Enfield club set to bring up three decades of teaching children how to play the age old game

Children at the Millfield Arts Centre playing chess

The club has been teaching children for the past 30 years

First published in News Enfield Independent: Photograph of the Author by

Chess is a game of strategy, patience and thinking.

You must take your time and learn when to make the right move.

It is an age old game and not something traditionally associated with the younger generation.

However, one club has sought to change that over the last three decades and is using the game to help children in the classroom.

Ankur-4-chess was set up in 1985 by Devina Rishi and has been teaching children to wise game for almost thirty years.

Mrs Rishi first got into the sport when she taught her son and wanted to make an impact on primary school children by using the game.

She said: “I campaigned for a chess club in my children’s primary school and I saw the way it had benefitted his education so I decided to start one myself and it grew so much because of demand.

“It’s all about the children’s approach to their work and I saw an immediate impact with my son and we have seen in with hundreds of children over the years. They start working more methodically and systematically.”

The club was the first of its kind to accommodate children at a chess club in Enfield and has since grown in numbers having taught well over 500 children in the past.

Mrs Rishi added: “I was amazed to find there was nowhere for children to play chess. I really hope that we will be able to get more children playing in schools in the future because grades will improve as a result.”

David Hodaj, nine, believes it has helped him improve his maths skills.

He said: “It has helped me a lot in the classroom especially with maths because I have learnt to take a step back and look at questions without rushing into them.

“We are taught to be patient when playing chess and learning when to take risks – it has given me a lot of skills.”

Nathanial Sanchez, eight has been playing for just over a year and revealed that he is unable to play at his school.

He said: “There are classes for years five and six but I am only in year three so this club is the only place I can play. I have more focus and concentration at school now because of playing chess.”

Caroline Liversidge, whose son Miles plays at the club said: “It has really benefitted his school work and sometimes his concentration wouldn’t be there but he has focussed a lot more since starting at the club.”

The classes take place twice a week at Millfield Arts Centre in Silver Street, Edmonton on Mondays and Saturdays.

For more information, call 07809556427.

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