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Boris Johnson supports Chess at Olympia London Conference Centre

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, attended the sixth annual London Chess Classic at Olympia London Conference Centre (OLCC), to throw his weight behind Yes2Chess, the new campaign by Chess in Schools and Communities’ (CSC) which is supported by Barclaycard.

The Mayor came to visit some of the 2,000 schoolchildren at the ten day event and to voice his appreciation of the game as an educational tool. The unique event, which started on 6 December and concluded on Sunday 14 December, is the UK’s largest chess festival and has been held at the OLCC since its inception in 2009.

London Chess Classic brings young chess players of the future together with the world’s grandmasters. Live contests from the world’s strongest players are staged in the Olympia Conference Centre’s Auditorium, while free chess activities and educational sessions for schoolchildren take place in its large east hall and foyer. A total of 153 chess tables are set up across the two spaces to accommodate up to 500 children playing at any one time. The young players enjoy free lessons, take part in tournaments and also get the chance to meet and watch the Chess masters in action.

Boris was attending the event’s fifth day, on Wednesday 10 December, to support Yes2Chess, a new schools’ internet chess community for primary and elementary schoolchildren.

Tao Bhokanandh, Operations Director at CSC, said: “It’s great to be back once again at Olympia Conference Centre. The venue meets all our requirements including the capacity to run distinct events simultaneously. We also find Olympia’s technical teams to be excellent each year, providing first class audio visual so chess players and enthusiasts from all over the world can watch the nailbiting grandmaster games live.”

Anna Golden, Commercial director at Olympia London said: “London Chess Classic is a wonderful event that reaches out to hundreds of schoolchildren from all over the UK. We are always delighted to host it and were especially pleased this year to receive a visit from our special guest, Boris Johnson. The mayor made the most of the venue’s central and well connected London location, before nipping back on his bike to recommence his mayoral duties."

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