Chess In The Library

Chess In The Library

Sunday, 17 November 2013

West Region Tournament!

Good news! Next Saturday is Chess in the Library's West Region Tournament. If you enjoy playing chess and want a chance to sharpen your skills, this is the event for you. There are several prizes waiting to be won! Plus, registration is free so definitely come check it out.  See you there!

Sign up:
Humberwood Library
850 Humberwood Blvd
Sat. November 23
11am - 4pm.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

New Branches

We are very excited to extend a warm welcome to the latest members of our Chess in the Library family! 

Juan de Fuca Branch 
Victoria, British Columbia

This program started on September 25th, 2013, and is held every Wednesday from 6:45-7:30pm. It is also our very first branch in British Columbia!

Albion Bolton Branch 
Caledon, Ontario

Our first branch in Caledon public library started on October 3rd, 2013, and the program runs every Thursdays from 6:45 - 8:00pm.

Cyril Clark, Chinguacousy, Mount Pleasant Village, and South Fletcher's Branches
Brampton, Ontario

pic name
Cyril Clark Library

Last but certainly not least, we have started four branches in Brampton! They started on October 5th, 2013.The Cyril Clark, Chinguacousy, and Mount Pleasant Village branches run every Saturday from 10:30 - 12, and the South Fletcher's branch runs from 3:00 pm to 5 pm.

All of the new branches have been a tremendous success so far, and we're really glad to see that our program is continuing to grow. Of course, we would be nothing if not for the hard work and dedication of our amazing volunteers, and we are currently in need of help! If you think you have what it takes to join the team, please take the time to fill out the application at

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Junior Executive Applications

Are you going to grade 10 or 11? Do you want to experience the leadership internship of a lifetime? Apply to be a Junior Executive today! There are 5 open position:

Junior Executive President
Junior Executive Vice-President
Junior Executive Treasurer
Junior Executive Volunteer Coordinator
Junior Executive Arts/Web Designer

For each position, you will be working an internship with the respective executive member for the coming year. There is a lot of work involved but also although of room to learn, grow bonds and gain leadership skills. It is an experience you do not want to miss out on!

If you are interested in applying, e-mail us at to get the form to apply. Completed forms are to be mailed to All forms are due Friday, August 16th at 11:59pm! After going through the forms, you will be called for an interview that will take place before the end of August.

If you ever have any questions, want more information or any problems arise, please e-mail us at so we can help you out. Best of luck to all!

Monday, 29 July 2013

2013 Annual Festival

What a day!  Our Annual Festival took place on Saturday June 29, 2013.  It was a great success, and 62 participants attended the festival.  The day was fun-filled with tournaments, chess jokes, puzzles, a giant chess set, and a chess simul by our chess champion Mike Ivanov.  With so many exciting activities to do, it’s pretty safe to say that everyone had a good time.

Personally, there was nothing more rewarding than seeing the determination of young chess enthusiasts and their joy at their triumphs.  

Our founder, Yuanling Yuan, who started CITL at age 14 and now attends Yale University, presented a speech at the festival. 

One of our first and most honoured donors, the Southam Family, gave a speech at the tournament. 
Of course, how can we forget the awards?  Regardless of the tournament outcome, we were extremely proud of everyone and their hard work.  Once again, a huge congratulations to our winners!

Our overall winners are from the North York Central Library!

 Grade 3 and under section winners
1. Thomas Wang 
2. Wing Li
 3. Sivan Xu

 Grade 6 and under section winners
1. Cindy Qiao 
2. Hazel Guo
 3. Evan Wong

Open section winners
1. Jonathan Chan
 2. Jagdev Kondal
 3. Benjamin Lin
Our new executive was also selected!  The CITL executive team for 2013-2014 is:
President – Mohit Verma
Vice President – Jessica Cao
Volunteer Coordinator – Terry Zhang
Treasurer – Jessie Li
Webmaster – Zelin Liu

We sincerely thank all of our volunteers, supporters, and members.  None of this would have been possible without you!

