The north's strongest chess team start their
campaign for glory in the game’s equivalent of
the Premier League this weekend after catching
the eye of world champion Magnus Carlsen.
Yorkshire-based White Rose has received
backing from one of the Norwegian star’s
companies and is now expecting a sudden
of world-class grandmasters for the new season.
Chessable, the UK-based chess learning
website snapped up by Carlsen earlier this year,
has promised to fund an assault on the 4NCL
title. Possible new recruits could be any of the
leading grandmasters that are currently working
White Rose, which will be renamed Chessable
White Rose, regularly competes in the
prestigious 4NCL, the UK’s top league, and
battle each year to qualify for the European
The world champion's
company Play Magnus AS has bought the
UK-based chess training
platform Chessable.com, which
has 40,000 monthly users.
Photo © Tao Bhokanandh |
The team, then run by Paul Townsend, from Kirk Hammerton, North Yorks, finished fourth overall
last year having competed in the 4NCL’s
eight-team division 1. Guildford won it for a
seventh year in a row.
The White Rose squad includes former MEP and
Scunthorpe United commentator Jon Arnott, who is
a Candidate Master and former member of the
England Under-21 squad.
White Rose stalwart and editor of the UK's
leading chess magazine,
CHESS, Richard Palliser
said: “With Chessable's backing we'll be looking
to build on last year's fourth place and again
to take down one or more of the heavyweights.
Trying to surprise the top sides is always
one aim, but so too is to finish ahead of our
main northern rivals, 3Cs from across the
Pennines in Oldham."
Chessable, a UK start-up firm, is part of
Carlsen’s business empire having been bought by
his Play Magnus firm earlier this year.
It publishes chess courses authored by some
of the world’s top players and trainers and has
promised to make some available to bolster White
Leon Watson, from Chessable, said: “We’ve got
big plans for White Rose and are ready to pull
every string we can to strengthen them. We’ve
been impressed by what the club does in
Yorkshire and the whole Yorkshire chess scene
and we want to help win it some titles. Chess in
Yorkshire has always been very strong and the
associations here are fiercely independent.
Yorkshire contested the first County
Championship final in 1908 and won again this
year. We want Chessable White Rose to be
national club champions.”
The 4NCL involves teams from the four corners
of the British Isles.
Round one of the 2020 season kicks off this
weekend in Daventry, Northants, with Chessable
White Rose taking on Liverpool-based Spirit of
Leon Watson, Chessable