Check out chess champs

Linlithgow Schools Chess  championships, Linlithgow.Provost Deacon's Court Jack Adair centre back.
Linlithgow Schools Chess championships, Linlithgow.Provost Deacon's Court Jack Adair centre back.

A chess club was launched at Linlithgow Primary School eight years ago by former provost of the Deacon’s Court, Hector Woodhouse.

With the support of Ken Clarke, who had just retired and had the distinction of holding a Scottish cap for junior chess, Hector got the first club up and running.

And the dynamic duo haven’t looked back since.

There are now five school clubs – Linlithgow, Springfield, Low Port, Linlithgow Bridge and St Joseph’s – with more than 70 players on board.

Six months ago the chess champs came up with the idea that, with so many school clubs up and running, the next challenge was to try to arrange an inter-school championship tournament.

This took place on Saturday, March 15, at Linlithgow Sports Club with four teams competing for the accolade of Linlithgow Schools’ Chess Champions.

All the competitors were presented with certificates for participating.

And the winners, Low Port Primary School, received a trophy and individual medals from Deacon’s Court Provost Jack Adair.

Although starting with no knowledge of the game, chess club school members were very enthusiastic and many quickly became competent players.

The Linlithgow Primary School club now has 45 children attending regularly after school on Tuesdays.

Two years ago, another club was formed at Springfield Primary. This group meets at lunchtime on Tuesdays and regularly has 21 players.

Around the same time as the Springfield club launched, Hector mentioned its success to Low Port Primary School.

Shortly afterwards, thanks to the help of Richard Payne and interested parents’, the Low Port chess club was born.

Rev Richard Houston, of St Ninians and Craigmailen Church, then mentioned he was interested in setting up a club at Linlithgow Bridge Primary.

That group has been sucessfully running for more than two years with Hector helping out at its Thursday meeting. It now has 10 very active young members.

Last year, Hector and Ken added St Joseph’s Primary School to the ever-growing list of schools interested in the game with four children initially joining the school’s new club.