National Chess Week Kicks off in Maryland and DC
National Chess Week started a day early in Silver Spring MD with a kick-off event on Sunday, Oct. 6 hosted by Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, an avid chess enthusiast who started the All the Right Moves chess program to offer free chess instruction for kids in his district.
The event started with an 11 a.m. screening of "Brooklyn Castle" for around 100 parents, educators and chess kids. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with USCF Marketing Director Robert McLellan joined by former IS 318 student Pobo Efekoro and Silver Spring area chess educators Fernando Moreno and Vaughn Bennett.
Then it was off to the city center a block away for free chess set up under canopies along the walking mall. Some 50 kids played with many getting to challenge Pobo, Senator Raskin, a Democrat, and his fellow chess enthusiast and Maryland State Senator Bryan Simonaire, a Republican. Now if only the Washington Senators could show such great cooperative spirit!
Later in the day, the first ever fundraising dinner for Chess Challenge in DC was held at Washington Hebrew Congregation and attended by Mr. McLellan with Pobo as the keynote speaker. The National Chess Week proclamation introduced by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and passed by unanimous consent through the US Senate on Friday, Oct. 4 was read to an audience of around 250 at the start of the evening. Other DC chess week events include tournaments, open houses, another screening of "Brooklyn Castle" as part of the AFL-CIO film festival and a chess and tea event which will promote more chess for girls and be held in a historic home in Dupont Circle on Oct. 13.
Happy National Chess Week everyone.