Sunday, March 11, 2012

CITL 2012 East Region Swiss - Part One

This is Part One of a two-part post. Pictures are coming in soon, and the second post will be up by the end of this week.

Almost three years ago, my good friend Yuanling started Chess In the Library. I was asked to join soon after it started,in the summer of 2009. We didn't have too many volunteers at first - perhaps a dozen kids working towards a common goal.

Eventually, though, CITL became something big - something huge. Locations sprung up all across Toronto, then all across Ontario, then all across Canada. There is even a branch in Washington, DC!

For the past two years, CITL has run an annual Festival at North York Central branch, and a winter tournament at Humberwood branch. This year, however, the executive asked me, in my capacity as the current Scarborough director of expansion, to run a tournament in the East region. Naturally, I had to accept. Here was a chance to do something new, something innovative! I had been part of the tournaments at Humberwood and NYCL, helping to organize them. Now it was time to take charge of fun-having and chess-playing among the kids of the area.

I met with the CITL executive (Yuanling, Gal, Vivek, Aaron, and Linda) during the weekend of Feb 25. Together we discussed the location, time, size, and general scope of the tournament. What we walked away with was a tournament at Fairview Library, during one of the weekends in the March break.

The next weekend consisted of running around to Fairview, Brookbanks, and Malvern, dropping off forms and confirming the time and date. (Fairview Branch, 12-4PM on March 10) The weekdays of March 5-9 were hectic too - medals to buy, forms to pick up, registrations to confirm.

A special thanks here must go to Paula Costa, Youth Services Librarian at Fairview. She has been overseeing CITL at Fairview for years now, and she was also the librarian who was able to find a room for us. A tournament isn't a tournament without a place to run it, and Paula is the one who made this possible.

On the day leading up to the tournament, Friday March 9, I loaded pairings software onto my laptop, looked over my whiteboard checklist one last time, and went to sleep at 12. It was going to be a long day, and I looked forward to seeing both my fellow volunteers and all the kids who would come.

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