Women are being encouraged to learn how to play chess with the launch of an all-female group at Eccles Chess Club. 

The free-to-join club has founded Ladies Giving Chess a Chance with the hope of teaching women of all skill levels how to play chess. All ages are welcome to attend the sessions and the current members range from 17 to 76.

Barbara Farrar and Leila Peymani, who run the sessions, have been trained by Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) and are qualified to teach beginners.

Barbara said: “We hardly have any ladies at all so there’s a massive gender gap, so what I would like to do is narrow that gender gap and get more ladies playing chess.”

Leila helps develop the skills of intermediate players and teaches them more advanced elements about the game.

Eccles Chess Club, Credit: Barbara Farrar

Barbara, the main organiser, said: “Last night was our introductory meet and greet and next week we are proposing to do an introductory chess class.

“We got together, and we did nothing but laugh all night, it was really good. It’s fun, it doesn’t have to be serious.”

Eccles Chess Club, Credit: Barbara Farrar

The club has won multiple trophies playing in three leagues, but Barbara hopes to build the women’s team, so they can enter as an all-female chess team.

Charlotte Mayers, 33, attended the opening night, and said: “I really enjoyed last night! It’s a really welcoming and supportive atmosphere and I’m excited to learn more about the game having never played before.”

Another member Christine Dean-Truscott, 76, attended the opening night. Christine’s father-in-law taught her how to play, but after having children it became difficult finding places to play.

Eccles Chess Club, Credit: Barbara Farrar

When Christine turned 70, she recognised the need to keep challenging and exercising her brain, so she borrowed a book from the library about the rules of chess and joined the Eccles Chess Club.

Christine said: “They welcomed me with open arms. The men were patient and kind in helping me.

“The first ladies’ night was held at Eccles Chess Club and there were ten of us. Some can play and some have never played but want to learn.

“It was a wonderful atmosphere and great fun!”

The 7pm sessions will run every Monday night and take place at Eccles Community Centre.

For more information visit their website or contact Barbara on 07743888585.

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