Chess players in Totnes are gearing up to pit their wits against Grandmaster, Keith Arkell, on Monday (May 15).

Keith, of Paignton, has been one of Britain’s most prolific players since turning professional in 1980.

The 61-year-old became an International Chess Grandmaster in 1995, was crowned British Champion in 2008, and British Online Chess Champion in 2021.

In 2022, he won individual gold medals to help England Seniors win both the World and European Team Championships.

Keith will be visiting the Totnes Chess Club to play 10 games against 10 members at The Albatross event space at The Rotherfold from 7pm, where there will be room for a few spectators.

Martin Goldschmidt of Totnes Chess Club said: “It’s a really big thing Keith coming to Totnes; it’s really exciting and amazing to be playing someone at his level.

“I’m looking forward to it a lot. I used to play as a kid – I played quite a few grandmasters when I was about 19 - and I was very good, but I stopped for a long time. He will win, but it will be fun.

“There is one other guy in our club who has probably played players like Keith, but no-one else will have. I think he will probably have us all for breakfast.”

After the matches, Keith will be signing copies of his three books: ‘The Super Clash Swift’ jointly penned with Latvian Grandmaster Mikhail Tal and others, his autobiography ‘Arkell’s Odyssey’ and ‘Arkell’s Endings.’

Totnes chess club was formed in October 2022. Members play in the Torbay Chess League and other local chess tournaments.

The club meets informally at 11am on Saturday at Totnes Cinema when anyone is welcome to turn up and play.