By Laura Doman
The elections of new members to the Board will be an integral part of the annual meeting of the Georgia Chess Association (GCA), which will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 2:30 pm at the Hotel Wyndham Atlanta Galleria, 6345 Powers Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30339. To accommodate our members, the meeting will be held between rounds 4 and 5 of the Phillip Taylor 2015 Georgia State Championship, which will be played at this same location from Friday, April 24 – Sunday, April 26.
Members in good standing will be voting for candidates for the positions of President, Secretary, and 2nd Member-At- Large. To be in “good standing,” GCA members must be 18 years of age or older with a current, paid membership. Those with family memberships receive a maximum two votes, assuming that two adults are included as registered family members. To join the GCA or renew a membership, please visit www.georgiachess.org/membership.
Absentee ballots are available for those unable to attend the meeting. To request a ballot, please email email@example.com by April 12 and an original ballot will be mailed to you. The current GCA secretary will mail the ballot to you, but please note that according to the GCA bylaws it MUST be received back in the mail by April 24 for your vote to be counted.
Each candidate was asked to respond in his own words to the following three questions:
1. What is your general background and chess experience? You may mention your profession, interests, family, playing strength, tournament experience, previous board experience (chess or not chess-related), or other related information.
2. Why are you running for your particular office and what would you like to accomplish?
3. What is your overall vision for Georgia Chess for the next two years (the term of office) and beyond?
Please note that each of these positions is for a WORKING BOARD, meaning that each GCA board member has hands-on responsibilities to run an aspect of the organization and is expected to be actively involved on an on-going basis. The detailed descriptions are available under the About tab of the GCA homepage www.georgiachess.org. Each elected office serves a two year term.
The President is the chief volunteer officer responsible for the overall governance process of the Board of Directors, including fund-raising, strategic planning, and the smooth functioning of all committees. The candidates are Fun Fong (incumbent) and Frank Johnson.
My name is Fun Fong, and I am an emergency physician at Spalding Regional Hospital, and serving as Medical Director for the Paramedic program at Southern Crescent Technical College.
I have had a progressive, increasing love for the game of chess. My father taught me to play at age 6 and along the way, I acquired tons of significant organizational experience and skills.
Background – I have had a long organizational career, first beginning in high school as President of the MUS Chess Club in my Senior year. There, I helped organize our school’s participation in the city chess league and arranged our school’s participation in our first simul in Memphis.
In high school, college, professional school, and professional life, I have gleaned a lot of organizational experiences and skills along the way. I picked up a lot of organizational mentors along the way. I could list them all, but suffice it to say, that my involvement in organizations has been consistent and progressive along the way.
In 2001, I became a camper at the first year of Castle Chess camp. Chess fascinated me once again, and the interaction with International Masters and Grandmasters was life-changing. A game I thought I had understood over 20 years was manifestly clear. I began to become progressively interested in the game and eventually thought eventually came to me that I could use my organizational skills to benefit Chess in Georgia. I have served as camp physician and counselor at Castle Chess camp from 2002 to present day. I have been Vice-President of the Castle Chess Board non-profit since 2008. I began my TD career debuting as a Chief TD in 2008. In 2009, I was strongly motivated to increase my TD credentials after I served as a Floor TD at the Supernationals.
I usually play at the Castle Chess Grand Prix and usually get to play at the US Open now. I can’t work on my game very much these days, because I spend so much time organizing. Nonetheless, my rating did go up 150+ points over the past year to 1573!
I feel that my strong organizational skills and leadership have combined with my increasing knowledge of running chess events makes me uniquely qualified for this position. I am always thinking of better ways of doing things at chess events, of giving players and spectators a better experience, and looking for innovative ways to improve chess events. My ultimate goal is to nurture, foster, and expand the chess community in Georgia greatly.
Chess Important to Scholastic Players
Chess is good for the young, to improve their thinking processes, to think logically, to think strategically, and to formulate plans. In games with long time controls, it teaches patience, restraint, and active play, depending on the situation. It is said that every year of scholastic chess improves SAT math scores by 10%. In short, chess improves brain development.
It is also said that strong chess players are born within the fires of competition. I believe this adage to be the case, and that there should be as many opportunities to have chess competition events as possible. I believe that chess events beget chess events, and that more scholastic events will eventually lead to larger scholastic chess events.
