Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bridlewood`s Grand Opening

Guess where I am right now? Three-Rivers, Quebec! :) This has nothing to do with the title above, but I thought that I might as well share the awesome news with everyone. I`m there for a french program called Jexplore and it`s such a wonderful place to improve your french. Si vous êtes seize ou dix-sept ans avant de juin 2011, vous pouvez inscrire pour le programme l'été prochain! :)

Anyways, back to the main topic - Bridlewood`s Grand Opening. Last Friday, June 25th, 2010 was the day that the Chess in the Library program officially became a part of the Bridlewood Library in Scarborough, Toronto. It was a huge success as our maximum capacity was reached (24 spots) and there were 4 more kids who waited for their turn.

I mentioned a few months ago that our next project would be to make a kid-friendly brochure that explains the basic rules of chess. Due to the craziness of the past few weeks (culminatings, exams, CITL festival, packing for Jexplore, etc) we only managed to create a handout. This handout was given out to all the particpants and their parents to enhance the learning experience. I clearly remember that there was one little girl who kept telling her opponent that the Rook was a strong piece because the handout said so. She was soooo cute! :)

Our volunteers and future leaders of the program at Bridlewood are Stanley Su, a 1500-1600 CFC chess junior who will be going into grade 9 next year and Mary Xu, an IB student of Victoria Park C.I. Stanley had his first experience of teaching a public group and although he wasn`t confident leading the group at first, time helped him to adjust his comfortableness. There is always a first time for everything and I strongly believe that one day, Chess in the Library will help Stanley become a great public speaker. Stanley and Mary, welcome to the team! Bienvenue à l'équipe!

Overall, everyone had a great time at the program and it seems like at Bridlewood, we don`t need to worry about participants, we need to worry about space! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chess in the Library 1st Annual Festival Report

The Chess in the Library 1st Annual Festival was held at the North York Central Library on Saturday June 26th, 2010. The event was a huge success for our program as it attracted more than 50 participants representing each oof our 10 locations plus one - the North York Central Library.

The festival kicked off with a grand opening ceremony in which 11 people spoke on behalf of the Chess in the Library organization in one way or another. Being the host of the event, I spoke first behind a podium and welcomed everyone to the festival. David Southam, brother of Todd Southam, whose trophies were redistributed in the tournament was the second one to address the audience. He spoke of Todd`s story and proudly explained why their family chose to donate to us. Next was Elsa Ngan, the Youth Services Specialist who spoke on behalf of all librarians that are involved with the Chess in the Library program. Elsa is also one of the organizers of the festival and without her, nothing would have been possible.

Then followed my favourite moment of the festival - the speeches of the Chess in the Library program leaders at each library. They are Magas Yusuf. WFM Hazel Smith, Kevin Wu, Yolanda Zhang, Michael Kleinman, Kostya Golovan, Alexandru Florea and Xiaohan Du. Each little story of theirs made me simile. I was honestly really touched when they spoke of how and why they joined the organization team for Chess in the Library. It made me feel that we`re truly a team that shares the same passions and visions, not just them volunteering like they would at a school cafeteria just for volunteer hours. To those names that I mentioned above, I just want to thank you so much for everything you`ve put into this program since last June. Your speeches will always be in my heart and I will forever cherish that moment. Words alone cannot describe how touched I was...

The main event of the festival was a individual and team chess tournament. There were three sections: Open, Grade 6 & Under, Grade 3 & Under. The system was an invidual swiss, but team scores were totalled in the end to see which library was the best in each section. Unfortunately, we only had the time to play 3 rounds because the library had to close at 5pm (we started the games at 2pm). Nonetheless, that did not affect the participants as each one of them fought hard for their team. Although the games are CMA rated, the tournament site was not even close to being as loud as scholastic tournaments should be. Thanks to the availibility of another meeting room nearby, we kept the parents and kids waiting for the next round busy with our side events - a puzzle competition and a giant chess set activity. Both side events were extremely popular and 3 book prizes were handed out to the the best puzzle solver in the end.

