Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Big Day - Website Uploaded!

I have excellent news to announce! The Chess in the Library website is finally up on the Internet! is the official site for our program. It will be updated regularly with news, pictures, progress and more! Make sure to check it out!

We first started working on this website at the beginning of July. It's been a real journey from day 1 of website making. At the very beginning, we had to decide on the layout, the colours, and basically design the entire website. Then we had to think about what kind of content our viewers would like to read, and then write it all out. The final 2 weeks were the toughest, as we had to make a ton of small changes here and there. I think we finalized the website 8 times before we all agreed that this was it, and we're ready to upload! I was engaged in most of the discussions with other members of our organization team, but of course, Yutong was the one who did all the coding!

I must thank Yutong Luo (grade 10 student), our webmaster, for working countless hours on designing and creating the website. It's his big day too, and he's sure excited!! I also want to thank Barry Thorvardson as well as his company TechForceOnCall for sponsoring our web server. Without these people, this website definitely wouldn't have been possible.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Brookbank's Chess in the Library 10 Weeks Anniversary! :)

Yesterday's Chess in the Library meet at Brookbanks concluded the 10th week this program has been running at this branch. This reminded me of exactly 3 months ago when I first proposed the idea of this program to the Brookbanks branch head. Time sure passes by fast as these 3 months went by in a blink of an eye!

28 participants showed up yesterday, including an adult! It's great news because this program is for everyone to enjoy regardless of their age and level. I also posted a list of prizes participants can exchange for their certificates! They sure were excited about that, and was eager to know what did the prizes look like. Perhaps I will bring some of the prizes to the library next week and show them.

Thanks to Kevin, Tony, Xiaohan and Michael, the meet ran very smoothly yesterday. Speaking about volunteers, another excitement for us was that there was a guy who came into the chess room and offered to help out in the future! I asked him how he knew about our program and he said that he was just wandering around in the library and simply saw our program running. He left me his email and I'll be in contact with him soon. It's great to see more and more people taking initiative!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One, Two, Now Three Donations!!

When the mailman dropped by today, I picked up the stack of envelopes and read all the covers one by one: “My dad's, my mom's, wrong address, another for my dad... for me!?" I usually don't get mail unless it's my school report but I already got that last month. Slowly and carefully, I teared one edge of the envelope and pulled out a thick piece of paper that was neatly folded. Guess what was inside that piece of paper? This!! (picture below)

Yes, it is indeed a $500 donation to the Chess in the Library program! The donor is an extremely kindhearted person who wishes to remain anonymous. This person believes that what we're doing here is something truly special and hopes to see more and more kids play this royal game at a young age. On behalf of all the participants coming to our program as well as our entire organization team, I would like to take this opportunity here today to thank this anonymous donor for believing in us and supporting our program. Without a doubt, this donation means a lot to us and we definitely appreciate it greatly. Everyone can make a big difference and with this donation, we would be able to run this program at a couple more libraries, meaning approximately 100 more kids would be able to enjoy the benefits of chess.

I will forever and always remember every single person who has helped us out with the development of the Chess in the Library program, anonymous or not it doesn't matter. Thank you again!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daily Puzzle!!

Hey everyone, I just added a daily puzzle to my blog!! Doing tactics is a key to improving your chess skills. Check it out and try to find the winning move for today's puzzle! ('s not as easy as you think!)

Some Funny Facts

Last week's meet at Brookbanks was great! Everything went well as we had 25 players come in to play chess. It's funny how this week the kids waited patiently outside until everything was up, unlike other times when they just zoomed into the room!

Another funny discovery I made last week was that I actually read through the pages of an extremely popular chess book for the kids here and found out it was a chess maze book! For example, on one page, the starting piece would be a knight, so you move the knight in the maze in a L-shape (cause that's how you're supposed to move the knight!) Haha, now I know why these kids love this book so much!!

Our volunteers took care of the most of the meet by themselves, so that they will be ready to run their own library program. A third library will open shortly, so stay updated on our progress!! :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Civic Holiday Over, Kids Back to Chess!

Even with the civic holiday last weekend, the Chess in the Library program at Brookbanks still managed to attract 24 participants. Now that it's over, it raised back to 29 today!

As mentioned from Yutong's blog, the opening of this program at the Pleasant View Library last week went well, but the number of participants didn't reach the expected amount due to the civic holiday. However, it did this week! There was around 20 participants this week at PV, the exact same number as the first meet at Brookbanks. Soon enough, I'm sure the organizers Yutong, Sam, Aaron and Hazel will gain more experience and slowly more and more kids will come to play chess at PV.

During these two weeks, we had an amazing increase of volunteers who joined the Chess in the Library organization team as we now have 10 members in total! Don't forget this program only started less than 2 months ago! The new members are Tony Tang, from the same school as me, Xiaohan Du, who used to be in Michael's school and finally Kevin Wu, CFC rated 1954 and will be also joining me at Victoria Park C.I. this September. All of them scored many points for their school's chess team in the previous years and enjoy playing this game just as much as I do. Welcome to the team guys, and thank you for your help!

Another great news is that our Webmaster Yutong has been working very hard on the website and it is almost ready to be uploaded! Also, in the next 2 weeks, Michael and I will start contacting a 3rd library to open this program. The progress we're making is pretty fast eh? :)

Keep checking our blogs for updates! And if you wish to give this program any support, feel free to contact me at! :)