Portsmouth High School alumna, and previous winner of the Phyllis Loe Chess Tournament, returned with her two children, Henri Blin, 4, and Sophia Blin, 6, to take part in the Sir William Dupree and Phyllis Loe Chess Tournament during the Easter holidays at Portsmouth High School. Henry and Sophia play chess for Fareham Junior Chess Club.
The tournament was open to all young people from Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight and surrounding areas. The youngest player, Henri, was four years old and the oldest was twenty.
Sir William Thomas Dupree was an English brewer. In the early 1890s he became manager of the Simonds brewery in Portsmouth and later left to set up his own business, Portsmouth United Breweries. He was Mayor of Portsmouth twice in the early 1900s. Councillor Phyllis Loe was Lord Mayor of Portsmouth in 1972. The tournament was set up for the encouragement of chess playing for young people in and around Portsmouth.
Ms Holland, Henry and Sophia Blin’s mother, left Portsmouth High School in 1993. She was the winner of the Phyllis Loe Chess Tournament in 1987 and said:
‘It was wonderful to come back to my old school for this tournament. It is a really positive move to have a tournament for young people in the area. I left here and went to Cambridge University in 1993 and played Varsity matches there. I also played for Hampshire and England as a teenager. I think chess is brilliant for concentration, thinking ahead and strategy and certainly helped me with all my exams.’‘It was a wonderful tournament and a lovely venue,’ said the Tournament Senior Controller, Mr Alan Butler. We increased the numbers to 80 players this year and it was fabulous that the tournament is supported by many local schools including Langstone Junior School, Titchfield Primary and Portsmouth Academy for Girls as well as Portsmouth High School and Portsmouth Grammar School.’
James Butler, 17, added:
‘This tournament is always lots of fun but challenging too. It helps me progress with my playing and it is good to meet other chess players from the local area.’
Headmistress of Portsmouth High School concluded:
‘All those taking part had a great time. It is a wonderful way to use our facilities during the holidays and delighted that we had more numbers than ever before this year.’
Winners will be announced on Thursday 9 June when prizes and trophies will be presented at Portsmouth High School Junior School.