Saturday 5 November 2022

Opening the doors

 I saw two separate chess events in the last 2 days which show that if you hold chess events, you will find chess players.

The first was in Port Moresby, where GM Nigel Short is visiting as part of his new role as FIDE Director of Chess Development. Although the main purpose of his visit (which includes another 6 countries), is to talk to Federations, there is also a PR component to the trip. He played a 20 board simul at the Vision City Mall, attracting a crowd in the hundreds to watch. With PNG chess affected by Covid for the past 2 and a half years, getting such a crowd to spectate was a fantastic result.

The second was at Street Chess today. Whether it was the weather (in that it wasn't raining), or for other less tangible reasons, a bumper crowd of 39 players took part. Most pleasing was the number of new players who turned up, trying tournament chess for the first time. For most, it was a return to chess having stopped playing in high school, while for others it was the move from school chess to 'proper' chess.

In both cases, the main take away was an appreciation from all involved that having events like this was what inspired them to take it to the next level.

1 comment:

DRS said...

Nigel Short has claimed on Twitter that you haven't been to PNG since 1978>

Any comment on that?

David Sedgwick