By Kevin Spann/Special to The Messenger
The Gadsden Public Library is more than just a building stacked with dusty old books, it’s a hub for cultural enhancement and, arguably, entertainment and recreation. The library is headquarters of the new Gadsden Chess Club, a group geared toward playing and teaching the ancient game of chess.
Adult Services Librarian Craig Scott helped develop the idea of a chess club a few short months ago.
Scott said the club began with a simple goal in mind.
“My original thought was getting dads and sons to come into the library.”
The club held its first meeting on Saturday, April 28th. It met for four consecutive Saturdays, during which its membership grew from three to thirteen members, with hopes of many more to come. The club reduced its meetings to every other Saturday to allow members to enjoy other summer activities.
According to Scott, the club has already surpassed its original goal of membership.
“We have women in the club too. It’s for all ages, all experience levels. We have rookies who didn’t know how to move a piece at all to some really good players as well. All ages all levels. If anyone is interested in chess weather they have played before or not they are more than welcome.”
Scott highly recommends www.gameknot.com for any person interested in learning chess.
“At gameknot, [players] can learn the game quickly. It offers tutorials, teaches you the moves of each piece. Players can also play online against the computer and online against other people.”
Scott said interested patrons should not be intimidated by the skill levels of current club members. Scott said the games are fun and casual without competitive aspects, like keeping time clocks.
“While it’s a hard game to learn it’s easy when you have coaches. The experienced players here will lean in and coach the rookies. We have some seasoned players here who want to teach the game of chess and they are very patient with new players. Newcomers will never be matched up with stronger players. Being around experienced players just makes you a better player.”
Chess can be very rewarding game that one can learn to play fairly easily and continue mastering for an entire life-time. Once again meetings are held at 10 a.m. every other Saturday. The next meeting is scheduled for July 14th. Readers are highly encouraged to stop by for a cup of coffee and learn the game of Kings at the Gadsden Public Library Chess Club.
The club meets in the reading area near the circulation desk from 10 a.m. to roughly noon every other Saturday.
For more information about the chess club contact the Gadsden Public Library at 256.549.4699.