Monday, June 11, 2012

Chess in the Library 3rd Annual Festival

In a blink of an eye, it's been already 3 years since I first founded this program back in 2009! Firstly, I'd like to thank all of our sponsors, donors, chesstalk readers, blog followers for their continuous support! As of today, we have successful expanded the program to 31 locations across the nation with locations in Toronto, Ottawa, Barrie, Newmarket, London, Vaughan, Calgary, Victoria and Washington D.C. Without your support, we could not have made it this far.

To celebrate Chess in the Library's 3 years of existence, the 2011-2012 CITL Executive Board and staff members have been working hard the past month to bring you our 3rd Annual Festival. The main event will be an exclusive CITL tournament, where representatives of different CITL locations gather together to complete for the best team prizes. There will also be many side activities this year, to be announced shortly. Check out the details for this amazing event below! If you want to play, you must register through one of our participating libraries. See for a full list of our locations.

When: Saturday, June 30th, 2012 from 11:45am – 4:30 pm

Where: North York Central Library, Auditorium (5120 Yonge St, Toronto, ON)

Style: Individual & team competition: you will be representing team <>. To form a team in a given section, there must be a minimum of 3 players representing the same library.

Rating: Players with a CMA rating of 1100+ must play in the Open section. All games will be CMA rated.

Sections: Grade 3 & Under, Grade 6 & Under; Under, Open (for everyone & students Grade 12 and Under)

Event Schedule:
11:00am – 11:30 pm Check-in
11:30pm – 12:15 pm  Opening Ceremony
12:15 pm – 4:00 pm Tournament Games
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Closing Ceremony & Awards

Entry Fee: FREE! Donations are welcome!

Registration: Submit completed entry forms (obtained at any of our locations) to your local librarian by June 16th (deadline).

Info: Contact your local librarian first, and then email if necessary. Also check out our website for information on side events

Prizes: There will be trophies, medallions and chess books given out to top three individuals and top three teams in each section. A large annual trophy will be awarded to the top team in the Open section.

Chess in the Library is able to bring to our community completely free chess tournaments like this one because of the donations that we receive. Expenses for chess sets, clocks, trophies, medals, book prizes, certificates, ratings, etc do add up to quite a lot and we sincerely hope that you can help contribute to the cause. This year, we are also inviting the players and volunteers from nearby cities' libraries (Ottawa, London, Newmarket, Vaughan) to join our festival here in Toronto and we would like to cover their minimal travel expenses.

Our goal is to raise $2000 by the end of this year to fully fund this event and if you believe in what we do for the community, we hope that you can show some support. Your donation does not have to be in a monetary form - it can be used chess sets, clocks, trophies, books - anything chess related! We also made the donation process much easier by adding a donation button on our website. Now you can donate by paypal on our new website!  If you don't have paypal, you can contact me through A small donation such as $5 will make a huge difference!

Thank you everyone! From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate all the support you've given us thus far!

P.S. We are hoping to get some media coverage for this event to further promote the image of chess to the general public. If anyone has any contacts in this industry, would you mind helping us out? I have the press release written. Thank you soooo much!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I'm Back!

To all my dear blog readers, I apologize for disappearing the past 3 months! To be honest, it was probably the most hectic 3 months of my life because it was the final stretch of high school for me. And when you're in a crazy rigorous program like IB (International Baccalaureate), you're in for some serious workload and exams during the months of Feb - May of your senior year. For those of you who are not familiar with the program, here is a brief description that may or may not scare you off, haha.

While normal high school exams are 1 per course and usually lasting anywhere between 1-2 hours, IB exams have 2-3 "papers" per course. Each paper is usually 1-2 hours long and since you've got 2-3 of each subject (you need at least 6 IB subjects to get the diploma), you might find yourself writing a total of 5-hour exam for a certain subject. My IB math exam, for example, was broken down into paper 1 (2 hours), paper 2 (2 hours) and paper 3 (1 hour) over the course of 3 separate days. Now multiply that by 6 subjects and you'll understand how our entire month of May is devoted to writing exams! :)

Also, there is a lot of pressure on the students to do well because our exams account for approximately 70% of our course mark. Usually Ontario exams are only 30%! Yeah, it was insane. Anyways, now that's over, I will be back to blogging on a weekly basis!

There will be several upcoming posts that are of quite importance, so stayed tuned!

Finally, here is a recent picture of me at the Chess in the Library program so that you all know I'm alive and well hehe. :)