The Metro Atlanta area is blessed with a number of scholastic chess organizations, which organize chess classes in many Metro Atlanta schools. The GCA recognizes that there are many Georgia schools without scholastic chess opportunities, and is monitoring USCF efforts to create “chess programs in a box” that could start up programs with teachers who have absolutely no chess knowledge at all. There are other efforts, such as that in the DeKalb school system which is mandating school chess programs as well. GCA is monitoring events in those developments.
Open Events a Part of GCA Too
Chess is good for mature people, as it is thought to keep one’s mind sharp. I myself feel the obvious benefits of playing chess regularly and use it now for this purpose. As those who have been bitten by the chess bug readily admit, chess is a bottomless pit, and it is sometimes wondrous just to consider the sheer depth of chess itself.
Variety is the spice of life, and open events players want variety. Open event players want choices. They want a friendly, fair atmosphere in which to compete; poor sportsmanship is to be discouraged, as it is a big turnoff to the playing public. GCA should be a catalyst to that end.
Some people call me the ultimate networker. From my work, I must be a people person and am usually able to establish rapport naturally and easily with people I don’t know. I am still the best recruiter at GCA, continually bringing in new active members into the organization on a regular basis. This year was an exceptionally good year for my efforts.
Leadership is that ability to get people motivated and organized to solve an issue or problem. I would like the opportunity to teach leadership principles to the new, active GCA members. I personally get involved in a committee until I feel that it is self-sufficient. Then, I check in on the committee periodically to understand their current issues, etc.
I am probably at my best forming work teams. Most people have some eagerness to work on projects that I recruit because they feel that they will have better organization and a better experience. I think I am hitting my stride forming my work teams this year. While I am doing this, I am teaching others, as well.
I have endeavored to be an innovative force for organized chess in Georgia.
1) I recognized the talent within chess parents and began actively recruiting them as volunteers.
2) I actively sought out women leaders with great organizational skills to make GCA leadership a decidedly mixed group.
3) I endorsed, supported, and ran the first chess tournament in a mall.
4) I was responsible for organizing the first 1000+ player scholastic tournament by the GCA.
5) I supported the effort to make most of our scholastic events rated events. As a result, the USCF membership has increased 13%
6) I pioneered our modular equipment system that is used for our chess events.
7) I have been a force for emphasizing necessary logistics for any GCA event.
8) I have fostered the development of more people that are knowledgeable in organizing chess events. Our GCA coordinators all know how to organize, manage and run sizeable chess events.
9) I have fostered an environment encouraging more TDs in Georgia. We have had a number of TD training sessions. Before my administration, there were 4 Local TDs. Now we have approximately 28 Local TDs. We now have an additional Senior TD, with prospects of at least 2-3 more Senior TDs within 6 months or so.
10) I have started a Senior TD training program, with the expressed goal of giving two candidates Senior TD credit experience within 12-18 months.
11) I purchased the vests for Volunteers and Section Chiefs from my own funds because I did not think GCA had the money to spend on vests for this purpose. I knew that it would improve our TD and organizations.
12) I purchased 6 DGT boards from my own funds to allow for GCA use. DGT boards allow games to be recorded and broadcast over the Internet.
13) We formed a collaborative program with the Emory Chess club, holding jointly organized tournaments. While this program only lasted a semester, we are looking for additional non-profit partners with which to collaborate.
14) I supported and formed the GCA Tech Group to solve, refine, and innovate tech solutions to improve our player/parent/spectator experience. They are currently assisting with the DGT boards and tablets to record and broadcast games over the internet for now.
15) The Long-Range Planning Committee is poised to start off, chaired by Charlile Hayslett. They will give us guidance on how the GCA should develop over the next 5 years.
16) The Sponsorship and Funding Committee is poised to start, headed by Laura Leary. She will start talks on how to seek funding and form a strategy for seeking funding. The purpose for funding will be determined by Long-Range Planning Committee.
17) We have changed the nature of Open events, such that a significant organizational team is on the ground during Open events, in addition to TD staff. This development has made for a distinctly more friendly and responsive staff.
18) I nominated and supported the appointment of an African-American for GCA Secretary.
19) I have supported the nomination, appointment, and election of Indian-Americans in the GCA. They form a large portion of our playing constituency and they need to have a place within the GCA Leadership.
