CHESS wonderkid Yichen Han visited Hexham on Saturday to take on some of the district's leading players - all at the same time.

The 11-year-old Chinese star, who defeated English grandmaster Mark Hebden last year, took part in a simultanous match against 17 opponents, at the Queen's Hall. 

The fascinating encounter followed the format of a famous exhibition match in France, in 1922, when Polish chess prodigy Sammy Reshevsky took on accomplished players at the age of just eight. 

Yichen, who holds a UK junior title, and had a highly-placed finish in both the European and world junior championships of 2018, is a member of Forest Hall chess club in North Tyneside. 

Tynedale Chess Club organised the event in conjunction with Forest Hall's Mike Smith, in a bid to generate new interest in the game. 

Tynedale Chess Club's Peter Crichton said: "Yichen is a wonderful young man and it was great to welcome him to Hexham.

"He took on 17 players, moving from board to board, and it was a fascinating day for all involved.

"There were some interested spectators, which was a good thing for local chess."

Find out how Yichen fared in this week's Courant.