Ex pupil returns for chess tournament with children

Henri Blin, 4, and Sophia Blin, 6, take part in the chess tournament at
 
Portsmouth High School
Henri Blin, 4, and Sophia Blin, 6, take part in the chess tournament at Portsmouth High School

Portsmouth MP visits his former childhood stomping ground

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A former Portsmouth High School pupil, and previous winner of the Phyllis Loe Chess Tournament, returned with her two children to take part in this year’s tournament.

Emilia Holland left Portsmouth High School in 1993 and was the tournament winner in 1987.

She returned to the school with her son Henri Blin, four, and Sophia Blin, six, to take part in the Sir William Dupree and Phyllis Loe Chess Tournament during the Easter holidays. Both children 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 20.

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 to encourage chess playing among young people in and around Portsmouth.

Ms Holland 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 think chess is brilliant for concentration, thinking ahead and strategy and certainly helped me with all my exams.’

Tournament senior controller Alan Butler said: ‘It was a wonderful tournament and a lovely venue.

‘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, Portsmouth Academy for Girls 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.’