Friday, June 27, 2008

Supporting Local Chess: Some Announcements

Hola darlings! I have a vacation day today - a three day weekend stretches before me like the Promised Land, ahhhhh.... I have lots to do around this house. I am seriously thinking about hiring a cleaning service. I have hired a landscape contractor to come in and tame the wilderness that is my back yard, now even more overgrown than usual due to the record rains we had this month. Today I must cut the grass, vacuum, visit the supermarket and do some laundry. Yech. Normally I don't mind yard work, but with the record rainfall came a record crop of mosquitoes, and they are all thirsting for my blood. They bite even through the strongest insect repellant - and the way I sweat in this heat and humidity the stuff runs off of me in rivulets anyway, leaving me unprotected. Oh, I forgot, I'm not supposed to mention that I sweat - har :) A retirement to Las Vegas (despite the lack of potable water issues) is looking more and more appealing all the time... By choice, I spend so much time doing Goddesschess-related things (including this blog) that the normal things in life (such as housework and grocery shopping and sleeping) fall by the wayside. But - what the heck. Once the trees have been trimmed and the weeds whacked out of the flower beds and everything properly edged and half a ton of mulch laid down, things will begin to look semi-civilized around here, and my economic stimulus check will pay for it all... I'm also seriously considering buying one of those large screened tents and affixing it so that I can once again sit on my deck without a spray can of RAID in hand. So, as I'm girding myself and building up the resolution to go outdoors and face the swarming hungry hordes of skeeters, I'm checking out the chess news.
  • Susan Polgar blogged on June 26th about giving a plug for your local chess club and (thus far) 15 people have posted about their chess clubs. Robin posted about the Hales Corners, Wisconsin Southwest Chess Club.
  • The SWCC has a convenient email service that announces upcoming events. Casual chess was hosted last night at the Barnes & Noble bookstore not too far from where I live - I can actually get to it from here using public transportation and footpower (I don't own an automobile and never learned to drive - talk about being an ANTIQUE!) I've yet to meet any of the folks from the SWCC and would love to do so - and there's a perfect opportunity coming up September 4th when Barnes & Noble will once again be the site of an evening of SWCC chess. If you see a gorgeous slightly-overweight woman of a "certain age" with dark chin length hair (I had my Xena length tresses chopped off for the summer) in sunglasses - that's me.

I love libraries. For some strange reason - strange since none in my family were great readers - I developed a love of reading as a wee child and as far back as I can remember, made heavy use of the local book mobiles that used to regularly visit the neighborhoods when I was a kid; later, when I was old enough to venture out several blocks away from home, I walked to neighborhood branch libraries (all of which, sadly, were closed over the years due to budgetary constraints and the often wonderful buildings with rotundas and corinthian columns were sold off, one by one) to spend blissful hours in the card catalogs and the stacks. This was when I first developed a taste for science fiction, historical romances and tomes on ancient history!

Those local library branches that have survived to this day are the situs of much chess activity, which is logical given that the distinctive smell of books and the generally quite atmosphere is conducive to concentration and thought, two hallmarks of chess. Here are some announcements of local chess activities centered in libraries:

  • The Batavia Library in Batavia, Illinois is hosting a summer series of chess events as part of a reading promotion program, a great idea and sounds like a lot of fun: "Chess Knights" will be offered from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 5 at the library, 10 S. Batavia Ave. Participants may attend as many game nights as they'd like. Tables will be set up in different areas on the library's lower level, including the outdoor Reading Garden, weather permitting. Players are welcome to bring a friend or relative, or they may come alone. Library staff will make sure everyone who wants to play has an opponent. Participants may bring their own chess set, or use one provided by the library. The program is free and registration is not required. "After July 4, the library will host a chess tournament with prizes. Tournament play is optional," Zillman said. Tournament information will be available at the end of June. For details, call (630) 879-4775.
  • The Burlinginton, Massachusetts Public Library is also featuring Chess Basics for children and teens begins Monday, June 23, 7 to 8:45 p.m. Burlington High School graduate, Peter Hovey, teaches chess. Registration encouraged but drop-ins welcome. Also, July 7 and 21, and Aug. 4. This program is sponsored by The Friends of the Burlington Public Library and is free and open to the public.
  • From Berkeley, California - aaaahhhhh, Berkeley, Goddess bless you! An announcement in the Berkeley Daily Planet: The Berkeley Chess Club meets every Sun. at 7 p.m. at the Hillside School, 1581 Le Roy Ave. 843-0150.
  • From Tuscon, Arizona, an announcement at (Community Calendar): Chess Club — Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive. For adults and serious youth players. 1-5 p.m. Fridays except July 4. Free. 229-5300.

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