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Chess at International Games Day Print E-mail
By Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.   
November 18, 2013
Last year I read an article in Chess Life Online by Dr. WIM Alexey Root that suggested placing chess among the games offered on International Games Day @ your Library.   The article mentioned that November 16, 2013 would be this year’s event day.   

Since my wife, Susan, is the manager in charge of the online services of the Alameda County Library System (California) and I love organizing chess events, I suggested she pass information on to the library powers informing them  that I would be happy to volunteer my services to provide chess game activities at the Fremont Main Branch of their library system on November 16.  
I am excited to report that the initial outing of chess on International Games Day on Saturday, November 16 proved very popular.  Karen Pacheco the librarian in charge of organizing the event provided me with one large room and a small conference room.  Along with the help of  FIDE Arbitrator Gaurang Mehta, who is one of the coaches at Weibel Elementary and until coming to this country six years ago ran a chess school for young players in India, I set up chess boards and pieces on twelve five foot tables.  Gaurang created a section of the room to teach raw beginners chess.  Kevin Moy, a young National Expert, set aside a section to teach more advanced players endgame techniques.  Louis Law, a third grade student and one of Weibel’s chess elites, played a small simul. 

 I even talked my son Micah out of retirement to play blitz one minute against five minute against all comers.  This proved the most popular event of the day.  In the small conference room I set up a computer to project a few chess movies during the day.  I spent my time directing interested chess players to open boards where they might get a game with someone at or near their own chess skill level.  I think my favorite pairings was getting some of the mothers of the younger chess players into games.  

Over the course of five hours over 120 people participated in the chess activities.   Many asked me if I could do a similar chess event every Saturday.  I, regretfully, had to inform them of my time limitations and direct the interested parties to some of the chess clubs in our area.  I did say that I hoped the Fremont Main Library Branch would consider making chess an annual part of International Games Day.

The International Games Day in 2014 will take place on November 15. I hope I can play this forward.  You can find this year’s postings at http://igd.ala.org/