10 years ago Ms McDermott introduced chess to school. Firstly, with a chess club and soon afterwards as a module in Transition Year. Each student learns or practices chess during an 8-week module. Those who don’t know how to play, learn, and those who are adept, play in the Chess master qualifier. The top two students in each form played off for the overall title of Transition Year Chess Master. The winners of the Chess Master down the years are:

2014                 Harry Collins

2015                 Finn Delamata Maye

2016                 Luc Rushani

2018                 Juan Lyons

2019                 Michael Bezborodov

2020                 Unfortunately this didn’t happen….


Below is the first record of an in-school chess competition held at Sligo Grammar School in 2011 – ten years ago!!!


Chess Competition December 2011

Amy McSharry              v                      Daniel Leyden

Eleanor Cooke              v                      John Oloyede

Gavin Taylor                 v                      Eddie Eisi-adepoyu

Russell Nairn                 v                      Femi Arista

Timmy Chu                   v                      Cameron Hill

Philip Hunter                v                      Ebeneezer Ogenbunnu

Stanley Shaw                v                      Desmond Sheridan

Steven O Connell          v                      Joe Conway

Finn Delamata Maye     v                      Peter Brittain

Aengus Morrissey         v                      Micheal Green

Andrew Woodmartin    v                      Ryan Hehir

Pearse Maloney            v                      Aaron Duggan



’10 big brain benefits of playing chess’

Not for nothing is chess known as “the game of kings.” No doubt the rulers of empires and kingdoms saw in the game fitting practice for the strategizing and forecasting they themselves were required to do when dealing with other monarchs and challengers. As we learn more about the brain, some are beginning to push for chess to be reintroduced as a tool in the public’s education. With benefits like the following, they have a strong case.

  • It can raise your IQ
  • It helps prevent Alzheimer’s
  • It exercises both sides of the brain
  • It increases your creativity
  • It improves your memory
  • It increases problem-solving skills
  • It improves reading skills
  • It improves concentration
  • It grows dendrites
  • It teaches planning and foresight


Meanwhile, as the TY modules continued, and with the above benefits in mind, the chess club thrived at lunchtimes. Ms McDermott entered school chess teams into annual All -Ireland competitions, where we were often successful. Have a look at some of the photos from our Chess archives!

Past Years 

The Chess year ended with the awarding of the TY Chess Master Award to Juan Lyons who won the SGS TY Chess League this year. 

The Chess Club has been going strong all year with a steady group of players competing against one another over lunch. The warm weather in May even had them playing outside in the sun!

Chess on the Mezzanine. Winter 2017 


The final Chess Competition of the year was fought out in Transition Year between the winners of each class. 

TY Chess Masters 2016



chess watching the clock chess nail biting stuff chess first timers

The school participated in the Chess Inter-School Competition in April  2016. Two teams travelled to Dublin to compete, a senior team and a junior team. the senior team, mostly made up of 5th years, played in a very competitive Champions section, playing six matches each. They did very well, with every student winning at least two of their games . The novice team came in at second place in their section, a great achievement by these students who were competing for the first time. Well done to all, and thank you to Ms McDermott who has put a lot of work into the running  of the club. 


chess concentration chess first timers 2 Chess 2016 prizewinners Chess 2016 players

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