There is a lot happening at the Tucson Chess Center. Rob Keough, co-founder, had left for a job in Germany and will be gone for a few years. While he is gone several volunteers have stepped up to help me keep the club going. There has been a big outreach from the community to keep the doors open and we feel we have a solid plan to make this happen.
Please check out this video for a full review of the past three exciting months at the Tucson Chess Center!
Helping out as coaches were Carlos Boteo, Chuck House, Dan Katzel and Paul Gold. Thank you all how helped out or attended the camp.
In other news... Seems there's always 'other news' well, this time it is important - Our April schedule is much different that those in the past. You can see our calendar for a quick glimpse of our events or visit our 'Events and Reservations' tab at Tucson Chess Center.
Our Month Long Tournament is still on each Thursday night but everything else has changed. Our Friday Blitz has been moved to Saturday, same times with the first round starting at 7:30 PM. In place of the Blitz we now have our 4 Round Quick Event (formerly on Tuesday night). The reason for this change is we wanted to start a little bit later (6:30 in this case rather than 6 PM) hopefully this will enable more people to make it to the center after work. Also, being that it is a Friday night the younger crowd will be able to attend and play all four rounds if they wish (of course, a last round 1/2 bye if they wish).
We had an excellent turnout for last Saturday's G/60 event (20 people!) but owing to the new schedule we are moving this to Sunday with the first of three rounds G/60 starting at 1:30 PM, hopefully this will enable people to attend church or attend to other morning pursuits and still get in some quality chess.
Remember, your best chance at winning comes when you play in the center! Hope to see you soon!
It has been a while since our last update and that is because we have been super busy! Our Friday Night Blitz are still doing very well, our Month Long is also doing well and we will likely continue it next month as well - it seems the time control is very popular. Saturdays, well, that has been a different story of late.
The Calm Before The Storm (above)
The fun begins! (below)
To all the parents who helped along the way, to the coaches that stepped in to lend a hand, and especially to the wonderful children that are attending this camp - you have blessed us more than you know and more than we could ever repay.
We are looking forward to sharing the remainder of the camp with you and towards holding out next camp April 2-6 - hope to see you all soon!
If you are interested in having your child join the camp in April you will find the registration page at Spring Chess Camp. There is also time to join the camp this week (we had 14 today and expect 15 tomorrow but we have room for 32 students). Our daily rate is $75, you can show up at 9 AM and sign in for a day, two days or the remainder of the camp.
To all the parents, the kids in the camp are doing an incredible job soaking up the information. They are absolutely a privileged to teach. Today, they continued to amaze me being able to answer the complex situations set before them. The sportsmanship I have seen from them also makes me proud to be part of their chess growth. Keep up the great work! (V/R Coach Rob)
February, a brief review
Since the Tucson Chess Center opened the doors for our Grand Opening on February 3rd we have hosted over 100 USCF Rated games and around the same number of casual games. We are still working to find that magical formula that will bring in more players and we are working to fine tune these points as we head into March.
On the whole we are happy with the attendance thus far for our first month. We anticipated that things would be a bit slow as people learned that there is actually a brick and mortar place to come play chess, to learn chess and to socialize with fellow chess players. Still, we have people who prefer to hang out at restaurants and coffee shops and really have no idea what we are all about. Some know we are here and that Rob and Steve have sunk a good deal of money into making a place to come play, yet they opt to do their best at hanging on to the ideal of being a big fish in a very small pond by playing in unorganized coffee house games.
Don't get me wrong, it is a lot of fun playing social games with friends, that's why we have set up Wednesdays as a social night. So, to all of you hanging out at Panera Bread, Bookman's, Village Inn and whatnot, I encourage you to stop by and support a local business that is directly and unflinchingly focused on promoting your hobby - chess! If you can make it to the center once a month it will go a long way in making the difference in our endeavor being a success.
We are optimistic about the future of the Chess Center and are planning for bigger and better things to come.
