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Chess in Church Street

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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Chris will Teach your Children Chess on Church Street
If you visit Church Street in Twickenham, whether just browsing, shopping or eating, you've probably noticed the giant sized chess set in the Square at the church end of the street. Those chessmen will be put through their paces over the coming weeks when they will be used to teach children how to play chess.

Chess in Church Street
Chess in Church Street (Image Courtesy of the Church Street Facebook Page)

Chris Burkill, a post-graduate student of psychology and counselling from nearby St Mary's University College, a creative writer, and soon to be student of media arts, has offered to teach the game to children and he will be doing just this on various Saturdays (18 May, 15, 22 and 29 June) between 10am and 1pm.

Chess in Church Street
Chris and the Chessmen (Image Courtesy of Bruce Lyons)

Bruce, from Crusader Travel, explained that the chess set was first acquired ten years ago for the Twickenham Festival when the local police played against the fire brigade. It has remained outside since then and is often used by locals when they come to eat in the Square, but is not used as much as it could be.

If you're not familiar with Church Street, it is a fascinating little thoroughfare, set back between the Twickenham main drag, the river and Eel Pie Island. It's crammed full with interesting shops, places to eat and drink and friendly shopkeepers. Pincho's restaurant, adjacent to the Square, also has outside seating and eating for the adults whilst they keep a watchful eye on their youngsters manipulating the chessmen.

When you're playing, just don't take Nigel Short too seriously: chess may be a ruthless game (depending on the player) but you don't have to be prepared to kill people. And of course the Church Street chess set is also a perfect size for older players who no longer have perfect eye sight.
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Why? To play chess
When: Saturdays: 18 May, 15 June, 22 June and 29 June between 10am and 1pm
Where: Church Street, Twickenham
Cost: Free
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