includes 360 games and at the end of the competition, one school will be crowned “kings of the castle”.

The teams of four players will compete in three sections in the morning and then, in the afternoon, the top two teams in each section will be grouped together, in a premier league, to play each other for the honour of winning the David Matthews Associates Quaich.

The remaining teams will be grouped in major and minor leagues to compete for prizes.

Last year’s winners, St Boswells defend their title in Group A where they will play Philiphaugh, Selkirk; Heriot; St Margaret’s, Galashiels; Langlee, Galashiels and Lilliesleaf.

In Group B, Melrose; Glendinning Terrace, Galashiels; Caddonfoot; Fountainhall; Earlston and St Peter’s B, Galashiels. will compete, while group C features St Peter’s A, Galashiels; Stow; Newtown; Gordon and Trinity, Hawick.

As well as the team competition there are also prizes for the best individual player, a chess quiz, chess problem solving and the best match.

The latter will judged by Scottish international master Craig Pritchett who will be among the competition adjudicators. Yet again organisation of the event has been masterminded by Tom Lawson of Galashiels.

Tom has also been involved in coaching many of the schools taking part.

The day promises to be a full and exciting one to decide who will be the masters of the board this year.

The approximate timetable is: 9:45am-11:45am morning’s play; 12:00-12:30pm lunch; 12:30pm-2:30pm afternoon’s play and 2:30pm- 2:45pm prizegiving ceremony.