Part of our upcoming schedule will be to offer classes and lectures on Sundays and possibly Mondays. This next Sunday, March 4th, we will hold a mini-camp/lecture that will be fitting for many player of all ages and strengths and may be fitting for players looking to return to the game. Starting Sunday, March 11th we will be offering group lessons for beginners and more advanced players.
Stay tuned for more details...
Undaunted we finally got the tile removed and had to wait until 3:30 PM on Monday for the carpet to arrive (that was supposed to be delivered in the morning!). By 9 PM we had 2/3 of the carpet installed and the gang wrapped it up on Tuesday morning.
Opening a business is not a simple thing - you find that everyone has their hand out for money; city permits, inspectors, insurance, advertising, boards and sets, chairs and so on. The only people so far who have treated us fairly (okay, they all have their reasons for charging what they do) has been our realtor Goldsmith Realty and the building owner - they have been awesome. They told us long ago what the rent would be and they have stuck to it - they are simply awesome!
We are still in need of donations of funds or tables. We have enough tables to get things started but we would like to add more so that we can hold more players for our events. At present we have enough table space for 28 players but the room is much larger and we'd like to add more tables.
We still have more work to do before our Grand Opening on Saturday, Feb 3rd (2 - 10 PM). We need to get power to some of the lights and we have to replace several fluorescent lighting tubes and maybe some ballasts - these are not cheap.
If you can help us out by donating money, please visit our gofundme page. You can also stop by the club to pitch in a few bucks while we work on getting it ready (you are welcome to stop by to see the progress if you can't wait until the Grand Opening). You can contact us to find out when someone will be at the club getting things ready.
We are needing about 4 to 6 more tables, we would like 6' or 8' banquet tables - if you have any to spare it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you have sets, boards or books you'd like to donate we'd appreciate that as well, especially books geared towards kids.
We are working hard this week to get the center ready for the Grand Opening, but what you will see on Saturday will not be our final product, not by a long shot! We still have to build our lecture rooms and a divider towards the back of the site. We wanted to open the center as soon as possible so that you would know that we are not just another pop-up club that many of us have seen before. This one is for real!
By far the best way to help us out is to become a member of the Tucson Chess Center, you can do this on Saturday and Sunday (and of course later in the week as well). In this way we can give something back for your membership fees, but if you can spare more, we most certainly could use your help!
See you at the Center this Saturday!
6061 E. Broadway, Suite 126 - Simply look for Jason's Deli on the North side of the street, follow the parking lot to the back and then to the right and you will see our sign near the stairway.
Today we signed the lease to make things official! We have a temp sign up at the site and have ordered carpeting to be delivered.
If anyone out there has experience with installing glue-down commercial grade carpet and would like to lend a hand, please contact us immediately.
Our first priority is to paint the place and then install the carpet. We already have tables, chairs, sets and boards ready to go. All we need is YOU!
We just recently sent out a couple of emails through the United States Chess Federation and in just two hours, as of 1 PM, received over 200 hits to our website! Five people stated they are coming to the Grand Opening. 14 have signed up so far to be on our email list and 8 have taken our survey - a great tool to gauge what local chess players are interested in so that we can better serve our community.
As we get things put together in the center I will make updates and hopefully post a few photos along the way.
The Tucson Open was recently held with Andy Lin winning clear First Place with 4.5 out of 5 games - Congratulations Andy!!!
Thank you to all those who have expressed interest in the Tucson Chess Center, it has been a long road and we are very close to opening our doors!
I must say that the process of doing all the research that we have put into this endeavor and all the little things that it takes to open a business has been both exhausting and fun at the same time.
There will be a lot of work being done at the site to get ready for our Grand Opening; painting, carpeting, installing tables and chairs, sets and boards and setting up our library.
We hope to see you all there on February 3rd!
By the way, are there any chess players out there who know how to install glue-down carpeting? I know how to do it but with my work hours I am lacking the time to get there to do the work. If you know someone that can help out, please email me.