Hilltop Mall speed chess tournament to raise funds for youth chess program

Residents invited to free community chess tournament in Richmond Saturday

Hilltop Mall will host the National Chess Day Speed Tournament on Oct. 11, which will act as a fundraiser for the Chess in Richmond’s Schools Program.

The West Coast Chess Alliance is encouraging local chess players to sign up to compete. The tournament is set to begin at 1 p.m. in the JCPenney court and will coincide with National Chess Day, which was established in 1976 by President Gerald Ford and Congress in order to promote the game as a way to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The cost is $10 per player, and although chess sets are provided players are asked to bring their own chess clock.

While there are cash prizes for the top three finishers, the real winners will be Richmond’s youth chess players, said TC Ball, aka “Black Knight,” the founder of the West Coast Chess Alliance. Proceeds benefiting the Chess in Richmond’s Schools Program will help provide free chess sets and instructional material to local students, Ball said.

The West Coast Chess Alliance intends to sponsor several chess events this year, Ball said. The nonprofit, community-based chess advocacy group is sponsored by The Ed Fund and is an official affiliate of the United States Chess Federation.

The McKinely Williams /John Easterling