Sunday, May 30, 2010

Breaking News! Chess in the Library 1st Annual Festival

It's been almost 1 year since our organization has been established so on behalf of my team, I want to give a big thank you to everyone for their support! Without all of our supporters (volunteers, librarians, donors, sponsors, others who gave us words of encouragement) the Chess in the Library program wouldn't have gone as far as it is today. It's not just our chess program that you sponsored, it's a hope. A hope that chess in Canada would not die off (it seems to get worse), or even a hope that this game will become very popular one day.

We currently have 9 libraries hosting this program and 4 more are in contact. The program is growing at a very quick pace. Our goal by the end of this year is 15 locations in total, as I mentioned in my new year resolution!

During the past year, we've been receiving requests from librarians wanting a cross-library chess match. Thus, we've decided to celebrate our 1 year anniversary (by the end of June) by hosting a grand tournament in which the top 10 participants from each library will come together and compete to see which library does the best. The tournament information is listed on our website (the Events page) at

We've been receiving many donations of chess-related materials (trophies, books, magazines, etc) so we'll be giving out a lot of prizes at this tournament. Also, it will be CMA rated because many of our kids only have that rating. The entry fee, as stated in the flyer, is technically free, but we will be accepting donations. Perhaps this is the first large-scale rated tournament that doesn't force the participants to pay at all! Are we making history or what?

Also, we really really want to get a permanent trophy for the top library to keep and bring back to this tournament every year. You know the ones that are big and you can keep sticking plates on it? Although both individual and team prizes will be given out, the tournament emphasizes the team spirit. Teamwork is an important factor in everyday life, no matter what you do, it's impossible to accomplish something big without teamwork. Just like the Chess in the Library organization. You might always see me posting on chesstalk, but in reality, theres are tons of people working for our organization behind the scenes. You don't see them, but they are there, and without them, CITL would be nothing. Thus, my team and I would really appreciate it if someone kind could help us out with this permanent trophy!

Other than the main event, we also plan to get some media coverage (if anyone of you have media contacts, please help me out) and host a few side events. That would include activities with our giant chess set, a puzzle competition and someone to teach the rules of chess to the waiting parents so that they don't get too bored!

If you know anyone that wants to play in this tournament (gr12 and under), it is important that they become a member of the chess club at a library first! We welcome everyone to come out and celebrate our 1 year anniversary with us on June 26th, 2010 from 1-5pm at the North York Central Library (stated on flyer).

Again, thank you all for your support during the past year! We've certainly gained lots of experience and enjoyed this journey so far. If you'll like to make a donation,email me at!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chess in the Library New Logo!!

Ever since my team and I started expanding the Chess in the Library Organization, we've been always working hard on the logo for our organization. Many people help us out with the design and below is the logo-designing process:

Designs by CITL Webmaster Yutong Luo:
The original idea was to incorporate the word "Library" from the Toronto Public Library logo to the CITL logo. Yutong did a good job with capture the whole idea, but when we put everything together, it just didn't seem right.

Designs by Artist Rachel Ng:
Rachel is the artist in my school, haha. She's an awesome designer and worked really hard to create 3 different versions of the logo. The second one was really nice and professional but unfortunately, my team and I are concerned about the library copyright issues as it looks way too close to the actual TPL logo!
Designs by former Pleasant View Library CITL's organizer Yuan Dai:
By the time Yuan knew about this logo designing thing, it was already 8 months since the first design. We've tried again and again, but nothing seems to stand out. However, it's Yuan's design that finally brought us hope! Take a look at the 3 versions of the CITL logo below. The very first model already blew me away and after suggesting some changes, we have finally created a satisfying logo (that would be the very last picture in this post)! :)

I want to take this opportunity to thank all three logo-designers: Yutong, Rachel and Yuan! Regardless of whether we actually use your logos or not, I know how much effort you've put into it, and we will forever remember you guys and your logos. With the previous logos, there wouldn't be a final product at all. A special shout-out goes to Yuan Dai for designing a successful logo! Congratulations!!

Come to think of it, famous scientist Thomas Edison failed 2000 times before inventing the light bulb. This journey was nothing compared to that! I never failed to believe in us once during this process, and even if one after one failure, I would still tell myself that I cannot give up. I will find someone who will design the perfect logo. And guess what? Not so long after, we've created the official CITL logo!! All I want to say is that no matter what obstacles you meet in school, work, or just life in general, NEVER GIVE UP because obstacles are just nature's way of showing us what we can do. The path to success is always paved with mistakes, just like all the logos that we designed before the final one! :)