Mostly everyone stayed for the awards regardless of how did they in the tournament. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and anticipation. The top 3 individual finishers in each section received a trophy and the top 3 teams (consists of 3 players each) were awarded with medals. Book prizes (random draw by Elsa and Gal) were also given out to 5 lucky winners! When one team won, all members from that library would cheer for the winners. It`s been a while since I`ve heard that much cheering for chess! A big thank you goes out to the Southam family and other individuals who donated the trophies and book prizes for this event. Finally, a special shoutout to Erik Malmsten, the Greater Toronto Chess League Secretary for sending out a news release for the festival. Unfortunately, all reporters were taken by the G20 and G8 Summit, but I really apprecaite the effort. Next year, we are determined to have news reporters on site! :)

To all the volunteers, librarians, sponsors and donors who are involved with the Chess in the Library program for the past year, THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for the contribution, the support, and most importantly, your faith in us. Happy 1 year anniversary, Chess in the Library!

Tournament Results:
Open Section Individual Winners
  1. Magas Yusuf
  2. Steven Xia
  3. Calvin Tang
Grade 6 Section Individual Winners
  1. Jonathan Chan
  2. Jeffrey Li
  3. Jaden Wang
Grade 3 Section Individual Winners
  • Catherine Li
  • Benjamin Lin
  • Colin Ruan

Open Section Team Winners

1. Fairview Library (896.0) - Cnt: 3 6.0

  • Keith Tang (1046) 2.0
  • Calvin Tang (922) 2.0
  • Tariq Haji (720) 2.0

2. North York Center Library (810.5) - Cnt: 4 5.5

  • Steven Xia (970) 3.0
  • Mario Umana (unr.) 2.0
  • Alexander Kim (651) 0.5

3. Brookbanks Library (782.5) - Cnt: 3 5.0

  • Magas A Yusuf (906) 3.0
  • Sayanthen Sathyakumar (659) 1.0
  • Tonia Tong (unr.) 1.0

Grade 6 Section Team Winners

1. Brookbanks Library (826.7) - Cnt: 7 8.0

  • Jonathan Chan (992) 3.0
  • Jaden Wang (712) 3.0
  • Kevin Kang (776) 2.0

2. Pleasant View Library (697.5) - Cnt: 4 7.0

  • Jeffrey Li (964) 3.0
  • Catherine Lu (431) 2.0
  • Robert Wang (unr.) 2.0

3. Gerrard/Ashdale Library (0.0) - Cnt: 4 5.0

  • Bao Tian Fu (unr.) 2.0
  • Michael Kwan (unr.) 2.0
  • Callum Denault (unr.) 1.0

Grade 3 Section Team Winners

1. North York Center Library (644.7) - Cnt: 4 7.0

  • Catherine Li (659) 3.0
  • Mathanhe Kaneshalingam (753) 2.0
  • Jonathan Hong (522) 2.0

2. Pleasant View Library (696.0) - Cnt: 3 4.5

  • Benjamin Lin (696) 3.0
  • Kalan Raven Samaroo (unr.) 1.0
  • Tian Yu Zhang (unr.) 0.5

3. Brookbanks Library (491.0) - Cnt: 3 2.5

  • Alex Hu (611) 1.0
  • Hao Yang [liana] Liu (371) 1.0
  • Maxwell Tong (unr.) 0.5

Congrats to all the winners and I hope to see you all at the CITL 2nd Annual Festival! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

CITL Chess Festival is ONE Week Away!

Pre-registration list below (41 players so far):
Still waiting for more forms to come in....