20) We have a partnership with Anime Weekend Atlanta giving us free hotel space this September during Anime Weekend Atlanta. They would like us having a panel discussion involving the different games Shogi, Go, Chess and Chinese Chess. In return, they will give us free Hotel event space. We plan to use this pace for the Senior Open, the Womens’ Open and other chess events, along with a Go event.
The overall plan is to expand GCA revenue income to support the next level of activity. Long-Range Planning will help decide if GCA work towards moving into a chess center, or simply begin renting storage space for its equipment. I am undecided on how we should proceed until it is clear how much our revenue stream is projected. This past year, GCA has been more-or-less a breakeven operation, mostly because of increased costs both in Scholastics and Open Events.
1) We will need to increase registration fees approximately $5 for our more expensive venues.
2) We may increase of the registration fees for our Scholastic events an additional dollar or two with the idea that we will include a scholastic membership for GCA. This would allow the membership to increase from GCA from approximately 320 to over 1000+. An organization with over 1000 members will be treated more deferentially than an organization with 320 members.
3) We have identified another high-capacity, economical venue. We will look at how we can expand the Scholastic schedule modestly with a new line of low-risk events.
4) We will encourage more of our next wave of volunteers for scholastic purposes.
5) We should expand Scholastic Committee modestly. The Committee should be accustomed to working with a larger number of Committee members.
6) A Deputy Chairperson should be identified for incoming Scholastic Chair Susan Justice. An identified Assistant Chairperson would also be very helpful.
7) I would like to have a series of Town Hall meetings either preceding or during a Scholastic Event, so that the Scholastic Committee can receive feedback on further directions for GCA scholastics.
The following has already been approved in principle by the Open Events Committee:
1) We will endeavor to more actively support ANY organizer who holds a 2-3 day weekend tournament on the calendar.
2) We will endeavor to ensure one way or another that there is at least one 2 – 3 day weekend tournament every month by a local organizer, an outside organizer, or GCA
3) GCA is supporting an initiative to all Georgia Chess organizations to sign a pledge that they will actively support ANY organizer that brings a National tournament to Georgia.
4) I believe that the Open Events community will over time, will be able to support one 2-3 day weekend event every two weeks or so. The GCA will look at augmenting the 2 – 3 weekend day schedule with a number of one day tournaments filling a gap of two weeks or greater. The GCA has identified a high capacity, low-risk venue that could be used for this purpose.
5) There has been a perceived gap between what Open Events players want and what the GCA has been providing for Open Events. I would like to hold a series of Town Hall meetings with the Open Events Committee to receive feedback on future directions ov GCA Open Events.
We will continue the Senior TD Training program for the foreseeable future. We will also have a second track for TDs who want to improve their credentials. We will endeavor to hold sessions for both groups on a Quarterly basis. We also realize that a poorly run tournament is a black eye for the entire Georgia Chess playing community. We would like to make training seminars for ANY organizer, non-profit or for profit available on a Quarterly basis as well.
Conflict of Interest
IRS regulations mandate that non-profit organizations have as public documents conflict of interest guidelines. This is done for good reason, for it is tempting and easy for a commercial interest, however well intended to unduly influence or affect a non-profit organization for their own purposes benefiting their commercial interest. My belief is that persons representing for-profit commercial interests should not serve on the Executive Board. My feeling is that they may participate for coordination purposes as ex-officio Committee members. Persons should at a minimum, recuse themselves from voting that may affect their commercial interests one way or another.
Final Dream – a Broader Audience, a Larger, more vibrant playing community
I would hope that any person that loves chess would think of me as a chess friend as well. Our community competes, not with each other so much, but with other pastimes, and diversions. We should not speak ill of each other for fear of creating a divisive atmosphere that new players will sense and immediately retreat from. My dream is that the Chess playing community will expand and will be accepted as with other pastimes of golf, tennis, or soccer. I think that with a positive attitude, opportunistic thinking, a sense of building for generations in the future that.
My name is Frank Johnson. I am a husband and father of two Chess players. I am writing this letter to you today because I would like to formally introduce myself as a candidate for the 2015 Georgia Chess Association presidential opening, a two-year term on the GCA board. I have been an active chess player in Georgia and abroad for thirty years, and am a product of the Georgia scholastic program.
