On Friday evening, local MP, Jo Johnson attended Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club’s junior practice at St John’s United Reformed Church on Lynwood Grove.
The club’s large junior section has around forty members with ages ranging from as young as five up to seventeen. During the practice, the children are given a short talk about strategy using a demonstration board and then seek to hone their chess skills by playing amongst themselves with input and advice from adult members.
During Friday’s practice, Jo met with junior and adult members and had the opportunity to take on St Olave’s pupil, Edwin, in a friendly match. Jo then presented eight year-old Shlok Verma with an engraved plate in recognition of his fine performance for England in the recent European Youth Chess Championships. Shlok achieved a score of 7/9 in the under-eight section of the championships – the second highest score by an England player.
The club also has a number of adult teams which compete in the Kent Chess League. Following junior practice, the club’s first team took on Dartford in the top division on the Kent League.
Jo said: ‘Chess is a fantastic game that requires skill, strategy and a calm head. It was terrific to attend Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club’s junior practice and to see so many youngsters learning about and enjoying the game.
‘I particularly enjoyed my match against my very impressive opponent, Edwin, and was delighted to present Shlok with his award for his recent performances. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the game to get involved with this great local club.’
Photograph shows Jo Johnson MP playing against St Olave’s pupil, Edwin.
More information about Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club is available here.