Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chess For Life at Panera

At the Panera today in Montclair New Jersey, the new organization Chess for Life! hosted a chess demonstration. They had a a vendor area where they were selling chess books and t-shirts. They also had a quasi-blindfold simultaneous, where a local master and expert each played four boards. I say quasi-blindfold, because the simul-givers were actually writing down the moves of each board. I don't know what the final score was.

Also, a section of Panera was devoted exclusively to chess where members of the West Orange Chess Club were playing and giving mini-lessons -- in fact, my son was showing his skills against an 1800, and was doing pretty well.

Chess for Life! is an organization that gives chess lessons in the schools, arranges private instruction, and so forth. It is run by Damon T. Garrett, a personable and dynamic guy who had a cadre of genuinely friendly and helpful assistants.

As for me, I played a five-minute game against someone (of whom I did not get the name) -- and they game was pretty equal. Ended with me dropping two pawns and getting into a hopelessly lost endgame. Typical!

They are doing another exhibition on Saturday August 29 at the Panera in West Orange, NJ.

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