I have served the Georgia chess community in a number of capacities over the years. My experience includes:
•USCF Certified Chess Coach (Advanced Level III)
•USCF Certified Local Tournament Director
•Chess Journalist of the Year (Photography category)
•Expert Chess Player
•Georgia Delegate to the USCF
I have volunteered in almost every role in the Georgia chess community, including organizing public and private chess events, partnering with civic organizations and corporate sponsors, and hosting general chess gatherings.
I am running for the office of president because I believe I can bring decisive leadership to the GCA. The organization has made many strides over the past few years, but some gaps have grown larger. A distinct sector of the state chess community no longer has a voice in our organization.
The GCA has a new opportunity to be transparent and fiscally responsible. The benefits of being a member should be clearly defined. Segments of society that are currently under-served by organized chess in Georgia (such as churches, senior living facilities, youth groups, etc) should be supported by and encouraged to grow by our organization.
Under the current GCA administration, scholastic chess — the future of our game — has grown in prominence and reached new development milestones in our state. But this progress — unfortunately and quite unnecessarily — has come at a price to adult chess in the Georgia.
Adult chess — the future of the game for today’s scholastic players — is being neglected by the GCA as the focus on schools grows. This is a zero-sum approach to managing different responsibilities of the GCA’s mandate. Scholastic chess does not have to thrive at the expense of adult chess. Both directives can and should prosper at once. My leadership would take nothing away from schools and kids, but would instead actually grow scholastic chess further by giving youth more opportunities to play outside of schools.
As president I intend to make accessibility, accountability, and activity hallmarks of the office. The GCA president should be answerable to, and serve at, the pleasure of the members. If elected, as part of my commitment to accountability I would seek to have the bylaws amended so that the president could be recalled by a member vote before the end of the term.
Current GCA president Fun Fong deserves thanks for his service to our community. A vote for me would be voting to build on the work Dr. Fong has done.
The Secretary manages and records the Board’s decisions, voting, and meeting notices and minutes, as well as overseeing member contact information and ensuring the accessibility of all public records. The candidates are Herky del Mundo and Greg Maness.
Herky del Mundo
I am Herky del Mundo, candidate for Secretary. Prior to becoming a member of the Georgia Chess Association, I owned and ran a chess club for three years in Virginia. I was the executive director of Ashburn Chess Club, which grew to be one of the strongest clubs in the Washington DC Metro Area. It has been a regular champion in the DC Chess League in both the Open and Amateur sections. The league is a team competition among the strongest clubs in the area.
I am proud to have run “The Road to Mastery Program,” which was designed to produce within three years experts among our chess campers. My colleague and friend, 1980 Soviet junior champion IM Nikolay Andrianov, was the chief trainer of the program and I took care of its general management. It has been successful in engaging young players whom we were able to send at club expense the camp’s round-robin champion to the Moscow Open in February 2013. (see http://ashburnchessclub.com/wp¬content/uploads/2012/09/Scholastic-Activities1.pdf ). The children who were involved in this program, as well as the chess club, became strong players. One girl player is currently the Under 12 world champion, a first among American girls after 27 years in the World Youth Chess Championship. Another one became a national champion in the recent Orlando scholastic tourney, and there were several Virginia state champions. I am proud of these accomplishments, because until this day I receive thank you emails from some of their parents.
I ran the club under an LLC license. I rented a commercial area where players regularly met informally, attended tournaments, or underwent training all year round. In its last year of business operation, the club managed to break even and enjoy a small profit. I have gained valuable experience on the management of a successful chess program. But I also believe a non¬profit like the GCA would have more resources available through foundations, and these are just waiting to be tapped.
Also, I have been a parent/coach to my three children and have gone to three World Youth Festivals (Hungary, Brazil and Spain), an Asian Under¬16 Championship in India, and various tournaments in the Philippines and throughout the United States. My exposure to these tournaments for young players has helped me design programs in our club that contributed to the success of young prodigies.
I will use these valuable experiences to:
– Find a permanent home for the GCA, where players can meet informally, have fun by just playing, and if the location is big enough, where tournaments and training can be enhanced. It is also easier to conduct simuls to be given by masters or high¬rated players, thus creating additional income opportunities for them. The club will also be opened to other chess entities for its mutual and cooperative use, whether it is for a tournament, simul, training sessions, or inviting masters, IMs and GMs to share their knowledge.
