The members of a Carlisle chess club are hoping to spread their passion for the game in classrooms across Cumbria and the world.

John Lydon who is a member of the Carlisle Chess Club and a charity called Chess in Schools and Communities said he would like to see chess taught at more schools in the area.

Fellow chess club member, Martin Best, has started an initiative to donate chess clocks and chess sets for schools in Niger, Africa.

So far, kit and teaching literature has been collected from chess clubs across Cumbria.

John said: "It's great to have the opportunity to promote chess.

"The game has a lot of benefits and develops a lot of skills, such as planning, spacial awareness, and anticipation.

"We believe it's a good game to promote and although we mainly focused on our local area we do want to see the game flourish absolutely everywhere.

"Niger is a very poor country so funding for chess equipment is hard to come by. There was a shortage of chess clocks in particular."

Martin, who used to live and work in Niger will be taking the equipment back to the country in an effort to further promote the game there.

With Martin's help there is now a National Chess Association in Niger, which has gone on to compete in its first tournament.

John added that he hopes the popularity of chess can grow more closer to home as well, especially after what has been a difficult time for the sport.

The Carlisle Chess Club has only recently been able to restart face to face sessions.

John added: "We're still suffering from [the pandemic] unfortunately.

"So far the attendances haven't been great, but then again we have some players who have underlying medical conditions and are nervous about returning to over-the-board chess.

"We would obviously like to promote [chess] more and we don't know what's going to happen next with the pandemic.

"I don't think the club will close, but it's just a case of how much it flourishes.

"I would like to see it taught at more schools."

John, who already teaches chess at primary school, said he has seen it help children a great deal.

He said: "In a nutshell, the game makes people think. One of the children I teach has finally found something he feels that he is truly good at.

"I gave another child, who is quite bright but very troublesome, extra puzzles to work on and his behaviour has improved.

"It doesn't cause the most profound changes, but it can alter their outlook."