Saturday, March 01, 2008

New Chess Boom for England?

Reporting on the most recent Hastings tournament for the latest NIC magazine, grandmaster Danny Gormally makes a complaint:

It's a shame we don't have more chess events like this in the UK as they always create a great atmosphere, and plenty of business for the local pubs! The lack of commercial sponsorship is probably the main reason for the poor state of English chess.

Well, then, how about 2 million pounds worth of chess sets? A couple of weeks ago, the English Chess Fed announced news of 250,000 chess sets that will soon be delivered to schools around England. All thanks to a plastics company.

The ECF's director of marketing (they have a director of marketing?) couldn't contain his glee: "I am still somewhat shell-shocked at the extent of this project - and I thought I had seen everything having played chess from the age of 4. It is the most exciting chess project I have ever had the pleasure of being connected with and potentially could change the face of English chess for ever."

1 comment:

Denis Jessop said...

This is interesting because it was only a few months ago that Leonard Barden in his Guardian column was saying that he thought that the future of English chess was very bleak and that he couldn't see any juniors on the horizon who were likely to be better than IMs.

Denis Jessop