The Bury Knights Junior Chess Club, formed over 20 years ago, is the last remaining junior club in the county. Several years ago there were four or five junior clubs, but Stowmarket, Newmarket and finally Ipswich have all folded. On Friday this week the Bury Knights re-opens after the summer break and expects some 30 members to turn up.
Why, we should ask, have these other clubs been unable to continue?
The answer is simple – continuity is vital. When parents run junior chess clubs, they eventually have to leave when their children decide they’ve had enough, or they age out. What is needed is permanent helpers – adult chess players who have no children of their own to worry about.
So this is an appeal to Suffolk chess players. One of the most satisfying aspects of our game is helping others to improve. Children are sponges, and soak up information at an amazing pace. Volunteer to help, and let’s get at least the Ipswich Junior Club re-started. Ipswich has a population some four times larger than Bury St Edmunds, so there’s no doubt that there will be enough interest from children who live in the town. Let’s hear from you!