Ironman Chess Club

Sep 16, 2009, 8:48 AM |
I've often heard that "All politics is local." I've thought the same thing about chess.
The Legendary Georgia Ironman, NM Tim Brookshear, has hosted the most unique chess club I've encountered in my almost 40 years of chess. Held on the first and third Tuesday evening of the month at The Community Room of a church at 735 Sycamore Dr., Decatur, it has been going strong for eight years. Parents bring their children and all are welcome. There are people of all nationalities, races, and creeds. It opens a six, and closes when the people leave, which, being a school night, usually means between nine and ten. One of the best things about the club is that it is FREE! The only time any money was charged was when the only man to hold both the Ga State Championship, and the Ga State Senior Championship simultaneously, Life Master David Vest, gave a simul to benefit the church.
The children play other children, with the coaches trying to match them up so the skill level is close enough to have a good game, and when they become strong enough, they play adults. Some even 'graduate' to making the trip to the nearby 'House of Pain' for the
Tuesday Night Fights. Some of the parents learn to play because of the club, with both fathers, and mothers, trying their hand at the Royal game. Other parents bring a laptop and work, while some read, and others talk. It is a wonderful place for the home-schooled children, giving them a place to socialize. Later on in the evening Tim, or one of the other stronger players will break out a demo board and go over a game, or look at an endgame position. Everyone has a good time.
Every community can do this. I have noticed that in every community there is a driving force. For example, in the small town of Hendersonville, NC, that person is my friend, NM Neal Harris. The chess club meets every Thursday evening, also at a church. My mother once told me that the most important thing one can give is their time. If chess is to grow stronger, it could be because more players take it upon themselves to do just what the Legendary Georgia Ironman, and many others, has done and 'give back' to the community.