Watford Chess Club introduce chess for children starting next month at The Happy Hour pub, Watford

The Happy Hour pub in Eastbury Road, Watford.

The Happy Hour pub in Eastbury Road, Watford.

First published in News

Members of Watford Chess Club will be taking the game into the community with a new "Chess for Kids" initiative in association with The Happy Hour pub in Eastbury Road, Watford.

Starting on February 9, a team of club members will be present at the pub each Sunday evening to provide chess training and coaching for youngsters.

Club spokesman Paul Littlefair said: "Watford Chess Club already has eight juniors among its members and there was an upsurge in interest in chess among youngsters last year when 23-year-old Magnus Carlsen became world champion."

Manager at The Happy Hour Angelina Bull, said: "Several of my regulars felt that there wasn’t much for their youngsters to do in Watford and one, in particular, mentioned that his son played a little chess at school but couldn’t find anyone to play with outside school hours.

"I have always felt the pub should contribute to the local community and, by good chance, another customer was able to put me in touch with Watford Chess Club".

The chess sessions will take place in the pub’s conservatory from 6pm to 8pm each Sunday.

Watford’s coaching team will be led by Roger Lancaster, co-author of several chess books and a one-time British Championship contender.

"Most strong chess players started young," said Mr Lancaster. "I haven’t met Magnus but former world champion Gary Kasparov, with whom I worked on one of the books, was already playing excellent chess when he was six-years-old."

Watford Chess Club runs five teams in the Hertfordshire League. Last season, their first team achieved a league and cup double while their second team were promoted from the second division into the top flight.

The club meets on Tuesday evenings at the Town & Country Club in Rosslyn Road, Watford, with the first hour, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, earmarked for juniors.

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