The Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority has kicked off its Summer Sports Programme and this week saw children enthralled in their first chess moves.
Under the wing of Grand Master Stuart Conquest the children are taking part in an introduction to chess and chess coaching sessions.
The week-long programme will see children learn the rules of chess and take part in some challenging anniversaries.
“It has to be fun, we are talking about young people and they have to be enjoying themselves and have a laugh,” Mr Conquest said.
“You have the standard rules of chess but you also can also change the rules slightly or have two games with four people playing at once.”
“Sometimes they slightly change the rules and that’s fine I do not mind at all as they are still learning and it is still chess. The pieces move in the same way it is not like it is a completely different game.”
This week’s programme is having a range of all ages and abilities, including adults. Such is the passion for the board game, two players – one of which had chess pieces tattooed on his hand- had made plans to spend the whole afternoon playing.
“What I find a lot is the older or more experienced kids are more than happy to teach the younger ones, the real beginners,” Mr Conquest said.
“I can only play with one or two kids at the same time. I look over and I see a more experienced kid and a less experienced kid playing and the more experiences one is quite happy to help, which needs patience of course,” he added.
The coaching and practice provided by Mr Conquest at these mornings could be the pathway to not just tournament trophies but also cash prizes. This August Gibraltar will host the 8th Gibraltar Junior International Chess Festival. The festival has £15,000 in prize money up for grabs, with a first prize for under 16s of £1,000.