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Hull’s First chess festival launched at The Deep



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Divers at the Deep in Hull today (Monday 2 August) were locked in a game of underwater chess.

Surrounded by sharks, fish and stingrays, the divers sat down for a quick game to celebrate the launch of the city’s first Play Chess Festival.

Starting this week, there is a huge programme of chess-inspired events taking place over the next three months in in parks, squares, libraries, shops, markets, cafés and pubs. It is open to all ages, existing chess-players and those who just want to learn.

Graham Chesters, president of the Hull and District Chess Association, said: “After COVID restrictions, we want to give the people of Hull something a bit different.

“Chess is played by millions across the world. It’s a fabulous game, brings lots of educational and social benefits, and is cheap!”

Divers at the Deep playing chess.

Events will range from fun day stalls in park events, to a ‘chess sesh’ in libraries. The programme will then culminate with the British Chess Championships in Hull in October.

Councillor Rosemary Pantelakis, portfolio holder for culture at Hull City Council, said: “I am very supportive of young people having the opportunity to learn chess. The Council is keen to back the exciting festival programme and the ambition to make Hull a chess city.”

Below is the current programme for the Play Chess Festival. More events will also be announced throughout the summer.


• August 4: Large Play Day – Queen’s Gardens (11am – 3pm)

• August 12: Chess Fun Day – Pearson Park (1 – 4pm)

• August 14: Live Chess – Queen Victoria Square (11am – 2pm)

• August 17: Chess Sesh – Hull Central Library (2 – 3:30pm)

• August 18: Chess Sesh – East Park Library (10:30am – 12:00pm)

• August 21: Family Day – Pearson Park (11am – 3pm)

• August 24: 1st online Hull & East Riding 4NCL match – Premier Division

• August 25-27: Junior Summer School at Hymers College

• August 28: Chessfest at Trinity Square and Trinity Market (11am – 4pm)

Hull’s Trinity Market will be one of many places in the city embracing chess this summer.


• October 2-10: British Chess Championship, Royal Station Hotel

• October 14-17: British Women Chess Championship, Royal Station Hotel

• October 20-22: Junior Coaching Event, Royal Station Hotel

• October 20-24: Grandmaster Norm Event, Royal Station Hotel

• October 22-24: Hull 4NCL Congress, Royal Station Hotel

You can find out more about the Hull and District Chess Association here.

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