Residents encouraged to participate in free community chess tournament


An annual Richmond community chess tournament is set to take place Saturday, Jan. 28 — now it’s your move to register for the free competition.

The 6th Annual McKinley Williams/John Easterling Community Chess Tournament is scheduled to take place at the Richmond Recreation Complex, 3230 Macdonald Ave. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. with chess rounds occurring at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The tournament, held in Quad format, is sponsored by the West Coast Chess Alliance and the City of Richmond Community Service Department. It honors contributions to local chess made by McKinley Williams, former president emeritus of Contra Costa College, and the late John Easterling, who both promoted chess in the city.

Williams created the concept of a community chess tournament while he was president at Contra Costa College.

“Mr. Williams has been very supportive of chess initiatives in Richmond, because he understands the educational impact and benefits of the game on young minds,” said TC Ball, tournament director and head of the West Coast Chess Alliance.

Easterling, a youth mentor in Richmond and throughout the Bay Area, taught chess to thousands of Richmond youth for years on a weekly basis. In 1997, he started Family Chess Night, Ball said.

Efforts by individuals like Williams and Easterling have helped to bring the community’s families together for a fun and stimulating activity.

For more information and to register please visit the West Coast Chess Alliance website at: or

The McKinely Williams /John Easterling