The Immortal Game of Chess Resurges in Winchester VA
Do you enjoy the game of chess but need someone to play with? Are you stuck inside this winter with little to do and nothing new on television? We have good news.
On Mondays, twice a month, The Shenandoah Valley Chess Club meets for chess games at The Bright Center, located in the heart of Old Town Winchester. We warmly invite all ages and skill levels to join us for an evening of chess.
Chess is one of the oldest and most respected games in the world. Benjamin Franklin and Beethoven were admirers of the game. Notes about chess games were found in diaries of troops during the American Civil War.
As an avid chess fan I loved the game but found few opportunities to play. I played chess online but it wasn’t the same. I missed the experience of playing and talking with real people.
One sunny afternoon on the Old Town Walking Mall in Winchester, I met Chessmaster Cliff Campbell. Mr. Campbell, who played and coached chess all over the world, set up tables and chairs along the promenade, and invited me to an afternoon of games.
What I saw inspired me. Citizens from different walks of life and all ages were having a great time together around several chessboards. The scene reminded me of gatherings parks of New York City, or the famous movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. I marked my calendar and attended all of Mr. Campbell’s chess events. He eventually helped me create an official club in Winchester -- The Shenandoah Valley Chess Club.
An 11-year-old New Yorker and a player from Virginia who is only 6 are the latest prodigies to demonstrate how computer programs and Internet chess sites are nurturing ever younger champions.
The New Yorker, Nicolas Checa of Dobbs Ferry, was named the state champion on Monday even though he only tied for second at the tournament. First place went to Alexander Ivanov of Massachusetts, who is 46 years older than Nicolas. But the rules say the title can go only to a state resident, and Nicolas finished higher than any of his fellow New Yorkers.
He broke the record for youngest New York champion set three years ago by Aleksandr Ostrovskiy, who was 14 at the time.