– Since GCA is technically a state federation, I would expand its reach to the various clubs throughout the state. Where there are no clubs, we will help in establishing them. We will provide technical assistance to create these clubs, such as providing expertise to promote these clubs and hold tournaments. A bulk of our audience would be non-tournament players who would just like to play. They are good candidates to transition to tournament players with USCF rating and GCA members once properly oriented.
– To ensure that many GCA tournaments are grand prix and junior grand prix rated by increasing the prize pool and/or properly promoting the tournaments in Chess Life. This will enable our players to test their strength with other players in the country.
– To promote chess in general in the state of Georgia by inviting non¬profits and sponsorship on a regular basis for tournament and/or training sponsorship. We will also use social media and crowd funding to augment worthwhile projects.
– To establish initially a league among Atlanta chess clubs wherein teams can compete for name and prestige with an Open and Amateur section and plaques as prizes. And as we establish more clubs across Georgia, the league will also be done on a regional basis. It will be a five-year program in which the team champions from the different regions will gather to find the state team champion among the best clubs in Georgia.
– To widen activities during the summer months by engaging sponsors for the promotion of chess. I have done this in a “Push Pawns, Not Drugs” program twice in Manila, Philippines by engaging the Rotary Club to sponsor 300 new chess sets and having grandmasters, IMs and leading young players conduct simuls to new young chess players, with a corporate sponsor for food and drinks during the activity. In Northern Virginia, the club has participated by conducting booth activities in promoting the game twice in youth summer gatherings.
These are my initial plans for GCA, but for it to be successful it would mean reaching out to the various sectors in our chess community to find common grounds to help each other.
On my personal background, I am a cinematographer/director by profession, with a Master in Fine Arts in Filmmaking at Temple University, Philadelphia. (see http://www.herkydelmundo.com). I am also the editor and publisher of Bobby Ang’s book Inside Philippine Chess, 1 & 2. IPC 3 is currently being prepared which includes games of Wesley So. I also love playing chess for fun, and am currently Georgia’s Under 1800 senior champion. I am also a local tournament director, and at present I am a Senior TD Fellow for GCA.
Hello. My name is Greg Maness and I am running for the office of Secretary for the Georgia Chess Association.
I am fifty-five years old, married to Suzanne, “doggie daddy” to Chloe, and I am the Senior Quality Control Specialist for Broadcast Log Management for the TNT Network and have been employed by Turner Broadcasting Systems for nineteen years. Prior, I was employed by Fluor Daniel, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina, from 1989 through 1996 where I was a computer programmer/network analyst and database specialist. I am a graduate of Clemson University (1982) with a degree in Computer Information Systems. My hometown is Elberton, Georgia, and I currently reside in Smyrna. I have been a member of the U.S. Chess Federation since 1974 (Life member since 1984) and a member of the Georgia Chess Association since 1976. I have been a Tournament Director since 1977.
In addition to serving as the tournament director, since the late 1970s I have also organized, promoted, and conducted many tournaments in Georgia along with North and South Carolina. In addition to chess, my interests include genealogy, Scottish history and culture (I currently serve as the Georgia Branch Commissioner for the Clan Gunn Society of North America [“retiring” in October!] and I serve on the Grounds’ Committee for the Stone Mountain Highland Games), baseball, college football, automobile racing, and soccer (where I have been a loyal Liverpool F.C. supporter for over forty years, and my wife and I are proud Atlanta Silverbacks season ticket holders).
The office of Secretary holds more responsibilities than just organizing and taking minutes of meetings. As a member of the Board of Directors, the Secretary has an equal voice and vote in the policy-making and passage of legislation by the Board. Through my years of experience in chess as a player, tournament director, organizer, and promoter — along with my years of serving as a tournament director having allowed me the opportunity to be “an ear” to the concerns of the players — I feel I am uniquely qualified to serve as “that voice” and cast my vote as a member of the G.C.A. Board of Directors.
The purpose of the Georgia Chess Association is to serve all members of the Georgia chess community – all players, promoters, organizers, tournament officials – and to serve them equally. But, over the past few years, the G.C.A.’s philosophy has been to treat independent chess tournament organizers and promoters as competitors, rather than the organizations they are compelled to serve and to serve alongside. I wish to see that changed. I also wish to see the G.C.A. once again serve all players equally, be they the holder of the honourable title of “Grandmaster,” or be they the holder of the title of “Hi! I’m Johnny and this is my first tournament!”