Moving forward, we can’t wait to bring you many fun and exciting events in the coming year.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Arts Director Position Open

Chess in the Library Elections have come and gone and if you haven't heard, here's the new council:

President - Mohit Verma
Vice President - Jessica Cao
Treasurer - Jessie Li
Volunteer coordinator - Terry Zhang

Webmaster - Zelin Liu

However, there is one more position to be filled! Chess in the Library is looking for an arts director. The role of an arts director is to create and design posters, flyers and certificates for Chess in the Library. A long with this the executive member, like all, is required to volunteer at a Chess in the Library location and participate in other Chess in the Library events if asked. 

We are looking for someone who is already proficient in graphic design as we do not have anyone who is able to train people. If you're interested in applying for the position, please create poster that would attract potential teenagers to volunteer in the Toronto region. Remember to include our locations as well as provide information on how to apply. If you'd like a sample poster, e-mail us at and we can provide you with one. It is highly advised you take a look at the sample. Please send in the poster along with your resumé (optional) by July 31st at 11:55pm. Any late applications will be rejected at the discrimination of the CITL executive council.

If you have any other questions please e-mail us at

Thursday, 20 June 2013

2013-2014 Treasurer Platform for Vladislav Bardalez

Vladislav Bardalez

Hello, my name is Vladislav Bardalez, but most of my friends call me Vlad. I am an active student at Victoria Park C.I and  have taken an interest in chess from an early age. I have been volunteering with CITL since 2009 and over the years I have gained a lot of experience running a branch at Brookbanks Library. Through my years of experience, I know I am a suitable candidate for the position of the CITL treasurer for the 2013- 2014 session. I have gotten a grasp of the financial aspects behind running the large program CITL has become. Not only have I received experience through volunteering with CITL, but I have acquired a plethora of skills through Cadets. I am currently a staff member at my squadron and as a staff member I am constantly faced with many responsibilities such as, organizing activities and trips for a squadron of over 160 members. This includes both financial and schedule aspects of planning. I am constantly in a position of a leader and role model, and through this I am able to work well with my other staff members in order to accomplish large-scale activities that involve my entire squadron.

 In addition to this, I believe that getting donations from sponsors and donors is crucial for the expansion of the CITL to other cities in Ontario and to improve branches that are currently running. Through the many connections I have made through cadets like the North Toronto Sponsoring Committee and through other programs like Duke of Edinburgh I have realized that there are many organizations that could be interested and keen in sponsoring a growing organization such as CITL.

Fundraising is another point I would like to touch upon. The cashbox or donation box that is seen in the chess festivals is a decent way to collect funds, but there needs to be more interactive ways to fundraise more money. Once idea could be setting up a canteen in events like the Annual Festival, which would create a profit at the end of the day that would go back into the program. The idea of a raffle to win prize such as a chess set or chess clock can be an incentive to parents and players to support the CITL and at the same time have a chance to win a prize. It’s a “Win Win” situation.

With the dedication and passion I have shown for CITL, along with the many skill sets I can bring to the executive board, I see myself as the ideal candidate to be next year’s CITL Treasurer.  

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

2013-2014 President Platform

Mohit Verma

             The past year I’ve gotten to work as junior executive president of Chess in the Library. A lot has gone by since then. I remember first hearing about Chess in the Library at a leadership retreat where I met Yuanling. From there I was offered an opportunity to be on the junior executive board and chosen as junior executive president. I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside Vivek who has shown me what it takes to be a president. His tasks began with creating a presentation for new volunteers and went up all the way to planning our volunteer appreciation party and running the recruitment for Brampton. I’ve learned a lot. For example, when hosting a party, always check the time for when a location opens. Now with Vivek leaving, I feel confident to take over his position and have year even stronger than the last. With the beginning of Brampton locations under way, Chess in the Library needs a strong and experienced leader who can not only take control and make sure this process happens, but help expand Chess in the Library to new reaches.

