Monday, July 11, 2011

Ghetto Chess

I should have written this post months ago but then someone kept forgetting to upload the pictures no matter how many times I reminded him (you know who you are). :)

Fortunately, I had a very similar experience recently so I figured that it wouldn't be too late to blog about this extraordinary topic now. Better late than never, right? So what exactly is this "ghetto chess" that I'm talking about? See for yourself:

a chess board drawn on a table at school and the pieces are represented by coins - how creative!

the very enthusiastic friends in my math class who drew the chessboard on one of the desk. From left to right: Shreyash, Sathvik, Sabin and Ike

So the story goes like this: one day, my friends finished their math homework in class and had a sudden rush to play chess! There was no chessboard, no chess set, absolutely nothing in the classroom. So the guys came up with a brilliant idea - drawing a chessboard on a desk! We laughed so hard at the finished product, haha...However, our ghetto chessboard didn't last long. Our math teacher walked by 5 minutes later and made us erase not only that specific desk but also the surrounding ones that had writing on them. We had an amazing time erasing the desks nonetheless. :)

Perhaps it's a coincidence that another variation of "ghetto chess" came up in the last several days. Check it out:

multiple chessboards drawn on pieces of paper

my cool friends who challenged me to a blindfold game on a 5-hour bus ride. From left to right: Amon, Jane and Joyce

So as some of you may know, I am currently in Vancouver for an awesome summer program focused on sciences and entrepreneurship. During a 5-hour bus ride to the UBC Okanagan campus from the UBC main campus located in Vancouver, 3 of my fellow Shads (that's what we call ourselves) challenged me to a game of chess. Amon asked everyone, yes, literally everyone on the bus, whether they had a chess app on their ipod. Unfortunately, just like my math class, the supply of chess sets and apps is really scarce. :(

In the end, they decided to play me on the paper while I played blindfold. What's even worse is the fact that they did not have any pencils so they couldn't just draw a chessboard and erase the pieces each time I made a move - they had to cross out the pieces and redraw them each time. Just look at the 2 pictures above! :)

Regardless, the reason why I decided to blog about this topic today is because these 2 "ghetto chess" examples mirror the way in which the Canadian chess community functions. There are so many people out there who are enthusiastic about chess but do not have the resources to enjoy the benefits of this game. It's almost as if these chess players are in poverty because of the scarce resources available to them. Chess in the Library bridges the gap for these people.

Through these 2 groups of people (my math classmates and my fellow Shads), I have seen people who love chess and while the circumstances don't allow them to play, they still figure out a way to do so. That's the chess spirit I love seeing!

Three New Toronto Locations

Although I am currently in Vancouver for a summer program, the past Friday and Saturday were big days for the Chess in the Library program. There were 3 new locations in Toronto that just had their grand openings on July 8th and 9th in completely different areas of the city. The executive board and I are so pleased to see the program spread to areas outside of North York, where the majority of CITL locations are up and running. Moreover, one of the new locations, the Malvern Branch, is primarily targeting seniors and adults in the Scarborough region. So to all the seniors and adults who wish to play chess, you now have 2 places to check out - the Deer Park Branch and the Malvern Branch! :)

Below are the details of the 3 new locations in Toronto:

Richview Library

1806 Islington Ave.
Toronto, ON
M9P 3N3

Open from 2pm - 4pm

Malvern Library
*for Seniors & Adults only*

30 Sewells Road
Toronto, ON
M1B 3G5

Open from 2-3:30pm on Sat July 9 & 23 and Aug. 6 & 20, 2011.

Barbara Frum Library

20 Covington Road
Toronto, ON
M6A 3C1

Open from 2pm - 4pm on Fridays

So what are you waiting for? Come on down to any of these 3 locations and play some chess with people from all over the city! :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

CITL 2nd Annual Festival Tournament Results

Congratulations to the following individuals and library teams! We are so proud of you! May your chess skills grow with Chess in the Library~

Individual Winners
Open Section
1st: Soorena Miralanmi (North York Central)
2nd: Kristen Li (North York Central)
3rd: Yang Ji (Fairview)

Grade 6 & Under
1st: Jonathan Chan (Brookbanks)
2nd: Harry Zhao (North York Central)
3rd: Erkhes Bayan-Altai (Fairview)

Grade 3 & Under
1st: Benjamin Lin (Fairview)
2nd: Evan Liu (Fairview)
3rd: Julianne Jorda (Downsview)

Team Winners
Open Section
1st: North York Center Library
  • Soorena Miralanmi
  • Kristen Li
  • Catherine Li
2nd: Fairview Library
  • Edmund Rong
  • Newton Xu
  • Yang Ji
3rd: Humberwood Library
  • Niruthika Puvaneswaran
  • Tina Vo
  • Gaajen Sivarasacumar
Grade 6 & Under
1st: Brookbanks Library
  • Jonathan Chan
  • Cassidy Wang
  • Henry Li
2nd: Downsview Library
  • Joshua Jorda
  • Bradley Ho
  • Melalee Gordon
3rd: Fairview Library
  • Erkhes Bayan-Altai
  • Bruce He
  • Victor Rong
Grade 3 & Under
1st: Fairview Library
  • Benjamin Lin
  • Evan Liu
  • Ray Liu
2nd: Bridlewood Library
  • James Gao
  • Jennifer Zhang
  • Alan Li
3rd: Downsview Library
  • Julianne Jorda
  • Diana Lin
  • Ba Son Nguyen