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Flaxmere chess: ‘It’s fun and it trains your brain’

Yes, chess is good for strategic thinking and improves concentration and problem-solving skills, but it should also be fun, says Vickey Diedericks.

She is setting up a Flaxmere chess club and is calling all comers.

Ms Diedericks started learning to play at age five, and became a regional level player and coach in her home country of South Africa. Now living in Hastings, she is starting a chess club in Flaxmere.

Flaxmere Social Chess will initially run for four weeks as a trial at the Flaxmere Community Centre, starting on Wednesday, June 12. If people are interested, it will continue to run.

“It’s for any age and any stage,” says Ms Diedericks. “I’m thinking that we may get primary and college students with basic skills, right through to adults who might be interested in improving their skills to regional and national level.”

She already coaches children at four schools across the district: Irongate, Mayfair, Camberley and St Mary’s. For Irongate student Devyn Hale-Lloyd it is all about “thinking before you do something. And it’s fun and it trains your brain”.

Ms Diedericks said chess could take people a long way, literally. “From starting to play at a local club level, you can move on to playing in local tournaments, to regional, national and overseas.”

But overall it should be fun, she says. “A chess club where you can talk through the game, rather than one where everyone is silent, is more fun. Apart from anything else, asking youngsters to sit poker-faced and silent through a chess game is not realistic, and might put them off.”

The games will be played in the foyer of the community centre. Ms Diedericks says people can bring their own chess sets if they would like, but she has enough sets for 30 players.

For more information email: or phone 021 134 09 41.

For more information contact Diane Joyce: 021 612270.


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