Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 - New Year, New Changes

The Chess in the Library program started in June 2009 and since then, the program has expanded to 5 different locations. During these 6 months, my team and I have been through the wind and the rain, encountering numerous barriers and difficulties with the program. Looking back, it's hard to imagine that what we've actually accomplished with the program is a reality. Especially the fact that we have a website that people visit quite often! Overall, the 2009 year for the Chess in the Library Organization was quite a success. More importantly, it was the start of all hopes to bring Canada's chess popularity to new heights.

I want to thank all the kind individuals and organizations that have donated and sponsored the program in the 2009 year (remember to visit our website at!):

Donors Donations
Anonymous Individual $500
Anonymous Individual 100 sets value $700
Anonymous Individual $20
Filipovich Family, in honour of Ms. Vineeta(Bini) Kalia 274 chess materials including various informants, chess magazines, and chess books
Gordon Ritchie $250
Southam Family Various chess books, chess clocks, trophies and plates of $200 value
Maurice Smith 6 demo boards
Bob Armstrong 1 box of chess magazines

Chess 'n Math Association
Scarborough Chess Club
The Greater Toronto Chess League
Toronto Public Library
Toronto School Chess League
Victoria Park C.I.

Our new year resolution for the program is to build the team larger, perhaps we will form an executive board and expand the program to 15 different locations in total (10 more than what we have now). I personally have lots of faith in my team and I believe this goal is definitely achievable.

Now with the changes of the program this year:
1. We will try to rate our games with CMA rating as often as possible. Thanks to Larry and the Chess'n Math Association who have agreed to sponsor us 3 months of free rating!! Of course, with the ratings in place, more kids would be interested to play because seeing their ratings go up and down is an incentive. This is a huge step in our program and I cannot express how much I appreciate Larry's support toward our program! I believe our volunteers are still trying to get familiar with the system, and our first rated tournament will be held this week. :)

2. We will set up an activity for the first 20min of the program each week. We have currently decided to rotate between basic teaching (thanks to Maurice Smith for the demo boards!!), puzzle competitions and simuls with our volunteers. We have already tested out each one of the 3 at different location and they seem to do well.

3. New flyers for the program! Well, of course you guys won't be able to see it here (I am not aware that I can upload a PDF file yet - any tips, guys?). However, it does look better with more information on it!

4. We consider purchasing 1-2 clocks for the program at each library. Sometimes when the kids play too slow and we need to end the program, we'll need a clock to speed up the games. I always hate the idea of counting pieces to see who wins by the way. My teammates and I are currently voting on whether we should purchase them and how many.

Alright, that's it for now. I'll announce new changes as soon we have an agreement within our team. Any suggestions? I'll be more than happy to hear any comments, opinions or suggestions!!

Let's hope that the 2010 year for the Chess in the Library program will be 3 times more successful than it was in 2009!! Thanks to everyone who's supporting us!! :D


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