Divers play a game of chess at the Deep in Hull.

Find out why divers at the Deep have been playing chess

Divers at the Deep in Hull today (Monday 2 August) were locked in a game of underwater chess.

Surrounded by sharks, fish and stingrays, the divers sat down for a quick game to celebrate the launch of the city’s first Play Chess Festival.

Starting this week, there is a huge programme of chess-inspired events taking place over the next three months in in parks, squares, libraries, shops, markets, cafés and pubs. It is open to all ages, existing chess-players and those who just want to learn.

Graham Chesters, president of the Hull and District Chess Association, said: “After COVID restrictions, we want to give the people of Hull something a bit different.

“Chess is played by millions across the world. It’s a fabulous game, brings lots of educational and social benefits, and is cheap!”

Fish and sharks swim around two divers playing chess at the Deep.

Events will range from fun day stalls in park events, to a ‘chess sesh’ in libraries. The programme will then culminate with the British Chess Championships in Hull in October.

Councillor Rosemary Pantelakis, portfolio holder for culture at Hull City Council, said: “I am very supportive of young people having the opportunity to learn chess. The Council is keen to back the exciting festival programme and the ambition to make Hull a chess city.”

Below is the current programme for the Play Chess Festival. More events will also be announced throughout the summer.


• August 4: Large Play Day – Queen’s Gardens (11am – 3pm)

• August 12: Chess Fun Day – Pearson Park (1 – 4pm)

• August 14: Live Chess – Queen Victoria Square (11am – 2pm)

• August 17: Chess Sesh – Hull Central Library (2 – 3:30pm)

• August 18: Chess Sesh – East Park Library (10:30am – 12:00pm)

• August 21: Family Day – Pearson Park (11am – 3pm)

• August 24: 1st online Hull & East Riding 4NCL match – Premier Division

• August 25-27: Junior Summer School at Hymers College

• August 28: Chessfest at Trinity Square and Trinity Market (11am – 4pm)

Trinity Market 1

Hull’s Trinity Market will be one of many places in the city embracing chess this summer.


• October 2-10: British Chess Championship, Royal Station Hotel

• October 14-17: British Women Chess Championship, Royal Station Hotel

• October 20-22: Junior Coaching Event, Royal Station Hotel

• October 20-24: Grandmaster Norm Event, Royal Station Hotel

• October 22-24: Hull 4NCL Congress, Royal Station Hotel

You can find out more about the Hull and District Chess Association here.