By Suzanne Pender
TWO CO Carlow schools have grasped the surge in popularity of chess to become kings and queens of the game!
Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc and Tinryland NS both sent teams to the inaugural Ficheall.ie primary school chess tournament in O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Hall, Kilkenny recently.
A total of 136 children from nine schools in Kilkenny and Carlow took part, with an impressive 408 chess games played on the day. The tournament wasn’t a competition, but offered all players a wonderful chance to perfect their chessboard skills.
Chess is a growing pastime in Irish primary schools, and more than 200 schools have joined the Ficheall.ie network of teachers promoting chess in primary schools.
“It is an excellent hobby for students for rainy days and promotes a variety of social and cognitive skills such as respect, forward planning, problem solving, decision making, accepting defeat, understanding resilience and developing a growth mindset when exploring a new skill,” explained James O’Gorman, a Kilkenny-based teacher, who organised the tournament.
“Ficheall.ie started off with schools in Kildare and Dublin, but it’s grown to over 200 schools, there’s a great interest in it,” he added.
This summer, Kilkenny Education Centre will run chess courses for any teachers interested in learning the game and bringing the wonderful game of chess to their school.
Check out Ficheall.ie.