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! :)

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