Chess In The Library

Chess In The Library

Saturday, 14 January 2012

2011 CITL Toronto West Region Winter Swiss - A Success!

Happy New Year Everyone!

At the inaugural meeting of the new executive board, one of the resolutions we adopted was to have more regional tournaments, on top of our big annual Chess in the Library Festival. Just before Christmas, CITL and Humberwood branch of the Toronto Public Library organized such a regional tournament.

Competitors played four rounds under the Swiss system. The turnout was great and almost everyone was at a comparable level, which has led to the unusual occurrence of a 5-way tie for second place!

One of the striking things I found during the tournament is the sheer enthusiasm of the grade-school participants. While we didn’t have a skittle room, between rounds players challenged each other to quick games, and some even stepped forward and challenged us – the TDs. Neither losing nor winning dampened their enthusiasm and most of them continued to express appreciation for a game well-played. I have to admit that I was very impressed. Some of the qualities we try to develop through CITL program are accountability, respect for one’s opponents, and general sportsmanship – and it seems that Humberwood branch has been very successful with teaching these values.

Regional tournaments allow players from neighbouring areas to meet and compete against each other, thus widening their chess circle of acquaintance, finding more players at their level, and forging new friendships. I remember thus meeting one of my best chess “rivals” when I was a kid playing at a relatively small tournament.

As in all CITL tournaments, regionals tournaments too are CMA rated, and thus provide another opportunity for players to more accurately gauge their rating without having to pay for admission. Another nice boon is that the atmosphere is warm and friendly, as in a regular CITL club meeting. Thus, children get to experience the excitement of a tournament without the often crippling pressure accompanying them. This makes regional tournaments the perfect place to introduce children (and their parents) to the wonderful world of competitive chess.

With so much going for it, I hope for a few more regional tournaments in 2012. The Humberwood Regional wouldn’t have been possible without the kind support, great enthusiasm, and amazing management skills of the Humberwood librarians – especially Vivien and Eunice. If you are a librarian or volunteer and would like to organize a Regional tournament at your branch, please contact CITL Executive Team for more details.
The prizes for the tournament were purchased with your donations. We thank everyone who has supported CITL so far – you make it all possible!

The Winners of Humberwood Tournaments are
First Place: Raymond Quan with 3.5 points.
Second place: Mann Parekh, Jaanani Sivarasacumar, Gaajen Sivarasacumar, and Diana Lin; all with 3 points.

Congratulations and well-done!