            Securing Brampton and scouting other libraries is not only a given but is already part of my duties as president. What I’d like to do apart from that is help get you, the volunteer, into more leadership roles. For example, possibly implementing branch leaders, so every library has one volunteer who on top of all of volunteer could report to me once in two months how a branch is doing in terms of participants or chess materials. By doing this we can help assure all of our Chess in the Library locations can run smoothly all year round. I’d also like to have more polls on our Chess in the Library facebook group, so let you help make executive decisions. Ultimately, this organization is nothing without its volunteers so it’s only fair that the volunteers have the right to influence our executive decisions.

            I know that among the volunteers there are many great, passionate leaders who are willing and ready to help Chess in the Library. That is why for you and for Chess in the Library, I want to help give the opportunity to make Chess in the Library an even better organization. What we can do in coming year is endless, and I want to help make it happen. So let me, Mohit Verma, become the president of our 2013-2014 Chess in the Library executive council.

Thank you all very much for an amazing year and let’s hope for more to come.

2013-2014 Vice President Platform for Jessica Cao

Jessica Cao

 This is my platform and application for the position of 2013-2014 CITL Vice President: When I was little, I never had the privilege of learning chess because of time and financial constraints.  Thanks to CITL, kids from all over Canada can enjoy this.  As we continue moving forward, I am asking for your vote for 2013-2014 CITL Vice President.  This year, I have served as Media Coordinator on the executive team.  Since the day that I joined CITL, I’ve learnt so much and I’ve had some great experiences.  Despite my own lack of knowledge about chess, I’ve had a grand time!  This year, I was in charge of managing all media – social media and traditional media – related to all CITL events such as tournaments, branch openings, and the annual festival.  I’ve sent dozens of press releases, created posters, and designed the official CITL welcome package for sponsors, members, and volunteers that will be released soon.  So what about next year?  If I am elected as Vice President, I will be coordinating all media including press releases and Facebook posts – something I have already been doing for the past year.   In addition, I will also coordinate internal affairs by communicating with the rest of the executive members and collectively make decisions in the best interest of the organization.  I will help to not only create more branches, but also to establish sustainable operations to build a stronger CITL. Most importantly, I want to make CITL renowned.  CITL has really expanded to new horizons this year with many branch openings and successful events.  We have grown our organization to bring the opportunity of playing chess to youth all over Canada.  CITL is truly unique in that we provide chess education, competition, and prizes all without charging a penny.  Now, it’s time to get CITL into the public eye.  Through creating partnerships with media and promoting CITL in mainstream media outlets, I want to make more people than ever aware of what CITL is and what we stand for.  Let’s get people talking. I will do everything I can to bring the opportunities I never had to more youth.  I believe that my past experiences, my skills, and my passion for CITL will put me as a suitable candidate for your Vice President.  Give me your trust, and I will return it with the best of my ability. 

2013-2014 Vice-President Platform for Christina Liu

Christina Liu

Over the past year, I, Christina Liu had served as Junior Executive Treasurer for CITL. This year, I am a hopeful and ambitious candidate to become Chess in the Library’s 2013-2014 Vice President. Throughout the year, I showed my dedication and commitment through my consistent interaction with the CITL members as a volunteer for the branches Fairview, Brookbanks, then Leaside, and rest currently as the leader of my branch. I’ve also fulfilled all my necessary duties as junior treasurer including drafting budget reports, seeking sponsors, managing donations etc. highlighting my responsibility and consistency. Furthermore, I’ve gone above my role, in writing CITL blog posts, finding and training additional volunteers, aiding my fellow executives here and there – demonstrating my flexibility and my ability to take initiative.   

Although Chess in the Library is a wonderful program, I do see some areas of improvement that, if elected 2013-2014 Vice President, I would ensure to improve.

  • 1.      The quality of Chess in the Library at existing branches 
    While making my rounds in volunteering, I’ve observed that many branches don’t get a favourable number of participants. In order to resolve this issue, I plan to promote throughout the library with posters, announcements as well as face-to-face advertising to attract more participant interest. 
  • 2      The lack of volunteers in circulation within branches
    Often I find that there is a lack of volunteers, especially those to fill in for one’s unavailable a certain session. As I’ve recruited a number of volunteers this year, if elected, I plan to take this even bigger next year. I plan to effectively advertise to all my ambitious friends as well as encouraging all my fellow executives and volunteers to tell their friends about this enriching experience
  • 3.      The organization of large festivals and tournaments.
    In some ways, I believe that our annual tournaments for CITL participants could be better. If elected VP, I would ensure to improve the organization and preparation in nearing a tournament as well as being present to assist in the carrying out of the event.

