The Scandinavian teams played great chess and finished 3rd, 4th and 5th out of 8 teams in the final of the international Yes 2Chess tournament in London.
Over 60,000 children have participated in the Yes2Chess programme over two years, with a third of those students – representing more than 500 schools across eight countries – taking part in the 2015 Yes2Chess tournament. This year’s tournament contestants played a collective 4,200 competitive games of chess online and in person at a series of regional heats. The finalists – 40 children from the UK, Spain, Portugal, the US, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Norway – played the final matches of the international tournament in Hyde Park on 24th June to determine the overall winning school.
Scandinavia was proudly represented by Køge Private Realskole, Denmark, Søråshøgda skole, Norway and Hökåsens skola, Sweden. In match for the third place Norway beat Denmark, and Sweden won match to finish 5th.
– I want to congratulate all the Scandinavian teams with great results. It is seldom to find some many analytical talents gathered. The teams playing here are the best of more than 40 000 participants, which is an incredible strong achievement. Even though chess is an individual sport, the kids have shown a great teamwork and team spirit, says Freddy Syversen, Chief Executive Officer of the Scandinavian credit company EnterCard.
Now in its second year, Yes2Chess was developed by EnterCard and our owners Barclaycard together with the Scandinavian chess federations in order to help young people develop key skills through chess learning, on-going mentoring, playing and tournaments.
– We are extremely proud that Yes2Chess, which is now in its second year, has helped over 60,000 children enjoy a game that’s been shown to boost critical thinking, numeracy and problem-solving skills – as well as have some fun. We’ve also been delighted to see the high levels of female participation in what has traditionally been a male-dominated game. This increasing popularity in chess is supported by our new research which shows a growing appetite amongst children to play more traditional games, says David Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Barclaycard Europe
Though the competition on finals day was fierce, there were also some light-hearted moments. A small army of actors dressed as chess pieces took part in a human chess game, with their every move directed by local school children involved in the Yes2Chess programme.
The closing stages of the tournament began on Tuesday 23rd June when the 40 finalists attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament. Following the reception, the finalists were taken on a whistle stop tour around London starting with a history fuelled visit to the Tower of London and ending with an evening showing of the The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre – which was a roaring success.
Yes2Chess is a Citizenship activity where EnterCard collaborates with our owner Barclaycard and the Scandinavian chess federations. Through the partnerships with the chess federations, EnterCard employees have learned how to master chess as well as volunteering their time to teach kids chess in collaboration with the chess federations work in Scandinavian schools. The reason for this collaboration is that EnterCard, as a financial institution, sees a growing need for analytical expertise. Since its inception, Yes2Chess has positively impacted more than 60,000 schoolchildren, with 31% female participation.