Greater Toronto Chess League

June 24, 2010 01:15 ET

Chess for kids in libraries first anniversary festival

Student volunteers teach chess to 100s of kids in libraries rapidly expanding first year anniversary tournament and festival

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, Lifestyle Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 24, 2010) - The first Annual Festival of Chess in the Library is this Saturday afternoon 12:30-4:30pm at the North York Central Library, Auditorium (2nd floor), 5120 Yonge Street.

A chess program for kids started at the Brookbanks Library a year ago has spread to other libraries across Toronto: Black Creek, Bridlewood, Deer Park, Downsview, Fairview, Gerrard/Ashdale, Humberwood, Pleasant View, Maria A. Shchuka, and Northern District. And will continue to expand to more libraries. The libraries combined average 165 kids a week, and Fairview Library had 50 kids show up!

"This program has been a huge hit for the chess community in Canada. With the help of 30 student volunteers and many donors, we are able to provide more than 150 kids the opportunity to play chess in Toronto." - Yuanling Yuan

The main event of the festival is a free chess tournament, perhaps the first large-scale rated tournament in Canada with no entry fee! The top participants from each library will come together in 3 sections (Grade 3 & under, Grade 6 & under, and Grade 12 & under) and compete to see which library does the best. "Although both individual and team prizes will be given out, the tournament emphasizes the team spirit. Teamwork is an important factor in everyday life, no matter what you do, it's impossible to accomplish something big without teamwork. Just like the Chess in the Library organization. There are tons of people working for our organization behind the scenes. We've been receiving many donations of chess-related materials (trophies, books, magazines, etc.) so we'll be giving out a lot of prizes at this tournament. There will also be our giant chess set, a puzzle competition and someone to teach the rules of chess to the waiting parents so that they don't get too bored!" - Yuanling Yuan

The Chess in the Library program was founded by WIM (Women International Master) Yuanling Yuan, the top ranked female chess player in Canada, who just turned 16 years old. Some of the other 37 student volunteers include several of the strongest young players in Toronto: WFM Hazel Smith, Michael Kleinman, Jesse Wang, Brent Zhang, Kevin Wu , Jan Lazo, Yutong Luo, and Alexandru Florea. Using large demonstration boards they teach the kids rules and basic ideas, show chess puzzles to solve, play many games simultaneously, and direct tournaments. "I hope that chess in Canada will become very popular one day." - Yuanling Yuan

In the next two years, Chess in the Library plans to expand to other cities such as Ottawa, Kingston, Kitchener/ Waterloo, and Montreal.

Contact Information

  • Yuanling Yuan, Founder, Women International Master, Chess in the Library
    Primary Phone: 416-823-4566