Chess club moves to get people on board

PUBLISHED: 11:37 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 21:15 29 May 2010

Eric Page and Andrew Schoolbred, Mike Thomason and Pushp Birdi, Ryan Monk and David Wolfe and Donald Iszatt - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Eric Page and Andrew Schoolbred, Mike Thomason and Pushp Birdi, Ryan Monk and David Wolfe and Donald Iszatt - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

CHESS players risk seeing the closure of their Dunmow club following a sharp drop in members. Following the success of our appeal to save the Dunmow Masters swimming club from having the plug pulled, the town s chess club has now come to the Broadcast wit

CHESS players risk seeing the closure of their Dunmow club following a sharp drop in members.

Following the success of our appeal to save the Dunmow Masters swimming club from having the plug pulled, the town's chess club has now come to the Broadcast with a desperate plea for help to attract new blood.

The club currently consists of 16 members - 10 adults and six children but it needs to increase its membership to continue.

Club secretary Andrew Shoolbred said: "We have slowly seen a decrease and need to do something to save our club's future. People move on, and it's difficult to replace them. We have had the same core people for a while and really need some new blood and fresh faces to challenge us."

The club was previously known as Felsted Chess club and currently meets at The Maltings, White Street Mr Shoolbred said: "It was very hard for us to find a suitable venue as the chess club environment was a crucial factor. Background noise isn't a problem if we're practicing or having friendly matches, but when we are hosting league matches there are certain conditions we must adhere to.

"Noise is one of them, so we couldn't just use a hall next to say a boisterous youth club, we had to accommodate at least four to five players who are used to playing in quiet places, so we need decorum when playing matches."

Meeting on a weekly basis Mondays between 7.30pm to 10pm the club has attracted a variety of ages ranging from eight years old to 80 and trial sessions for new members to try out the club costs just £1 for the evening.

Mr Shoolbred said: "It was nice to see how the Broadcast appeal helped the Dunmow Masters swimming club. It's important to keep these groups alive. It seems the cost of hiring a hall kills small clubs. If we had more members we could reduce our fees."

Mr Shoolbred added: "With new members, we would also be able to improve our performance by challenging new opponents."

Dunmow chess club, which plays in the nationally organised, North Essex Chess League, boasts the chess-ace John Bradley as their chairman who also teaches chess at after-school clubs in Dunmow.

Dunmow Chess Club is closed for the summer holidays and will re-open on September 11. Anyone interested in joining should contact Andrew Shoolbred on 01371 874033 or John Bradley on 01371 874408.

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