In taking part in my in school leadership activities, I’ve had much experience in drafting and distributing detailed meeting minutes, organizing upcoming meetings, acting as the main spokesperson during meetings, creating official volunteer and participant documents, updating and maintaining Facebook groups etc. I am very confident that I would make a superb Vice President for CITL for my experience, passion and collaboration. 

2013-2014 Treasurer Platform for Jessie Li

Jessie Li

To begin, I’d like to introduce myself: my name is Jessie Li and I am currently a senior at Victoria Park C.I.  Though I am not a competitive chess player, nor do I play often, I believe I am suitable for the position as the CITL treasurer for the upcoming 2013-2014 year.  Having taken on the leadership role as both Grade 11 Rep and Secretary on the Student Leadership Council at my school, I am familiar with the responsibilities and dedication that accompanies any leadership position.  Being the treasurer of such an organization is extremely important, and not to be taken lightly.  The role requires initiative, accountability, and lastly, commitment.  Throughout the past several years, the various extra-curriculars I have participated in as well as my school work have taught me valuable skills that I can now use towards other endeavors, such as CITL.  The treasurer is responsible not only for constructing a budget report, but as well as outreaching to possible sponsors.  Volunteer work, such as phone canvassing for consecutive years, and my role on the SLC have enabled me to successfully contact potential donors and understand how to develop positive relations. 

Part of being a successful treasurer is keeping updated and being diligent to all the details, however minor.  With prior experience of successfully executing Talent Show and Semi-Formal at Victoria Park C.I., I am able to grasp the numerous different components and factors in play to facilitate a successful event.  Through becoming involved in “behind-the-scenes” and personally witnessing the amount of input required to host even a small-scale event—former knowledge and experience can go a long way into avoiding unnecessary mistakes and making the plan follow through as effortlessly as possible.  Though a platform cannot communicate who I am fully and my capabilities, I hope you consider me as the CITL treasurer for the upcoming year.

2013-2014 Volunteer Coordinator Platforms

Terry Zhang

Greetings. My name is Terry Zhang. Over the past year, I have gained valuable experience through volunteering at Chess in the Library branches. I possess several distinguishing traits and skills which make me a prime candidate for the Volunteer Coordinator position at Chess in the Library.

The duties of the Volunteer Coordinator chiefly involve the actions of recruiting, training, and manage Chess in the Library Volunteers. I am a part of a large network of students across Canada and have several contacts in each of Canada's major cities, thus allowing for smooth and efficient communication between the executive team and regional directors. In addition, I will add more contacts over the summer through ShadValley and be able to elect a new regional director for the program in London, Ontario. My ability to quickly contact others would prove to be vital and efficient in the process of recruiting new volunteers and expanding to new cities.

Beyond recruiting, I am also very experienced in instructing and training people. Outside of chess, I am a certified snowboard instructor; my experience in teaching others how to perform certain actions can easily be applied to training volunteers on how to act professionally as well as teaching the game of chess to new players. This year, I volunteered at three branches (Malvern, Brookbanks, and Leaside) and spent the majority of my time teaching the basic mechanics of chess to younger kids. If elected, I would make sure that all Chess in the Library volunteers act in a proficient, efficient, and professional manner.

The toughest job of the Volunteer Coordinator is that of managing volunteer hours. From my experience of volunteering at three branches, I noticed  that the method of book keeping at each branch was not completely reliable. To improve the efficiency and reliability of the volunteer hours book-keeping, I plan on making the head volunteer at each Chess in the Library Branch e-mail me the names and hours of every volunteer who showed up on a weekly basis. This action does not require a lot of effort, yet it goes a long way in keeping Chess in the Library's book of volunteer hours up to date and accurate.

