GRANDMASTERS AND NOVICES alike are being encouraged to try their hand at chess, as Solihull Chess club prepares to go for gold.
The club, which was established in 1949, is opening its doors to new and experienced players in the hopes of bettering its chances in the national chess leagues.
In an attempt to encourage younger generations to take up the game, the club have set up a chess ‘ladder’ competition aimed at youngsters aged seven to 15.
The competition will see the young players sorted into a ‘ladder’ – the winner of each match moving slowly up the ladder as their game improves.
But Solihull Chess Club is not just on the hunt newcomers to the game – it is on the lookout for top players, rated 200 and above by the English Chess Federation.
The drive is the brainchild of club secretary John Green, who is hopeful Solihull Chess Club can join the National Chess League and go on to represent the borough on the national stage.
Mr Green explained: “Last year we had a great year – consolidating ourselves and winning both the first and second division in the Leamington League.
“We did well in the Birmingham league, but it is much tougher.
“This year we want to go for gold.”
But Mr Green is keen for the club not to become exclusive and retain its ‘anyone is welcome’ attitude.
The 64-year-old former police officer started playing chess when he was a child, but had not played for over 40 years when he joined Solihull Chess Club 10 years ago.
“I haven’t looked back since,” Mr Green told the Observer.
“At Solihull Chess Club we live by three values – promoting the game of chess, achieving a healthy balance between competitiveness and enjoyment, and being as professional as we can be.
“There’s a misconception that chess is an old person’s game, but our members are all cultures and walks of life.
“By encouraging new players to join I not only want to make Solihull chess Club the best it can be, I also want our members to go out into the community and promote the game.
“Our motto is ‘make the right move, join Solihull Chess Club now’ – and I hope people do just that.”
Solihull Chess Club plays every Wednesday evening, with juniors playing from 6pm until 7.15pm and the adult section playing from 7.30pm until 11pm.
Contact John Green on 07976 832517 for more details on how to join.