Open Section

Team First Name Last Name
BB Magas Yusuf
Tonia Tong
Sayanthen Sathyakumar
Jonathan Chan
FV Calvin Tang
Keith Tang
Tariq Haji
PV Devon Chung
Linda Fu
HW Jagdev Kondal
Rishit Patel
NYCL Mario Umana
Steven Xia
Kim JoongSeob
Alexander Kim

Grade 6 & Under Section
Team First Name Last Name
BB Enes Spahiu
Dylan Chen
Cassidy Wang
Saishankar Sathyakumar
Kevin Kang
FV Steven Gou
Jerry Yang
Flaviu Trifoi
DV Vanyel Prosak
Adesh Leaver
HW Jagdeep Kondal
Sukhveer Sahota
Gurveer Sahota
NYCL Amy Lee
John Lee
GE Bao Tian Fu
Michael Kwan
Callum Denault
Andy Zng

Grade 3 & Under Section
Team First Name Last Name
BB Alex Hu
Haoyang Liu
Maxwell Tong
Evan Wong
FV Colin Ruan
Benjamin Lin
NYCL Aarabhi Krishnakumar

Saturday, June 19, 2010

10th Location Confirmed: Bridlewood Library

I've been blogging about how the North York Central Library is going to run the program for a while now. Unfortunately, we cannot start the program there until this fall due to internal renovations. Now that's the bad news. We always start off with the bad one, right? :)

The good news is, we have a NEW LOCATION!!! It feels like ages since our last location opened, eh? Starting from next Friday, the Chess in the Library program will run at the Bridlewood Library from 6-8pm. I went to the library to do some promotions today and within only 2 hours, 20 people signed up! I must say that the people there are very enthusiastic about chess because when I told them that only 24 spots are available, some even called their neighbours and asked them to join! Incredible! :)

Instead of the usual set-up of a table with chess sets and flyers on display, this time we used a "mobile truck". Yeah, it sounds weird, doesn't it? Well, it's basically a short shelf that has rollers on the bottom so we can push it around. The librarians usually use it to store books and move it around the library. I thought that it was quite cool! Too bad I didn't bring a camera...I would've taken some pictures of the nice display we had there. Anyways, if you live near the Bridlewood library and would like to join the chess club, below is the info:

2900 Warden Ave.
Toronto, ON
M1W 2S8

Hope to see you all there! Remember, there are only 24 spots available...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CITL 1st Annual Festival Pre-Registration List Updated

Some more entries in the past two days. 21 players and counting... Below are the library teams:
Brookbanks (BB)
Fairview (FV)
Downsview (DV)
Gerrard/Ashdale (GE)
North York Central (NYCL)

Open Section
Magas Yusuf (BB)
Tonia Tong (BB)
Sayanthen Sathyakumar (BB)
Saishankar Sathyakumar (BB)
Baotian Fu (GE)
Michael Kwan (GE)
Elliot Kwan (GE)
Mario Umana (NYCL)

Grade 6 & Under
Jonathan Chan (BB)
Enes Spahiu (BB)
Dylan Chen (BB)
Cassidy Wang (BB)
Kevin Kang (BB)
Steven Gou (FV)
Adesh Leaver (DV)

Grade 3 & Under
Alex Hu (BB)
Maxwell Tong (BB)
Evan Wong (BB)
Haoyang Liu (BB)
Joel Rodas Gutierrez (FV)
Colin Ruan (FV)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

CITL 1st Annual Festival Pre-Registration List

Team Brookbanks (BB) just sent in their registration info for the tournament! Also, a few from Fairview (FV) that handed their forms to me in person today when I was at the library~ 15 players and counting...

Open Section
Magas Yusuf (BB)
Tonia Tong (BB)
Sayanthen Sathyakumar (BB)
Saishankar Sathyakumar (BB)

Grade 6 & Under
Jonathan Chan (BB)
Enes Spahiu (BB)
Dylan Chen (BB)
Cassidy Wang (BB)
Kevin Kang (BB)
Steven Gou (FV)

Grade 3 & Under
Alex Hu (BB)
Maxwell Tong (BB)
Evan Wong (BB)
Haoyang Liu (BB)
Joel Rodas Gutierrez (FV)

We are expecting 50-70 playing to show up for this tournament. We will be updating this list of participants regularly until June 26th If you really want to play in this tournament (and you are gr12 & under) email librarychess@gmail.com with some basic info of yours and we'll add you to team North York Central (their chess program hasn't started yet)!