Chess for peace: meeting the Dalai Lama

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Twenty-one youth chess players played the 2011 Youth Chess Tournament for Peace at the 2nd Global Conference on World’s Religions at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Québec, Canada on September 7, 2011.

HHDL holding a chess set

At this occasion, Myriam Roy, William Fisher, Félix Dumont, Tristan Coté-Lalumière, Zachary Saine, Xavier St-Cyr, Chin Leung, Matthieu Johnson-Constantin, Diana Serban, Tenzin Kunphel Tsering, Maïli Jade Ouellet, Julian-Camilo Osorio, Justin Friedman, Brandon Benson, Antoine Salvas-Lauzon, Isaac Tomatuk, Frederic Coulombe and April Whyne had the pleasure to meet His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama. The chess event was organized by the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism in collaboration with the Chess'n Math Association and MonRoi Inc.

Chess players waiting for His Holiness the Dalai Lama holding Khatas, Matthieu Johnson-Constantin, Xavier St-Cyr and Zachary Saine

Khatas are white silk scarves offered to HHDL as a gesture of offering goodwill and respect. To present a khata you first fold it in half length-wise, this represents the interdependence between yourself and His Holiness the Dalia Lama. Then when you offer the scarf, you offer the open edges facing His Holiness, the folded section will be towards you, which represents your open, pure heart, with no negative thoughts or motives in the offering. The scarf is given with folded hands near your forehead, with ahumble bow before them, with head bent over and palms joined in respect.

HHDL speaks to Brana: “Is this chess set for me? Now I’ll have to learn how to play chess.”

Isaac Tomatuk (Wabannutao Eeyou School) and Maïli Jade Ouellet (École Préville) blessed by His Holiness The Dalia Lama on the stage of the 2nd Global Conference on World’s Religions After 9/11.

The event also celebrated diversity. Members of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), one of the largest groups of First Nations/Native Americans in North America, were present.

Celebrating Diversity at the Chess for Peace Tournament, April Whyne, Brana, Maili Jade Ouellet, Dana Berman

MonRoi established the Chess for Peace token, which will be carried forward. It’s in the shape of a large chess pawn, generously donated by Chess’n Math. The Chess Pawn will turn into a Queen after five hops, and the Chess Queen Token will be carried forward. The token contains names of all the participants of Chess for Peace tournament and was passed to Abbey Emmanuel Alo of Ghana, Africa. Monroi's message carried forward in the token is the Canadian Chess Federation letter.

Vladimir Antoine, Chess’n Math Association with Frederic Coulombe

2011 Youth Chess Tournament for Peace Exhibition Video Memories 

The Chess for Peace event coincided with the 2nd Global Conference for World's Religions After 9/11. The Conference was organized by McGill University and the University of Montreal. Its Convenor Dr. Arvind Sharma is the Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill University.

Convenor of the 2nd Global Conference for World's Religions After 9/11, Dr. Arvind Sharma & Brana

2nd Global Conference of World's Religions After 9/11,Professors Robert Thurman, Steven T. Katz, Tariq Ramadan, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Professor Gregory Baum, Dean Ellen Aitken

The Canadian Centre for Ecumenism’s mission is to advance social harmony in today's pluralistic society by building bridges of collaboration among different faith traditions. The Chess'n Math Association (CMA) is running a program approved by the Ministry of Education aimed to bring chess in schools across Canada. The organization was founded in 1985 and now has three offices, 20 full-time staff and over 100 qualified chess instructors.

MonRoi Inc. is a St. Laurent-based company, which developed the world’s only patented electronic score keeping device to record, store, view and webcast chess games. MonRoi’s technology enables people worldwide to view live chess tournaments on their computers.

Article kindly provided by Zeljka Malobabic of MonRoi

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