Celebrating Chess at the 2013 Festival in the Park

Roanoke Valley Chess Club's activities at the 2013 FESTIVAL IN THE PARK CELEBRATION were once again, a big success. This year, Festival was held over the Memorial Day weekend on Reserve Ave. next to the site of the former Victory Stadium. All Festival activities were held here this year due to ongoing renovation construction taking place at the traditional Elmwood Park site. The club held its chess celebration under some nice shaded trees a couple of blocks from Carilion Hospital.

The weather this year was once again very dry - with hardly any clouds in sight ! The sun was mild and the chessplayers were mercifully NOT beset by bees, wasps or hornets as on some years in the past ! The wind however, was a different story. Several lusty gusts sent the officers scrambling for masking tape to tape down the edges of the boards. That did do the job !

Chess-playing visitors arrived to find well-organized tables, chairs, chess equipment and information brochures about the club. Six new chessplayers were signed up onto our free club events mailing list.

As he has for most of the last 35 years, 3-time Virginia State Champion NM Russell Potter held two simultaneous exhibitions in our annual 'Beat the Master' contest. "Rusty" posted a commanding score of 22 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses out of 25 games. An excellent score, but our local Master complained about his bad play. "I'm playing like an old man or something" the 64-year old veteran champ said.

The winners of prizes are listed at the bottom of this report.

The Officers present included club President Mike Huff, Board Chairman Potter and Vice-Presidents Ray Megginson and C.T. Morgan. Mike once again performed yeoman service, setting up most of the chess boards, sets, clocks, large club banner and misc. equipment by himself before being joined by the other officers.

Rusty brought and set up easel displays with signs. He also brought ribbons and medals for the prize winners.

Ray and Rusty helped Mike to strike the set at the end of the day's events.

2013FestivalInThePark Mike kept track of the participants finishing time for the Beat The Master contest.

A solid blues/rock band was starting to gear up when we left, but the quality of the music throughout the day was somewhat, um, VARIABLE. Sing-song country ballads alternated with ear-drum splitting rock. Chessplayers like to reflect on things, and a large number of them have a well-developed sense of irony. In light of that, probably the high point of the day was when one particular ALMOST on key rendition of Linda Ronstadt's "You're no good, Baby you're no good" crawled across an unforgiving speaker. Folks at the chess tables grinned, nodded and broke out into polite, spontaneous applause...

In sum total however, we all enjoyed the food, some of the music and all of the pretty girls in shorts that walked by !

And oh yeah, we also really liked the full day of 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 by Mike Huff. )

WINNERS of Prizes at the Festival in the Park Exhibition :

2:00 pm EXHIBITION :
4th Toughest To Beat : Frank Myers.
3rd Toughest To Beat : Chuck Ross.
2nd Toughest To Beat : Lynell Franklin.
Toughest To Beat : Josh Lewis.

Special Silver Medal Winner Prize : 'I Drew The Master' : Wally Lewis.

4:30 pm EXHIBITION :
3rd Toughest To Beat : Jacob Campbell.
2nd Toughest To Beat : Chase Sweeney.
Toughest To Beat : Takeo Akagi.

Special Gold Medal Winner Prize : 'I Beat The Master' : Mark Tenzer.
Special Gold Medal Winner Prize : 'I Beat The Master' : Ray Megginson.