Chess In The Library

Chess In The Library

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.