The First Annual Lovett Memorial Library Scholastic Mini Chess Tournament was held Friday at the library on the corner of Germantown Avenue & Sedgwick Street (6945 Germantown Ave.). The library’s side room was packed with 40 dedicated children (K-8), competing against each other in five rounds of chess matches.
Windsor Jordan, Director of the Chess Programs of ASAP (After School Activities Partnerships) said that around Philadelphia there are 313 similar chess clubs. What is special about this one is the library provides the perfect setting for playing chess. It is quiet and there is a large enough room to play multiple games simultaneously.
As an example of the growth in popularity, Windsor said that in 2002 Philly had 50 chess clubs and that number grew from 280 last year to 313 this year.
Michelle Dolan from Northeast Philadelphia started a chess club similar to Mt. Airy’s at the Holmesburg Library with help and training of the ASAP. She organized it in a true Philly DIY-style because of her son, Daniel’s passion for chess and her inability to find support from the school system to arrange an extra-curricular chess program.
Cooper Russell from Germantown ‘gives back a little to the community’ with organizing this event. He stated that he believes chess is all about equal opportunity.