Saturday, April 27, 2013

Glen Eira Chess Club

Friday 26th April was the official start date for Glen Eira Chess Club. The doors opened shortly before 6 pm  and the junior club started soon after. Both David Cordover and I were unsure of who we would get coming along to our new initiative. While Friday evening is great for kids, there are already chess clubs running to the north (Canterbury) and south (Frankston) of us and our opening night coincided with a weekend event at the Melbourne Chess Club, their annual ANZAC Day Weekender. Nevertheless, David and I know loads of people in this area interested in chess. There are ex-players, up and coming juniors, and keen adults who have never played club chess before as well as current tournament players who live in this area but travel to chess clubs around the city. There are also a number of people around who are interested in playing chess, but who aren't that bothered about playing in a tournament environment. These are things that we want to cater for.
Good turn out at the junior chess club
So all in all I was pretty impressed to see over 30 people show up on the first night. There was a blitz tournament which was played in a fun spirit, and juniors were encouraged to participate with the adults. The junior club saw the kids encouraged to write their moves down and to play games with a time control of 25 minutes and 10 second increment. The idea is to graduate the kids through to adult chess as quickly as possible. It is not their standard of play that we are so interested in as their level of focus. Most kids are used to 15 minute games at the most, so throwing them into a 60 minute longplay game can be a culture shock. So our junior club hopes to engender the spirit of the club within the kids, and to prepare them for adult chess.

David Cordover and the future of chess
A successful junior club, and young membership is the hope for the future of any institution, and David and I do have high hopes for the future. A first night of 34 players was more than we expected and we are hoping to build the club to well over 100 members. To do this we have one simple idea. We want to make our club a place where people want to come to. That is not a place where people just come to play chess, but a place where they want to come to, and where they also play chess. A social environment for players, their families and friends.

I'm getting beaten by IM Robert Jamieson with Sam Low making a welcome return to chess next to Robert and juniors showing they can focus as well as their elders
Saying that, we are all turning up to play chess, and it was great to see some parents stepping up and joining in the games. We ran a blitz event which was won by IM Robert Jamieson. It was great of Robert to join in and his participation may prove a magnet for other players. Of course it is amazing to be able to play someone of that calibre at your local club. And I always find it heartening to see players of all ages and standards sitting alongside one another united by this amazing game. If you have time, and are in the area, then feel free to come down to our friendly club next Friday. I believe we are planning a time handicap tournament as well as plenty of social chess. This week we had home made cookies as an incentive, thanks very much to Kate and David and their children for this fantastic gesture :)

No comments:

Post a Comment