On Nov. 9, a biannual amateur chess tournament was held at the Delta Library. The event was hosted by the Delta Chess Club, which was founded in 2002 by Lawrence Mackendrick.
Mackendrick moved to Delta earlier that year to be closer to family after graduating from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. "I was new to the area and wanted to meet people. I had been part of a chess club in college and thought it would be great to join one here. I could not find one, so I decided to start my own," said Mackendrick.
Mackendrick worked with the recreation center in Delta to get a club started. They allowed him to utilize the space in the snack bar every Tuesday evening from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The group has grown over the years, with anywhere from 6-10 people participating weekly. The tournaments have been even more popular. "We have seen anywhere from 20-50 participants in the biannual tournament," Mackendrick said. "Typically it is in the 20-30 range. The tournament is unranked, and is open to all ages, so we get a good crowd. We have a lot of people that will participate one year, go home, practice and come back ready for the next."
The tournament is a wonderful event, attracting players of all ages and abilities. It is a great way to introduce young people to competitive chess. The tournament is run on the Swiss system. Many chess players are familiar with this system as they have seen it over the years on television or in movies. Each turn is timed and the matches last one hour. This structure allows everyone to keep playing and moving around throughout the day. The tournament was broken down into two divisions, A and B. The A division was for adults and the B for younger players. If you won in the B division, you were moved up to the A. The B division winners were Justin Hanning, Ethan Shaw and Jacob Hanning.
The division A winners were Eric Barkemeyer, Brady Barkemeyer and Mackendrick. The first- and second-place winners this year had a special bond; they were father and son. "It is great that a father and son were able to play in the tournament together, and that it came down to the two of them. This speaks to the bond that can be formed around the chessboard," said west end library manager Lea Hart.
Mackendrick started the chess club because of his love of the game, and the bonds that it could form. "Seeing families and friends come together and play together was a great thing," added librarian Mary Dingman.
"This is the reason why the club was started, this is what makes it special," said Hart. "I am glad that the library had the opportunity to host this event."blog comments powered by Disqus