no, that is not a real game in the picture, and the set is totally impractical anyway

We have a lunchtime chess club, mainly full of eleven and twelve year old boys and run by slightly older (and very much more competitive) sixteen and seventeen year old boys. For some reason which I have never fully understood girls are few and far between.

Normally my role in the chess club is to supervise distantly: sort out the arguments, clarify the rules, and occasionally replace chess sets or buy more clothes pegs (*). To be quite honest I’m usually sorting out thirty other things during lunchtimes, so I’m happy that the chess club is fairly self-regulating.

Today, due to some unusual circumstances I was relatively free at lunchtime, and because there was an odd number of attendees today I volunteered myself to play whoever was left out. I had fun, and the kid I played was very happy that he managed to take a fair few of my pieces before I checkmated him – no, I wasn’t going to let him win! The chess club uses a ladder system and at the end of each session they issue challenges for the next time. I got three challenges… I was quite sorry to have to decline them.

* The kids use clothes pegs with their names on to mark their places on the ladder.

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