Last year, the Saskatoon Chess Club participated in its first ever Extra Life event in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan's Games Club. Proceeds of this event directly went to the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. This year, the SCC will be once again join the U of S Games Club and participate in this worthy cause and will be putting on several chess related activities for chess enthusiasts with the purpose of not only raising funds but raising the profile of the SCC and chess in Saskatoon and more broadly in Saskatchewan. While there is no fee for participating in these activities, we highly encourage attendees to donate to this cause. The first event will be a speed chess tournament where interested players will go face to face in a round robin style tournament, each player getting 5 minutes to play, with no increment. A Saskatchewan speed chess champion will be crowned. Following this, we will provide an introduction to chess by one of our knowledgeable members. They will also be on hand to answer any questions about the SCC, chess in Saskatchewan, and how families, youth, and educators can get involved with chess. The general public will also have the opportunity to sign up for an opportunity to play some of the best chess players in Saskatchewan in a head-to-head 15 minute per player challenge. A score will be kept to see how well these players fare against several challenges. Lastly, we will encourage free play among all Extra Life participants and offer an SCC members vs. the public challenge - a score of SCC members vs. the public will be kept, how will the SCC do?! If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to register at goo.gl/forms/sP0RrdDRDpeVM4pm2
After some ideas being discussed, particularly among members Sahej Singh, Mark Linnick, Joel Gonzales, and John Ng, the SCC Chess League was formally launched on Sept 16, 2016. The League was intended to provide a competitive atmosphere among club members outside of regular tournaments with the intention of encouraging members to challenge each other, but also an opportunity to review their games and for self-improvement. Games were designed to be played with longer (25 mins) time controls and based on a ladder type system where lower ranked members could challenge higher ranked players, but encouraged all members to continually improve. Further details are listed on our Facebook page. All members are able to join the league and weekly challenges occur.
SCC continues to grow, expanding now to our satellite location at Confederation Mall. Members are encouraged to play on Saturdays at this location in the food court. This initiative was brought forward by our SCC member, Joel Gonzales. On behalf of the SCC executive, I would like to extend a thank you to both Joel and another SCC member Spiro Latorre for spearheading this additional opportunity to play chess during the week. Members are invited to play on both Saturdays at Confed Mall or Sundays at Place Riel. Further information can be found in the "where to play chess" sections.
As part of our commitment to bringing chess to the Saskatoon community, we reached out Tooncon, a local gaming convention (on Sept 23, 2016). A few members of the public were interested and we look forward to partnering with the organizers again next year. A sincere appreciation is extended on behalf of the SCC executive to our member Mark Linnick who took time out of his schedule to attend & support the growth of the club.
As part of the Saskatoon Chess Club's vision of partnering with local businesses, over the summer we started regularly attending the Farmer's Market downtown every Sunday with a few club members with hopes of developing greater exposure of chess to the local Saskatoon community and developing a "culture of chess" in Saskatoon. It was very successful in several ways: (1) attendees of the Market had the opportunity to play some chess while spending time at the Market, (2) families and youth were coming by to not only play chess, but some were introduced to chess for the first time, and (3) community members of all backgrounds came by to play and ask questions of the club, demonstrating how chess is truly universal. We started this initiative in mid-June and closed up at the end of August. We look forward to continuing this partnership next summer and welcome any opportunity to work with other local partners.