With these skills and ideas, I believe that I am a prime candidate for the position of Volunteer Coordinator. Vote for Terry Zhang for Volunteer Coordinator of Chess in the Library 2013-2014.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Upcoming CITL Annual Festival!

Chess in the Library will be hosting its 4th CITL Annual Festival on Saturday June 29th, 2013 from 11:30am - 5:00pm. It will be held in the auditorium at North York Central Library. This is an amazing opportunity in which you do not want to miss out on! There will be various prizes awarded, multiple chess puzzles, guest speakers, numerous other participants to play and the giant chess set! 

Be sure to register at your local CITL branch or online at
Hope to see you all there! :)

-CITL Team


Monday, 3 June 2013

2013-2014 Executive Elections

It's that time of year again! The executive elections for Chess In The Library for the 2013-2014 term have officially begun. Please read the following post carefully for the full campaign rules, as well as executive roles and responsibilities.

Campaign Rules
The campaign of all candidates is limited to two forms: a written platform submitted to the official CITL blog and a 2 minute speech presented to CITL volunteers on June 29th prior to the Annual Festival. All other campaigns are strictly prohibited in order to maintain equity and equality.


President: The President acts as the leader and primary spokesperson of the CITL Executive Board. He or she sets a typed agenda in consultation with other executive members for all formal CITL Executive Board meetings. One of the President’s main responsibilities is to contact potential locations and expand the program nationwide. In addition, the President evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mandate.

Vice-President: The Vice-President acts as the secondary spokesperson of the CITL Executive Board and fills in for the President when the President is not available. When not filling in for the President, the Vice President shall act as the Chief of Internal Affairs. He or she sets dates for all formal CITL Executive Board meetings on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, including those concerned with the annual festival. During the meetings, the Vice President is responsible for taking detailed minutes. In addition, the Vice-President is responsible for crafting press-releases and for constructing any written documents, including pots on the official CITL blog and Facebook page.

Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for contacting potential sponsors and donors as well as managing all CITL finances. This individual drafts a budget (to be completed before the end of August) in consultation with the President and constructs an official budget report (to be completed at the end of the following July), outlining all expenses and revenues, as well as recommendations for the succeeding executives. Moreover, the Treasurer directs any fundraising events and is in charge of the cashbox or donation box during those events.

Volunteer Coordinator: The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for handling volunteer applications, directing successful applicants to the most appropriate library branches, arranging for necessary training, responding to volunteer’s queries and signing volunteer-hours when the relevant branch is unable to do so. Furthermore, he or she is also responsible for the recruitment and maintenance of a steady flow of volunteers.

Any candidate who wishes to run for the 2013-2014 CITL Executive Council must submit a written platform between 300-500 words to by June 16th. Late applications will be rejected at the discrimination of the current CITL Executive Council.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at

Sunday, 28 April 2013

2013 Volunteer Appreciation Party!

CITL's annual volunteer appreciation party was held on Sunday, April 21st, 2013 at Snakes and Lattes, a boardgame café. This appreciation party gives a chance for Chess in the Library volunteers from all the different branches to come together and interact during a funfilled day of games, games and more games!  

This year, there was a total of 12 enthusiatic volunteers who came out to the event and had lots of fun! Some games that were played include Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, Cranium etc. In addition, entry fees were covered by CITL; making it an amazing opportunity to just relax and get to know all the different volunteers. The annual party is held to show the team's gratitude towards the wonderful volunteers who dedicate much of their time and energy to help CITL function smoothly at various branches. Our program wouldn't be possible without the hardwork and dedication of all our volunteers.

It was a day of laughter, smiles and loads of fun! We'd like to thank everyone for participating as well as ALL of Chess in the Library's amazing volunteers for their support and dedication. We hope you all decide to come out next year to the 2014 appreciation party that strives to be even bigger and better :)

Monday, 15 April 2013

East Region Swiss!

For every West there has got to be an East right?

