“Ymosodiad Dewr; Amddyffyniad Sicr”

The Grange, Monmouth School


Citation 21st April 2004

It is an astonishing fact that 55% of Grange boys volunteer to stay after school on a Friday to attend Chess Club. Outside of the old Soviet Union this is probably a record. And whereas to the casual observer the Club seems to be The Grange’s answer to the Eton Wall Game – with boys thumping out the moves urged on by vociferous class mates – it is in fact a breeding ground for excellence.

The Grange is a small school –up until last year 88 pupils, now 110 – which has punched above its weight in junior chess in recent years. The Grange, which is the Prep Department of Monmouth School, an all-boys’ school, crowned the achievements of other years by winning the EPSCA Under 11 Chess Team title for 2003 at a two day Final at Oakham School.

The Grange formula of chess ‘superleagues’ on a Wednesday, coupled with the cut’ n’ thrust of weekend tournaments, has channelled the talent & enthusiasm of the children in a productive direction. The boys also battle it out for the internal T.J.Hurdman Trophy, set up in memory of an ex-pupil who died prematurely.

Achievements in the last five years include:

  • Qualifying for Oakham on four successive years from 2000, coming 4th in the U9 in 2000, 3rd in the U11 in 2001, & first two years later.
  • Winning the Welsh Primary Schools’ Championship in 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004.
  • Winning the British Small Schools’ Championship in 2000, 2001 & 2002.
  • Eight pupils have represented Wales at the World Youth Chess Championships.
  • Twenty six boys have represented Wales at U10 or U12 level, with the Grange hosting many of the fixtures against England & the English Regions.
  • An average of 12 boys p.a. qualifying for the Wales Megafinal with seven going on to the Gigafinal.
  • Two boys have become active members of the English Junior Squad.
  • Numerous trophies from a variety of events from Bridgend to Basingstoke, from Swansea to Swindon.
  • Kevin Thomas

Grange Chess Coach