World chess champion’s firm gets on board to help Yorkshire team target title by Leon Watson


The north's strongest chess team start their campaign for glory in the game’s equivalent of the Premier League this weekend after catching the eye of world champion Magnus Carlsen.



Yorkshire-based White Rose has received backing from one of the Norwegian star’s companies and is now expecting a sudden influx of world-class grandmasters for the new season.


Chessable, the UK-based chess learning website snapped up by Carlsen earlier this year, has promised to fund an assault on the 4NCL title. Possible new recruits could be any of the leading grandmasters that are currently working with Chessable.


White Rose, which will be renamed Chessable White Rose, regularly competes in the prestigious 4NCL, the UK’s top league, and battle each year to qualify for the European Club Cup.



The world champion's company Play Magnus AS has bought the UK-based chess training

platform, which has 40,000 monthly users.


Photo © Tao Bhokanandh |


The team, then run by Paul Townsend, from Kirk Hammerton, North Yorks, finished fourth overall last year having competed in the 4NCL’s eight-team division 1. Guildford won it for a seventh year in a row.


The White Rose squad includes former MEP and Scunthorpe United commentator Jon Arnott, who is a Candidate Master and former member of the England Under-21 squad.


White Rose stalwart and editor of the UK's leading chess magazine, CHESS, Richard Palliser said: “With Chessable's backing we'll be looking to build on last year's fourth place and again to take down one or more of the heavyweights.


Trying to surprise the top sides is always one aim, but so too is to finish ahead of our main northern rivals, 3Cs from across the Pennines in Oldham."



Chessable, a UK start-up firm, is part of Carlsen’s business empire having been bought by his Play Magnus firm earlier this year.


It publishes chess courses authored by some of the world’s top players and trainers and has promised to make some available to bolster White Rose’s squad.


Leon Watson, from Chessable, said: “We’ve got big plans for White Rose and are ready to pull every string we can to strengthen them. We’ve been impressed by what the club does in Yorkshire and the whole Yorkshire chess scene and we want to help win it some titles. Chess in Yorkshire has always been very strong and the associations here are fiercely independent. Yorkshire contested the first County Championship final in 1908 and won again this year. We want Chessable White Rose to be national club champions.”


The 4NCL involves teams from the four corners of the British Isles.


Round one of the 2020 season kicks off this weekend in Daventry, Northants, with Chessable White Rose taking on Liverpool-based Spirit of Atticus.


Press Contact:

Leon Watson, Chessable



© 4NCL

Four Nations Chess League

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