Few months ago there was the West Region Swiss. Now, it’s only fair if we have on in the East too. This year, 30 chess warriors gathered at the North York Central Library Concourse to participate in the CMA rated tournament. Isn't it a great sight to see everyone gathered in the library room to play chess?

Our filled Tournament hall

Girl power :D
There were three separate categories for the tournament: Grade 3 and under, Grade 6 and under, and Open. The tournament was CMA rated, and you can find the official results here.

Special congratulations to the winners:
Grade 3 and Under:

1. Sivan Xu
2. Joey Qiao
3. Christian Choi

Grade 6 and Under:

1. Evan Wong
2. Pirathapan Ahilan
3. Cindy Qiao


1. Yi Deng
2. Kayton Yan
3. Joshua Pavusthy

As always, participation and enjoyment is far more important than the competition result. So congrats to all participants! Winning prizes is nice, and don't forget there's always next time :)

Group participation photo!

Every CITL tournament promises to be exciting. This time, we have implemented food in the tournament process! Don’t want to find places to eat? We serve it right in our tournament hall (outside the playing hall, of course). It is both convenient and delicious.

Once again, we are fortunate to have received generous donations at the event. Thank you to all who have supported us at the event. Whether it's by donating some of your pocket change, taking pictures at the event, or simply participating, you has made CITL tournaments bigger and better.

If you missed this awesome event, you can make sure you won't by follow our updates on Facebook, our website and our blog!

Until the next CITL event :)


Sunday, 14 April 2013

The 2013 CFC Spring Open!

CITL's first ever CFC Spring Open tournament was held on Saturday, March 30th at Jarvis Collegiate Institute. This exciting event provides competitors of various ages from all across Toronto, with a chance to challenge other skilled individuals in multiple games of chess.

This year's tournament was a great success, for there was a turnout of 24 talented participants! The tournament was divided between Junior and Senior sections and consisted of 5 competitive rounds. In addition, winners for the Open section were awarded cash prizes and Juniors with certificates.

Without further ado, here are the winners of our 2013 Spring Open!
Junior Section: (with all participants winning 4/5 games and sorted through tiebreaks)
1) Hazel Guo
2) Sudhir Pokhrel
3) Binil Pokhrel

Open Section: (with a 4-way tie for first and all participants winning 4/5 games)
1) Mike Ivanov
1) Roman Sapozhnikov
1) Konstantin Semianiuk
1) Dmitri Chernik

We would like to congratulate our winners and thank ALL of our lovely participants for coming out and having a great time! Our next CFC tournament aspires to be even better! :)

Thursday, 28 March 2013


Quick, only 2 more days till CITL's Spring Open event!

Whether this is going to be your first tournament ever or your 23841309th one, you will have a fabulous time at the Spring Open.

If you haven't registered yet, make sure to do so here! You don't want to miss the event.

If you have registered, then the CITL team wishes you the very best luck.

See you there!

Sunday, 20 January 2013


A second branch of London Public Library is chess-ed! The game of chess now finds its place at the Central Library. True to its name, Central Library is located in Central London. What better place to promote chess than at the heart of the city?

First session at Central was held yesterday, and it was a success. We had chess sets set up and quite a few kids approached the table. Some didn’t know how to play, and won their first game thirty minutes later. I hope to see many more of these kids in the upcoming weeks.

Despite the smooth running of the program, there was the initial issue of gathering volunteers. Just when I was stressed by the challenging task, our president, Vivek, messaged me that he has a connection “who has offered to help out by volunteering and recruiting some volunteers”.

Upon hearing the news, I was ecstatic, but also puzzled- who would contact Vivek about volunteering in London? Turns out, the guy was Aaron Zhang, former executive member of CITL and currently a student at Western University.

At the program, I met Aaron and was taken by his enthusiasm and altruism. Here was a University student, dedicating his precious time teaching kids half his height how to play chess. I realized that Aaron, like myself and all CITL volunteers, is simply volunteering for enjoyment. I left the Central Library with a different outlook on the program. It doesn’t just connect chess to the kids, it connects Toronto to London, and Aaron to me.