60 children from Royal Greenwich primary schools gathered in Eltham for the 3rd Annual Greenwich Primary Schools Chess Tournament held at Haimo Primary School in Eltham on Thursday 7th July 2011.

Assistant Head, Tracey Cardigan who has organised the event for the last 3 years said that, “it was a good day and everyone seemed to enjoy it even with the bad weather, the kids had so much fun playing chess and it was great to see them all trying their best.”
One new team that entered for the first time this year were The Mighty Reds from Charlton Manor Primary School. They made some real noise as young boys generally do when it was announced that they had captured first place and were the winners. “I’m really excited and just want to kiss the trophy so much,” said George Boylett, one of the five members of the winning chess team.

charlton manor chess players greenwich

The Mighty Reds Dipin, Luke, George, Joshua and Jamie

Their victory over 11 other teams from Millennium, Hawksmoor, Wingfield, Charlton Manor, Haimo, Halstow and Conway primary schools is fantastic as this is the first time that they and two other teams from Charlton Manor – The Chessinators and The Cherrios – took part in the annual event. The other members of the winning team were Luke Newton, Joshua Irvine, Jamie Ozden and Dipin Adhikari. Together, they played 30 games and out of a possible 90 points, the Mighty Reds achieved 22 wins, 1 draw and only 7 loses to gain a convincing total of 75 points. Luke Newton was especially pleased with his result and declared that, “it’s my first ever tournament and I won all my games.”
Their chess coach Richard Pittman Weekes II, of  The Richard Weekes Chess Academy who also helped at the event, was very excited and quite proud of their achievement.  He remarked that, “all 5 of my teams did very well this year and I’m quite proud of every one of them.”

Since Richard started teaching chess at Charlton Manor nearly 4 years ago, Tim Baker the headteacher has always said that he wanted his school to win and bring home a trophy in any chess tournament that the school entered. Tim is of course now very pleased with the result and can’t wait to proudly put this new trophy in its rightful place in the school’s trophy cabinet along with the many other trophies the school has won in other sports.

Another one of Richard’s teams from Millennium Primary came 4th this year and Georgia Ayling (below) the only girl member was very happy with her result. She only started playing chess last October on holiday and joined the Wednesday chess club at her school in January where Richard is also the chess coach. After she was awarded the championship medal as Best Newcomer for winning 5 games and losing only 1, she said that, “it was epic, awesome and fun and I really liked the whole thing.”

chess tournament greenwich
“The event seems to be growing in numbers with more schools getting involved each year and more teams taking part,” said Tracey, “we’ll have to hold the tournament in bigger premises next year because it’s becoming so popular and we need more space to hold all the players.”
So if you’re thinking of getting involved and would like to put forward a team next year why not contact Tracey Cardigan at Haimo Primary and let her know.

Richard has been teaching chess in Greenwich schools for almost 6 years, and it seems that he knows a thing or two about playing the game. “I still love teaching chess to children and I’m very passionate about more girls learning to play chess,” he said. “This is one great way to build confidence and playing chess shows children and young people that they can be good at something and win a game or two as well.”

He runs 4 chess clubs in South East London and 1 in NW London and is always looking for new players from 6 years old to come along and give chess a try.  If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact him at rwchessacademy@hotmail.co.uk as the new chess season and his clubs restart every September.



An extract of this article was featured in the Greenwich mercury – you can click the link to read it in their digital edition on page 20