Richmond chess tournament draws significant multigenerational crowd

'Chess Play Zones' expand access to game
Photo courtesy of the West Coast Chess Alliance (WCCA).

By Kathy Chouteau

More than 120 chess players came out to the Richmond Recreation Complex Sat., March 11 for the 10th Annual Williams-Easterling Community Chess Tournament, according to “the Black Knight of Richmond,” TC Ball of the West Coast Chess Alliance (WCCA).

The WCCA hosted the free event along with the City of Richmond’s Community Services/Recreation Department.

The chess tournament, which was open to people of all ages, had a Quad format, “with four players per table playing three games—a round robin—to determine a Quad winner,” said Ball. He added that each Quad winner received a trophy, while youth participants received a chess medal.

Ball said that the recent tournament was unique because it featured “both rated and non-rated sections and included scholastic sections.” He underscored that non-rated or causal chess players don’t often receive an opportunity to compete in competitive tournaments.

The WCCA rep credited the City of Richmond for generating “a lot of goodwill in the chess community,” with the diverse tournament representing every demographic in terms of age, race, gender and rated/non-rated chess players. He said a hidden gem in chess is that it “enhances diversity” and is a multigenerational, mentally stimulating game “that brings people from all walks of life together.”
Ball said that the “largest chess tournament in the history of Richmond” was a tremendous success, noting that the main question he received from chess players and parents was, “When will there be another tournament in Richmond?”

“The WCCA team would like to thank Tetteh Kesseh, Maurice Range and the entire staff at the Rec Complex for setting us up for a successful event,” said Ball.
Learn more about the West Coast Chess Alliance here.