Chess pieces are named after certain people - King, Queen, Bishop, Knight - so what is a Rook ? (Nathan)

When the game of chess began in India about 1500 years ago one of the pieces was supposed to represent a soldier's chariot (which could move at speed - hence the piece being able to go from one side of the board to the other very quickly). This chariot was known as a "Ratha".

However, when the game spead to Europe, Ratha was mistaken for the Italian word "Rocca" which means "Tower" and therefore the tower of a castle replaced the chariot as a piece on the chess board. Rocca then became "Rook" in English.

Further to the above, the term "Pawn" evolved from "paon" which was a Medieval Latin term meaning "foot soldier".

Who has been the youngest ever Grandmaster ? (Simon)

The youngest was Sergey Karjakin of Russia, who qualified for the title in 2002 aged 12 years, 7 months while in 2004 the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway became the second youngest when aged 13 years, 3 months.

3Cs' own Grandmaster Stephen Gordon (featured on the front page of this website) achieved the honour in 2009 when aged 22 years, 11 months.

From "The Management" !!!

Some people have asked what the new 3Cs' logo represents - so here goes ...

The chess piece shown at the rear is an obvious inclusion - and the King, of course, is the most important !

The owl is the symbol for the town of Oldham while the letter C surrounds it in three various ways.

So there it is ... 3Cs chess club, Oldham

The simple ideas are often the best ..... as in chess !

How do I get a grade ? (Philip)

A grade is an indication of a player's current playing strength and is reviewed every 6 months once a player has started competing in either individual events or in league matches for their club.

A player will then receive points after each game which will be totalled up and divided by the number of games they have played to give an average score, which is then their grade for the following half year.

The points a player receives per game depends upon their opponent's grade at that time. If, for example, you defeat an opponent with a grade of 85, you will receive 85 + 50 (for the win) = 135pts, whereas if you lose you will receive 85 - 50 (for the loss) = 35pts. If you draw you will receive 85 pts (ie: your opponent's grade).

However, grades are really of no significance when you are playing a game. It is often far better not to know your opponent's grade until afterwards so it won't either make you over-confident (if their grade is low) or put fear into you (if high). Just play the board - not the player !

I often hear about 4NCL - what is it ? (Jodie)

"4NCL" stands for "4 Nations Chess League" (ie: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales) and is a national competition for teams throughout Britain and in which the very best players in the country take part including many Grandmasters.

3Cs currently have three teams in the 4NCL - our 1st team are in Division 1 whilst 3Cs 2 and 3Cs 3 compete in Division 3 North.

Last season 3Cs 1 finished 4th in Division 1 thus giving them qualification into the European Club Cup. Even more remarkable is that whilst 3Cs' are mainly comprised of players who have come through the club's junior set-up, they often face "manufactured" opposition who have enticed some of the country's top players to represent them yet still use the name of the local chess club.

Some chess organisations are known more commonly by their initials, so here are the actual names of a few of them ...

FIDE - Fédération Internationale des Échecs
(ie - "World Chess Federation")
ECF - English Chess Federation
MCF - Manchester Chess Federation
4NCL - 4 Nations Chess League
CSC - Chess in Schools and Communities
EPSCA - English Primary Schools' Chess Association

Rebecca recently won a "Norm" - what is that ? (Sarah)

A "Norm" (or a "Half Norm") is an award given to a player who achieves a certain score in national competitions and where the opponents are generally of a high standard for the level at which the event is being organised. Achieving a required number of Norms at adult level could result in the player gaining a title (ie International Master or Grandmaster), whilst junior level Norms could see the player being chosen to represent their country in International tournaments.

Rebecca was playing in an under-11s' event at the British Rapidplay Championships and scored 3/5 which gained her a junior Half Norm, which means she now needs another junior Half Norm in order to have a chance of possible future honours.