Celebrating Chess at the 2010 Festival in the Park

NM Russell Potter gets tagged for a draw

Roanoke Valley Chess Club's activities at the 2010 FESTIVAL IN THE PARK CELEBRATION were once again, a big success this year. This year, Festival was held over the Memorial Day weekend. As always, the Chess Club was featured at the top of the picturesque hill in historic Elmwood Park. Elmwood Park is at the corner of Jefferson Street and Elm Ave. in downtown Roanoke.

The weather this year was probably the BEST that we have had for Festival in YEARS. The sun wasn't too hot, the shade tree was cool and leafy, there were no bees, there was no big wind and there was NO RAIN !!

Attendees arrived to find a well-organized presentation with tables, chairs, chess equipment and information brochures all ready for action.

On Saturday, May 29th, the club held a Chess All Day exhibition, with veteran club members playing newcomers at the Park. Many tips on game improvement were passed out to several hundred Festival passers-by who saw the chess sets and boards. Many visitors stopped by for more information about the club, and local chess in the area. Lots of club cards with contact information were handed out. Twelve new people were added to the club's e-mail contact list !

Three-time Virginia State Champion NM Russell Potter held two simultaneous exhibitions to see if anyone out there would "Beat the Master". "Rusty" has been doing these at the Park for about 30 years ! He did NOT win ALL of his games this year however, since he got tagged for a draw by Lynchburg College Chess Club President Hunter Harlow. Congratulations Hunter !

We want to thank all of the volunteers who made this possible: Vice President Richard White and club regular Ray Diaz did the bulk of the work by picking up, then transporting, then setting up, then breaking down, then transporting, then storing 5 of the 6 tables and ALL of the folding chairs !

Richard gets special kudos for wrangling a big U-Haul truck filled with LOTS of club equipment from 8 am until 9 pm !!

Rusty Potter brought a display table, set up easel displays with printed matter, and brought ribbons and medals for the prize winners. Richard White kept track of the participants finishing time for the Beat The Master contest while managing to play probably the best chess of the day among the players !

Special thanks to NM Russell Potter for publicizing and playing in, the two Beat The Master contests.

Thanks a bundle guys; all of you were terrific !!

We all enjoyed the food, the music, and the scenery. We also enjoyed watching all the pretty girls in shorts that walked by !

Oh yeah, we also really liked the all day, non-stop CHESS !!

This event is part of the Roanoke Valley Chess Club's ongoing commitment to promote chess in the region, and as always, is 100% FREE to the general public.

( Report submitted by Russell Potter with assistance from Richard White. )