Tournaments could make a grandmaster

By: Ted Marcelino, MLA for Tyndall Park

As published in The Times

May 1, 2013

It is a pleasure to serve the constituents of Tyndall Park, an area with many families, youth and seniors. I believe that together we can create positive activities for all to enjoy.

That is why, last year, I was inspired to create the Tyndall Park Chess Tournament. This game is an ideal way to bring community members together, to challenge the mind and to provide positive activities for families.

The tournament aims to bring the sport of chess to young and old alike. To the young, it provides a face-to-face interactive opportunity to sharpen their minds as well as an alternative to their present preoccupations with computer games, social networking on the Internet, mobile communications, and the like. To the old or mature, chess provides the opportunity to share this sport —a kind of mental calisthenics — with other enthusiasts in a social bonding process.

Last year’s inaugural tournament was a success, attracting a total of 57 participants from Winnipeg and Steinbach ranging in age from eight to 87 years old. Soon after, the tournament winners gave their time in exhibition games in schools where each winner played 10 to 12 students simultaneously. A chess clinic was held thereafter.

The 2nd Tyndall Park Open Invitational Chess Tournament took place on April 20 at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba. It attracted 68 participants, including nine students from Stanley Knowles School here in Tyndall Park, who joined the winners of the first tournament for exhibition games and a chess clinic, then competed with their peers in a professional/regular players category and an unrated category.

At the end of seven hours of intense concentration and strategy, four players tied for first place, splitting the prize money of $875. The trophies, however, were settled with five-minute blitz games and Jason Repa won first, Aron Kapstan took second place and Nilo Moncal came in third. For the unrated category, first-place winner Emil Vianzon received $200, the second-place prize of $150 went to Joseph Quintana, and Lloyd Feliciano took home the third-place $100 prize.

I have been inspired by this response and will hold a series of follow-up tournaments throughout the year to sustain the momentum of chess enthusiasts. I will also be setting up another tournament next year because I believe in community activities and want to satisfy the active interests of the people who live in my community.

Thank you, Tyndall Park, for taking on this exciting event. Chess needs patience and, with the growing participation in our areas, who knows, maybe a grandmaster will be created in time.