The Scholastic chess community through the middle school level is thriving, but is rooted almost exclusively in Metro Atlanta – and chess at the high school level is all but non-existent throughout Georgia. I would like to see that changed back to the way it was when I was a student, when chess was very popular at the high school level and throughout the state. Even in very rural areas, high schools had very active chess clubs and teams. I believe a simple letter to each school in the state would be a great start – just to say “who we are,” how we can help [re-]start [your] club,” etc.
I also support a revamping of the prize structure for tournaments and an analysis of the “Prize Dollar Awarded per Entry Fee Dollar” ratio (re: “what are” and “why are” the “real expenses”). For tournaments, I would also like to see a revamping of time-controls to bring back middle-game and end-game play.
While I fully support the G.C.A. having an “online presence” via a dedicated website, Facebook, news blog/”online magazine,” etc., I also fully support bringing back the printed periodic publication of the G.C.A. newsletter/magazine. I feel the best way to reach the full membership with the latest news, tournament announcements, etc. is still via the printed media.
I would support investigating the possibility of acquiring a “semi”-permanent facility for meetings, clubs, smaller-to-midsized (or even larger) tournaments, etc. through long-term lease or perhaps outright purchase. This would also be an area to welcome a partnership with independent organizers and promoters.
Also, G.C.A. Board meetings are open to ALL members of the Georgia Chess Association who are invited and welcomed to share their views on the issues at hand. I would like to see a static day and time (for example, the Stone Mountain Highland Games meetings are second Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm) and hopefully a set location for the monthly meetings as the current meeting schedule is “non-existent.” It is basically an “on the whim” and “when can you come” basis. If there is a standard meeting day/time, I feel it will encourage more members to attend.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
The two Members-At-Large on the Board are each responsible for a committee that best fits the needs of the GCA, as well as their individuals skill sets. The candidates for the open 2nd Member-At-Large position are Steve Schneider and Ashley Thomas.
(The candidate has chosen not to respond.)
I have been involved with chess for the past three years – mainly as a chess parent, and also as a player. In the process of teaching my son the basics of chess, I ended up becoming a chess addict myself! Local chess clubs (Marietta chess, Ironman chess, etc) are our usual hangouts. Saturday afternoons are incomplete without a few games of chess and a cup of coffee. Apart from enjoying the game, I also love meeting a lot of chess enthusiasts at these clubs – players, organizers, other chess parents. Through some of the people I met at these clubs and at various scholastic tournaments, I started volunteering at Georgia Chess Scholastic tournaments.
I loved puzzles as a kid. As I grew up I took up the engineering line and ended up in the IT industry (I currently work with Dell). Chess was immediately addictive, since it provided an endless source of puzzles.
My playing strength is around USCF 1260, from a total of around 40 USCF rated games over the last 2 years. I do not have any prior experience serving on the board of organizations.
There is something about volunteering that is gratifying and fulfilling. In my life I have been at the receiving end of a lot of generous help. And volunteering is a channel for me to give it back – linking my own goals with the goals of larger organizations that do good to the community.
I have been volunteering with St. Vincent De Paul (at St. Jude Catholic Church) for the past four years. I also work as a volunteer teacher of catechism at my Church in Loganville. I volunteered to teach chess to kids at the Interfaith Outreach Home here in Atlanta last year. I also help coordinate the chess activities at my son’s school, Vanderlyn Elementary. I have served as a volunteer in several of the Scholastic Tournaments conducted by Georgia Chess Association (GCA) in various roles (TDs, Ambassadors, etc) over the past two years.
My vision for GCA is that it plays a key role in increasing the chess pulse in the state, by conducting more tournaments, facilitating opportunities for chess aspirants to interact and learn from the masters, and attracting more enthusiastic members. Towards this goal, I see GCA partnering and working with individuals and groups within and outside the state.
When I was asked if I would be interested in this position, I saw it as a wonderful volunteering opportunity to contribute towards a great cause, namely, to promote, and inspire more chess in Georgia. I believe that chess has a positive impact on kids and adults in the long run; but primarily Chess is pure fun! And I’d like to be part of the effort to spread the fun around!