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Orpington MP Jo Johnson meets talented young chess players

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 December 2017

Orpington MP Jo Johnson playing chess with his opponent Edwin. Picture: Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club

Orpington MP Jo Johnson playing chess with his opponent Edwin. Picture: Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club

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Young chess players were treated to a visit from their local MP.

Orpington MP Jo Johnson presenting eight-year-old Shlok Verma with an engraved plate in recognition of his performance for England in the recent European Youth Chess Championships. Picture: Petts Wood and Orpington Chess ClubOrpington MP Jo Johnson presenting eight-year-old Shlok Verma with an engraved plate in recognition of his performance for England in the recent European Youth Chess Championships. Picture: Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club

Jo Johnson – who represents Orpington – attended Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club’s junior practice at St John’s United Reformed Church, Lynwood Grove, on Friday, December 1.

Mr Johnson chatted to junior and adult members and took on St Olave’s pupil Edwin in a friendly match. The MP also presented eight-year-old Shlok Verma with an engraved plate in recognition of his performance for England in the recent European Youth Chess Championships. Shlok achieved a score of 7/9 in the under-eight section of the championships – the second highest score by an England player.

“Chess is a fantastic game that requires skill, strategy and a calm head. It was terrific to attend Petts Wood and Orpington Chess Club’s junior practice and to see so many youngsters learning about and enjoying the game,” said Mr Johnson.

“I particularly enjoyed my match against my very impressive opponent, Edwin, and was delighted to present Shlok with his award for his recent performances. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the game to get involved with this great local club.”

The same evening, the group’s first (adult) team beat Dartford 5-1 in the Kent County Cup competition, the top division in the Kent league. The team is currently top of the league having won all its matches to date.

The second team, with five juniors playing, beat Beckenham and Bromley 3.5-2.5 to go top of their division in the league.

The junior section boasts about 40 members, aged between five and 17. The club meets on Fridays from 6.30pm.

Visit facebook.com/pwchessclub.

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