A Cumbrian MP has encouraged school pupils to discover the delights of one of the world's oldest games, chess.

John Stevenson has written to the headteachers of all primary schools in his Carlisle constituency to highlight the benefits of learning to play chess, following a meeting with Cumbria's representative of the charity Chess in Schools and Communities, John Lydon.

The charity provides chess equipment, software and lessons to primary schools in England and Wales, and aims to promote the educational and social benefits of playing chess.

Chess in Schools and Communities also organises chess events encouraging mass participation.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity is now also providing online resources, in collaboration with the website ChessKids.

Mr Stevenson said that learning to play chess has a number of academic benefits.

"These include children developing their critical thinking and logical reasoning skills, as well as helping to improve their overall concentration," he said.

"These are all transferable skills, which can help children both in their classes, as well as in a chess tournament.

"I hope that more children will take up chess as a hobby in the future and that more adults will sign up to become a chess tutor in schools.”