Sunday, June 17, 2007

State’s Top Chess Kids at Taste of Chicago

Phillip to join Warren Scholars in July 1 event

If you’re anywhere near Taste of Chicago on Sunday, July 1, please come to the Family Village area at the south end of Grant Park, where the Warren Chess Scholars will be holding court.

You won’t regret it. You, your family, and friends will see or play chess with the best young players in the Land of Lincoln, and you’ll probably learn a thing or two that will improve your game.

One of the best scholastic chess programs in these parts, the Warren program recognizes the best young players in Illinois, those who are ranked in the top 50 nationally in their age brackets.

It’s a tough standard to meet, and only 27 kids have made it, but for the second year in a row one of them is Ray fourth-grader-to-be Phillip Parker-Turner. You can see the entire list here.

The purpose of the program is to support chess education for the Prairie State’s most promising young talent. “It provides subsidized individual and group instruction for top youth players to help them be competitive in national and international events,” says program committee chair Andi Rosen.

At Taste of Chicago, the scholars will be out in force, playing and teaching chess to all comers in Grant Park. They’ll play simultaneous exhibits, blitz, or just easy, friendly games, if that’s your pleasure.

I attended last year’s Grant Park event and had the privilege of losing to the state’s top high school players at the time, Kayin Barclay. But he didn’t just beat me: he patiently and methodically reviewed the game with me afterwards, showing me where I blundered and what moves I should have played instead. Kayin was an excellent teacher. I had fun, I learned a lot, and I still have a record of that game.

The vitals:

Warren Junior Chess Scholars
Sunday, July 1
2:00 – 5:00 PM
Taste of Chicago, Grant Park
Family Village Area (near Ferris wheel and children’s stage)

More information here.

Photos by johnnyscars via flickr.