Chess new to winter carnival

Among the new activities geared towards kids at this year’s Little Amik Winter Carnival is a chess tournament slated Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. upstairs in the arena.
Participants will be grouped into three categories–age nine and under, 10-12, and 13 and over.
Bob Barron, one of the event organizers, said he is hoping for a good turnout of area kids. A teacher of special education classes at St. Michael’s School here, he also is a chess instructor.
And as far as he’s concerned, chess is a teaching tool as well as a fun thing to do.
“It’s a logic game. I use it at school as a supplement to my math program,” he said yesterday.
“It’s a [combination] of recreation and good training for children to think for themselves,” he added. “They learn how to plan ahead, memorize, and duplicate.”
Barron stressed children who want to participate in the chess tournament should know how to play the game before they register.
“It’s not like checkers where you can learn in five seconds and then know how to play,” he warned.
With patience and desire playing a big part in the game, Barron expected the largest group of participants to be in the 10-12 age group.
“I expect about 25 kids in that category,” he predicted, with roughly another 10-15 registrants spread between the other two age divisions.
Co-organizer Cathy Tovey suggested people would be surprised to learn how many district kids are actively playing chess, referring to a recent chess tournament that attracted 89 youngsters.
She also felt adding a chess tournament to the kids’ side of the winter carnival was a great way to get them involved in the community event in a constructive manner.
“It’s wonderful for them. There are a lot of kids out there who want to do it,” she said.
Tournament awards (donated by Fort Frances General Supply) include first-place trophies in all three categories, with medallions for second and third place in each division.
Additional prizes for each winner are being supplied by The Place.
“Just come out and try it,” Barron urged, adding he could easily see it becoming an annual event–including one for the older crowd, too.
“If you don’t know how to play, at least come and look. Maybe you will be interested [in learning] for next year,” he reasoned.
“I would like to see it continue. I think everybody should learn how to play.”
Kids can pick up registration forms at their school and drop it off at the Chamber of Commerce office on Scott Street (across from Safeway).
The cost to register is only $2, which includes a hot dog, chips, and a pop.