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Chess practices, tourney set for November

For National Chess Day, Madison City Chess League members played chess with grand master Alexander Stripunsky under the Saturn V Rocket at the Davidson Center. (CONTRIBUTED)
For National Chess Day, Madison City Chess League members played chess with grand master Alexander Stripunsky under the Saturn V Rocket at the Davidson Center. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Chess players in Madison are keeping busy at the boards this fall, particularly on Nov. 10 and Nov. 17.

During November, Rainbow Elementary School will host Girls Chess Night on Tuesday evenings. Everyone will sign in at Rainbow’s library. Students who want to play for recreation and who need more guidance on how to play will remain in the library.

Girls who want to rehearse for Queen’s Quest Chess Tournament, use clocks and record their moves can play in the chess classroom with Ranae Bartlett.

On Nov. 24, girls will meet in library and play chess for fun and celebrate the results from Queen’s Quest, Bartlett said. She serves as executive director of Madison City Chess League.

For National Chess Day on Oct. 11, Madison City Chess League invited grand master Alexander Stripunsky to conduct a simultaneous chess match under the Saturn V Rocket at The Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

“This event was the first time The Davidson Center has hosted such an event and the first time a chess grand master has ever appeared in Alabama for such an exhibition, followed by a chess camp for students,” Bartlett said.

The league asked Arlene Kleiman to arrange for Stripunsky’s visit. Her son, international master Jake Kleiman, studied with Stripunsky for years. Jake Kleiman and Stripunsky teach at the annual MidSouth Chess Summer Camp in Memphis, which several Madison students have attended.

Stripunsky was a “gentleman and very gracious with his time and talents while working with children who are at the beginning stages of their chess development,” Bartlett said. “He is also intense, whether instructing in class or conducting recreational soccer activities with the kids during breaks.”

A “Simul” or simultaneous event at the Davidson Center had an intimate feel, even in the cavernous building. “It was something very special,” Bartlett said.

Contestants are preparing for Queen’s Quest tournament on Nov. 21 at Mill Creek Elementary School. The event promises to be the largest gathering of Madison chess players ever and the year’s major tournament.

For more information, visit madisonchess.com.

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