Chess In The Library

Chess In The Library

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

3rd Annual Chess in the Library Festival

The 3rd Annual CITL Festival celebrates the 3 year’s establishment of Chess in the Library. How do we celebrate the 3 year existence of this awesome program? With more awesomeness of course! In the 3rd annual festival, we hosted the traditional chess tournament for different CITL branches. Furthermore, there were other fun side events that truly offered something for everyone. Outside of our main tournament hall, there were chess jokes, chess puzzles, a simultaneous exhibition, and a giant chess set for the kids to play.

Before all these exciting events got rolling, we began with the opening ceremony. Yuanling and a few speakers (including myself) spoke a few words, when we shared our diverse experiences with CITL.

Opening Ceremony

Maurice Smith, Donor

Bob Armstrong, Donor

Eunice, Humberwood Branch
CITL Coordinator
Even though our representative volunteers, librarians and donors all view CITL from different lenses, we can all agree that this is an amazing program regardless of who you are in relation to CITL. There was also a surprise speaker, and that was GM Mark Bluvshtein. When the best chess player in Canada enthusiastically supports the program, you know that the program is something special.

GM Mark Bluvhstein
The video of CITL and the volunteer of the year awards were also presented. They go to show that CITL is the result of the work of all the volunteers, and that we work together to make the successful program that it is today.

Here's the wonderful CITL Festival video presented at the 3rd Annual CITL Festival.

Finally, after the opening ceremony, the highly anticipated tournament got underway. There were three sections: Under Grade 3, Under Grade 6, and Open. The kids had fun and were also competitive for the prizes.

This year, the festival was held on June 30th, the birthday of one of our most supportive donors - Todd Southam. The Southam family had generously donated about two dozen of Todd's trophies at the beginning of CITL's founding months, knowing that Todd, a Canadian chess star who had expectedly passed away many years ago, would have wanted to contribute to the program. For the past two CITL Annual Festivals, all the individual trophies were that of Todd's and thus named the "Todd Southam Award". Although all of Todd's original trophies have already been redistributed to each and every corner of the city (the individual winners of the previous 2 Annual Festivals), we continue to name our individual trophies this year after Todd. It was perhaps a coincidence that the festival was held on Todd's birthday; it was perhaps also fate at its work. Nonetheless, it was a perfect occasion to celebrate not only Todd's achievements in the chess world, but also his endless contributions to the community. Todd's name do not only appear on CITL's trophies - it will forever be engraved in our hearts.

Beautiful awards 
Some kids competed for the Annual Festival Trophy, which was awarded to the top team in the Open Section.

Tournament hall with players and arbiters 
As I mentioned, there were lots of other fun side events at the time of the tournament. There were places for the players to be after they finished their games.

There were chess jokes posted on the wall. They were hilarious, and I laughed out loud on several of them. Thank you WFM Hazel Smith who dedicated her time to do these artistic and creative CITL jokes!

One of my favorites is the following:

Hahaha.That was funny but so accurate. Playing chess at CITL does make the kids brighter. Solving chess puzzles does too. That’s why there were also puzzles posted up the wall as well. The puzzles were for kids who finish their rounds early.

Thinking hard! 
If you wanted to play more chess between the rounds, there was the simultaneous exhibition by National Master Mike Ivanov. Mike played a room of kids and adults simultaneously.

Bring on the challenge. 

Of course, there was also a giant chess board where kids can play with life sized pieces.

Lots of kids actively participating 
When all the tournament and events drew to a close, we finally got to present the awards for the tournament. The kids who received awards did really well, and won deservingly. For those who didn’t, there’s always next year. At the end of all this, it’s about playing and enjoying the game. It’s all about participating and having fun.

The 2012-2013 executives were later presented. Our CITL executives are as follows:

President: Vivek Chachcha
Vice-President: Kevin Wu
Treasurer: Mike Ivanov
Communications Officer: Stefan Laculeanu
Webmaster: Jesse Feng
Outreach Coordinator: Tina Fang
Media Coordinator: Jessica Cao

I’m sure that we will do a great job next year, even though it is going to be different without Yuanling. After all, she is the founder of CITL and has done an absolutely amazing job for the past three years.

Yuanling and the executives of 2012-2013
Ultimately, CITL is possible because of so many people. Yes, Yuanling has done tons of work. But so did the executive board. And the volunteers, players, parents and sponsors. The CITL family is ever growing and it is possible because of all of us.

Thank you volunteers! 

This video is dedicated to all the amazing volunteers at CITL.

We have celebrated CITL with the most successful CITL festival yet. Thank you all for your continuing support of the program and the festival.

To check out more awesome photos, please visit:

Until next time,
Tina Fang
CITL Outreach Coordinator

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