The Check In: March-April 2018



Friends of Chess Night Out & Chess Drive

On March 1st, CCF hosted our first ever Friends of Chess Night Out at Metropolitan Brewing. This event kicked off our ten day Chess Drive, during which CCF reached its fundraising goal of $25,000, which was generously matched by the Oppenheimer Family Foundation. We would like to send a big thank you to all of you who supported us, especially Metropolitan Brewing, Donermen, Apartment People, and the Oppenheimer Family Foundation.

Free Entries to the Illinois K-8 State Chess Championships

We are delighted that we were able to help over 80 low-income Chicago students participate in the 2018 Illinois K-8 State Championships that were held in Schaumburg on the weekend of March 9th. While this event draws competitors from all over the state, historically there has not been great participation from the city of Chicago, largely due to the costs associated with not only entering the tournament but also paying for the required US Chess membership. The Chicago Chess Foundation was able to organize an effort to eliminate cost as a barrier to entry. In partnership with the U.S. Chess Trust and tournament organizer, Chess Weekend, 80 young Chicagoans were provided with US Chess memberships and tournament entries free of charge. These students had a fantastic time, and CCF is already making plans to ensure continued free participation by these students and others like them at future state chess tournaments.

April 13, 2018 – Tournament at Burbank Elementary School

On April 13, 332 young chess players from over 27 schools made their way out on a rainy day to Burbank Elementary for CCF’s fourth tournament of 2017-2018. Of the record number of players at an April CCF tournament, we had 52 first-time competitors from five new schools who are part of CCF’s Rook, Rattle & Roll (RRR) program. On a perfect day for chess, Burbank Elementary hosted a fun and exciting tournament for all.Below are the results for top three players and top three schools in each age group:

Tournament Spotlight – Brayan AlonsoBrayan Alonso is a fourth grade student at Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy, which is currently a participant in Rook, Rattle & Roll. Brayan received a medal for tying for 7th place with 4 points at the April tournament. As he was the first RRR participant to receive a medal this year, we caught up with Brayan for a quick spotlight interview.

CCF: What motivates you to play chess?Brayan: “One day I was bored and my brother pulled out a game, and he showed me how to play chess, and I got addicted to it. Then I started playing with my friend because he knew how to play, and that’s when I started playing a lot of chess. Sometimes they [beat] me, and I learned from them, then I started beating them every time.”

CCF: Was the Burbank tournament the first tournament you ever played in?

Brayan: “Yah.”

CCF: What was your favorite part of playing in the tournament?

Brayan: “Mostly, playing other kids I didn’t know. This random kid went up to me, and [asked] if I wanted to play a game, and he kind of beat me. Then we went two more times and then I won.”

CCF: Do you think you’ll play chess for a long time? Will you continue into high school?

Brayan: “Yah.”

CCF: Why do you think chess is important? Does it help you with things, other than just having fun?

Brayan: “Yah, sometimes. When I’m doing math I think of it as a chess board sometimes. Like, if I do this wrong, then I will lose a piece.”

May 19, 2018 – Free CCF Tournament at Alfred Nobel Elementary School

June 2, 2018 – Knight Moves Chess Club Tournament at the Lozano branch of the Chicago Public Library

May 5, 2018 – Live 360 Community Chess Tournament at Chicago Ridge Mall

June 9, 2018 – Free CCF All-Girls Tournament at Skinner North Classical School