Alex Holowczak wrote: I've read somewhere that Mike initially set up a UKCC style of competition within the junior clubs or schools he was involved with. So it had the furry mascots and the badges and so on. This brought people through the door, and so was deemed to be a good thing. After much effort (and not a lot of external help), it was rolled out nationally, and the county stage and beyond fell into place from there.
The Richmond Chess Initiative was founded in 1993 by the late Stanley Grundy, a local businessman and the late Anne Summers, then the Mayor of Richmond upon Thames. I was appointed their Chess Programme Manager.Peter Turner wrote:Hopefully Richard James will have some knowledge of the early days of what became the UK Chess Challenge. I think Rotary International in conjunction with The Richmond Junior Chess Initiative wished to support chess in schools. They encouraged Rotarians around the country to get involved with chess in their local schools. I did quite a bit in Lincolnshire schools on behalf of Rotary International. Mind I could be wrong!!
Stanley had read this article and was keen to promote chess in schools throughout the country to improve academic standards.
One day Stanley summoned me into his office and said "Richard, I'm going to make you rich". He then visited Mike Basman, changed his mind about making me rich, and decided he'd make Mike Basman rich instead.
I think Alex is right that Mike already had this sort of thing going on in the schools where he was teaching and Stanley arranged funding, firstly through Rotary International and later through British Land, to roll out Mike's methods across the country.
If Stanley had decided to follow my route instead he'd have had something very different.