So children from the Hastings and St Leonards Junior Chess Club, this week re-enacted the Battle of Hastings to commemorate that fateful day for the last Saxon king.
Chess arrived in England with the Normans, so what better way to visualise the Battle with the greatest wargame ever made.
“Standing behind his shield wall, Harold stands atop Senlac Hill looking out over the amassed armies of the Norman invaders. Archers (bishops) stand ready on both sides to launch a barrage arrows at each other but can the shield wall stand firm and hold for reinforcements (which appear on the board on move 30).”
It’s black to move and conquer England, can you do it? or will history change and Harold reign supreme?
On the whole children preserved history with William victorious the odd one or two managing to upset the odds and keep England in Saxon hands, one even getting checkmate in two moves!
The strategies employed during the real battle were described to the children and some employed the same ideas by attacking the flanks others tried striking down the central pawn duo/quad both either way a lot of fun was had.
Did the real Duke of Normandy use chess to plan his battle strategy? One for historians we think.
Junior Organiser & ECF Accredited chess coach