FIFTY girls from eight school across Merseyside are gearing up to take part in a chess competition in a bid to get women to play the game.

Organised by charity Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), the first Empower Girls Chess Tournament will take place on Monday, June 10 at Our Lady and St Edward's RC Primary School, Birkenhead.

Combining motivational talks with competition, the event aims to inspire more girls to play chess and participants will hear from the MP for Garston and Halewood and former junior chess player Maria Eagle who played for Merseyside with her twin sister and Wallasey MP Angela Eagle.

Maria Eagle told the Globe: "As I found myself as a young chess player, the game can teach concentration, confidence and strategic and tactical planning of a kind that is invaluable to many careers and situations in life.

"It also teaches a person to respect the potential and abilities of others.

“Girls often lack confidence and society can place expectations on girls that do not accord with their own wishes or potential.

"I found that chess can teach skills to enable girls to do what they want in life instead of just what is expected of them.”

Participants will play a tournament as well as face an International Chess Master in a simultaneous display.

Malcolm Pein, chief executive of CSC, said: “Liverpool has a fine chess tradition.

"We hope we can produce another British Women’s Champion like Grandmaster Sheila Jackson, who attended Broad Square Primary School.

"We are delighted to stage the Empower Girls Chess Tournament, the first event of its kind in the UK, in Liverpool and look forward to seeing many girls amongst the prize winners at St Georges Hall later this month.”

Students from the following schools will be attending the event including New Brighton Primary School; Our Lady of Pity RC Primary School; Dawpool Primary School; Greasby Juniors; Our Lady and St Edwards R C Primary School; St Bridget’s Primary School.

All the girls participating will receive a chess set and the book Checkmate by Garry Kasparov renowned for being the greatest player in the history of the game.

Head teacher of Our Lady and St Edward's RC Primary School, Elaine McGunigall said: "We have been working with CSC for the past year and the impact of learning how to play chess on the children's' confidence and their attitude to learning has been far beyond our expectations.

"Not only have the children embraced learning the skills required to play chess, but also a range of life-skills, including resilience, logical thinking, the consequences of their choices and the tools for reflecting on their actions.

"It has resulted in the governors agreeing to roll out chess, next year, from Year 5 across the whole of the key stage."