Celebrating Chess at the 2015 Festival in the Park

The Roanoke Valley Chess Club's activities at the 2015 FESTIVAL IN THE PARK celebration were somewhat downsized from last year. Festival was held over the Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 23rd. The Chess Club once again convened at the bottom of the hill at street level in historic Elmwood Park. Elmwood Park is at the corner of Jefferson Street and Elm Avenue in downtown Roanoke.

The weather this year at Festival was most cooperative. The sun wasn't too hot, the shade trees were 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 magazines all ready for action. All of this was due to the efforts of club President Mike Huff, Treasurer Ray Megginson, Vice-President Sam Kennedy, and Festival organizers and volunteers.

Three-time Virginia State Champion NM Russell Potter, who retired his popular Beat the Master simul after 35 years at Festival, dropped by to help with contact cards and game improvement. The Chess Club itself played the starring role this year, with club veterans Sam, Ray, Gary, and Mike-- with the able assistance of young Christian Dotson and Josh Lewis-- offering games to passersby and conducting simuls.

In 2015, the club members played newcomers to our chess festival. A number of 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. Seven new people were added to the club's e-mail contact list!

We want to thank all of the volunteers who helped make Festival 2015 a success: Sam Kennedy, Gary Myers, Ray Megginson, Rusty Potter, and Mike Huff. A SPECIAL thank-you goes to Mr. Gig Edwards and all the other fine folks of Roanoke Festival, Inc., who gave generously of their time and talents to ensure a great Festival!

We all enjoyed the food, the music and the watching of all of the pretty girls 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.

( Submitted by Mike Huff )