FORTY girls from eight school across Merseyside took 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 took place on Monday, June 10 at Our Lady and St Edward's RC Primary School, Birkenhead.

Combining motivational talks with competition, the event inspired more girls to play chess and participants heard 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.

After four rounds of intense competition, three winners emerged with a perfect score of 12/12; Ava Prior (from St Bridget’s Primary School), Maisie Liddicoat (from Our Lady and St Edwards R C Primary School) and Jessica-Rose Preston (from Dawpool Primary School).

Wirral Globe:

Maria Eagle told the Globe:“It was great to see the girls playing chess and benefitting from the soft skills that it can teach; concentration, confidence and strategic and tactical planning, all of which are invaluable to many careers and situations in life.

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

Students from the following schools took part; 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.

Chief executive of CSC and former British Junior Champion Malcolm Pein said: “It was fitting to stage the inaugural Empower Girls Chess Tournament in Liverpool.

"Maria’s presence was inspiring and set an excellent example to the girls.”

All the girls who participated in the event received a chess set and the book Checkmate by Garry Kasparov renowned for being the greatest player in the history of the game.