One of my favorite catch-phrases left over from the 80’s is thanks to Field of Dreams: Build it and they will come. When we started our chess day, it was in the hopes to offer a safe place to play, test your skills and practice one of the most popular games of all time. At that time it was difficult to find such a venue for chess lovers in this city, especially for the younger age groups. Most of the games were downtown, late at night, and didn’t have a high population of youth.
Since that time chess clubs have come out of the wood works in Colorado Springs. Discussing things with Paul Anderson, writer of the CS Chess News, I discovered that there are more than 10 different opportunities now, give or take a few, within any given week. Maybe part of that is the warm weather getting folks out of their homes, but the actual cause we can only guess.
So each month we offer the 2nd Sunday as our chess day. At first we had more leaders than players. Lee came to us pretty early on with the ability to coach younger players; I knew Zach as a personal friend and he had experience with the high school age; Paul was the most experienced player individually and he had been showing up at the public games which were mainly the older age set. So we covered all the possibilities for education right away. But what about the players? Several people have expressed joy and interest but for some reason or another couldn’t make the dates that we offered our games. Each month one or two people would show, play a few games with up to three coaches watching over them, have a great time, and leave.
But I’m here to testify that perseverance pays! This last Sunday, despite having another event planned at the same time, we not only had the average two people show up, but actually had enough people to justify three games at one time! A father son game broke out first and this was followed by one table going into a best out of five mini-tournament (congratulations Matthew). There were also a couple of classes and two other games peppered throughout. Lee was able to teach twice and walked a brother team through one game that brought on-lookers to watch with fascination.
So it’s official, we finally have an operating chess day and I couldn’t be more proud. And starting soon, Lee will be offering a course in computer chess programming and Paul will be doing a series of classes on chess basics. All of these to be posted in detail in our event calendars and newsletters.