Monday, September 20, 2010

Officially a Nation Wide Program Now!

I would like to make a quick announcement about the excellent news I received a few weeks ago. It was a long story because the original email that was sent to me from Brian Raymer somehow ended in my junk folder. It wasn't until 2 weeks later when I was checking my junk mails that I saw a message about Chess in the Library in Victoria.

My first reaction was - WHAT!??????? I honestly couldn't believe my eyes. After all, I really didn't contact anyone in Victoria about this at all. Was it magic?

So I opened my email and I saw a short message from Brian Raymer saying that the Chess in the Library idea has spread to Victoria and a local library there called the Juan de Fuca branch will be hosting a chess program starting in late September. They hope to call it "Chess in the Library" and Brian asks me if I mind.

I was so thrilled to hear this news that I read the email 10 times to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Making the program nation wide was my ultimate goal for CITL and now it's coming true a few years ahead of my expectations.

Here is some info of the program in Victoria that is also listed on our website:

Juan de Fuca Library
1759 Island Highway
Victoria, BC
V9B 1J1

Open from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on Wednesdays, starting on September 29th, 2010. Session ends October 20th. If you live in Victoria, please support the program by spreading the word about this!

On behalf of my team, I want to give Brian Raymer and the Victoria Junior Chess Society a HUGE THANK YOU for doing all of this. They are the ones organizing the program there but the fact that they also want to join the Chess in the Library network is just incredible.

I know that the idea was originally mine and I founded the Chess in the Library organization but in the end, the program and the organization belongs to ALL of us because the one thing that pulls us together is our mission of promoting chess in Canada. That's all it matters.

I know that there are many other chess clubs in Canada that are ran in public libraries. If anyone would like to join or network, we welcome you will open arms! The power of a team is much greater than an individual. If you want to promote chess, why not do it together with us?

As of now, CITL has 14 locations in total. 12 in Toronto, 1 in Ottawa and 1 in Victoria~
For a complete list of locations with detailed information, please visit our website at

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Milestone: 100% Going Provincial Wide

Last weekend, it was an honour for me to participate at the 2010 Montreal Open. The tournament was simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! However, it was not only for the tournament that I went, but also for Chess in the Library.

The tournament site was gorgeous!

The paper boards that they printed were really nice.
Perhaps we can also do this for CITL to save some money on equipment.

In Montreal, I met up with Joey, the high school freshman who made CITL possible outside of our headquarters, Toronto. So where is this place that I speak of? Well, you've seen it before on my blog, just a little mention here and there. However, now I'm announcing this as our official 12th location - OTTAWA!

Ottawa is my lovely hometown where I grew up and spent most of my childhood. It's where I first stepped into the chess community in Canada at the age of 7. I've had so many great memories at Ottawa - RA Centre, my chess friends, the tournaments, the nice people...the list could go on forever.

Joey and I go way back. We first knew each other in grade 1 or 2 but I don't remember the exact year. We used to learn and play chess together along with many of our other chess friends there. Now look at both of us, all grown up and already masters!

Joey and I at the tournament site. 2 years younger than me and he is so tall!

Me playing my game...

Very focused~

So we talked about a lot of CITL related things there during our lunch breaks. He updated me on CITL in Ottawa and how it is officially confirmed! So now the CITL location in Ottawa is also listed on our website

Ruth E. Dickinson Library

100 Malvern Dr.
Ottawa, ON
K2J 2G5

Open from 1:30pm to 3:00pm on Saturdays, starting on September 18, 2010

Yes, that's right, the grand opening will be held at the Ruth E.Dickinson Library this Saturday! When I was in Montreal, I brought Joey 18 chess sets, a demo board as well as 8 chess books from our storage in Toronto. The main sponsor of the program in Ottawa is Gordon Ritchie, who donated $100 to support the innovation. Thank you Gordon!

Finally, please do take a look at this ---> It's an interview that Joey and I did at the Montreal Open with Don from Godesschess. The interview is mainly about Chess in the Library and our milestone in Ottawa. The ending is cut off because we just happened to run out of batteries. :( Sorry!

Last but not least, I got a message from Joey today saying that registration for the program in Ottawa on the Ottawa's libraries website opened yesterday and it was full with many still on the waiting list in the first 5 minutes! That really amazes me because I honestly didn't expect that the program would receive such a huge interest from Ottawa citizens. Great work Joey and I'm looking forward to seeing that blog of yours coming out soon~ ^_^

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Day We've Been Waiting For - NYCL Confirms!

For those of you who lives in Toronto and visits the public libraries on a regular basis, you must know how large and busy the North York Central Library (NYCL) is. There are always a group of people playing chess against each other on the tables outside, but it had never been a formal program.

I've been talking to the Youth Service Specialist, Elsa at NYCL about starting up the chess club since the very beginning of this year. The starting date was first settled for May 1st, then due to tight room bookings and all sorts of problems, we had to push it back to the end of October.

Actually, during this period of time, the teen zone at NYCL is undergoing big renovations. We don't even know when it will be complete. However, thanks to Elsa, we're still able to run the program there before renovations end. The only problem is that we'll be moving around a lot, in different rooms each week. We'll have weekly sessions that runs each week plus a monthly session that runs once a month (weekly sessions will be cancelled on those days). Weekly sessions can hold up to 15 participants while monthly sessions will be accepting 30 people.

If you want to register for the program at NYCL, make sure to read the schedule below carefully!

North York Central Library
5120 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N9

Open from 1:30-4pm every Saturday on the following dates:

October 30- Room 2/3 (weekly)
November 6- 3rd floor, SR (weekly)
November 13- Room 1 (monthly)
November 20- 3rd floor, SR (weekly)
November 27-3rd floor, SR (weekly)
December 4- Room 2/3 (weekly)
December 11- Room 1 (monthly)
December 18- Room 2/3 (weekly)

Hope to see you all there on October 30th! What is a better way to celebrate early Halloween than to play some chess at NYCL? :)