Many of our provinces are well underway with their regional chess challenges. Qualifiers from these regionals will compete in their provincial chess challenge to determine the champion for each of the twelve grades. These provincial champions will move forward as a team to represent their provinces at the Canadian Chess Challenge (CCC) on May 22-23, 2016 in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Lauri Lintott is one of the Organizers for the 2016 CCC. Here’s my interview with Lauri:
When is the Canadian Chess Challenge (CCC) scheduled to happen in Regina, SK? Tell us a bit on what we can expect from this major annual event.
Lauri: The Saskatchewan Scholastic Chess Association (SSCA) is hosting the CCC on May 22 & 23, 2016. We are hosting the CCC at the University of Regina in Regina SK - the capitol of Saskatchewan. We have booked the university residence and a room to hold the tournament in. The U of R residences are brand new and very nicely set up so we think kids and families will enjoy staying there. We are still working out other details, some of which will depend on whether or not we get some funding. We are planning to host a trip to the RCMP Museum Heritage Centre http://www.rcmphc.com
We are still working on finding sponsors etc. Narom Sing who was our treasurer up until she moved to Quebec this past summer is still volunteering her time to organize the fund raising for CCC in 2016. Our current treasurer, Xiangning (Simon) Li, is working on City of Regina funding. We have our fingers crossed for that one.
What is your background to chess and your connection with Chess'n Math?
Lauri: I have been involved with Chess’n Math since about 2010. My son played in his first CCC around that time, although I can’t remember the exact year his rating records have disappeared from the Chess and Math site.
Do you have your own children involved in chess?
Lauri: My son was involved in Scholastic Chess from Grade 4 - 12. His last participated in the CCC in Ottawa 2013 - the year he completed grade 12. He still plays chess with the Queen City Chess Club and plays the occasional CFC chess tournament.
How many years have you been involved with the Saskatchewan Chess Challenge and the CCC?
Lauri: I have been involved in Saskatchewan Scholastic Chess since my son was in grade 12. I served as president from 2011 - 2013. I have been hosting tournaments in Regina since 2011. Prior to that I regularly volunteered at various Saskatchewan Chess Tournaments.
Lauri’s son Zachary Lintott is on far left with the rest of the 2013 Team Saskatchewan
Why do you think it is important to support Chess'n Math's annual CCC?
Lauri: The CCC is a great event for kids who play chess in Canada. I think this event is particularly important for kids from provinces that don't have many chess opportunities because otherwise these kids might never get to play chess at a competitive level.
Knowing what you know now, would you have invested all the time and your family's time into chess, as much as you have done over the years? Why, and why do you feel chess is that important?
Lauri: Since I continue to invest my personal time in supporting kids chess in Saskatchewan, even though my son finished grade 12 two years ago, I obviously think it is important for kids to get a chance to play chess in Saskatchewan.
How can we find out more information on Saskatchewan Regional events, the Saskatchewan Chess Challenge, and the Canadian Chess Challenge?
Lauri: We maintain a blog at http://chesssask.blogspot.ca. We also have our Saskatchewan Scholastic Chess Association Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chess.sk/ and maintain an active email list.
Lauri: The Saskatchewan Scholastic Chess Association (SSCA) runs our program on a shoestring budget with only a very small number of dedicated volunteers each year. Our only income is tournaments, our average tournament has 15 - 20 kids attend, and we keep the price low to encourage more kids to come out. Taking on the Canadian Chess Challenge is a really big deal for us because we don't have money and we have very few volunteers.
Currently our tournaments are usually run by myself or Don MacKinnon. I taught myself how to run tournaments several years ago so that the kids in Regina (my son included) would have a chance to play locally. At that time it had been 2 or 3 years since we anyone had run a tournament in Regina. I'm not a strong chess player, most of the grade 3 kids can beat me. However, you don't have to be a good chess player to set up a tournament; you do however have to have someone around who knows tournament rules well enough to referee. Recently we have been teaming up with the local chess club, The Queen City Chess Club, they have been helping out with tournament referees.
Don MacKinnon, who lives in North Battleford, runs tournaments in Saskatoon and North Battleford. Don has been involved in SSCA for many more years then me, his son graduated from the program 4 or 5 years ago, yet he continues to invest his time.
Up until this year, we also had a great volunteer in Yorkton. Narom Sing ran two school chess clubs, one club outside school hours and she ran 4 or 5 tournaments a year. Sadly Narom recently moved to Quebec and we miss her greatly. She is still helping out with planning and organizing the chess challenge in 2016. We would not be attempting to host if she was not giving us a hand so a big shout out to Narom.
This blog entry was written by Victoria Jung-Doknjas. Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Please email: CMAChessBlog@gmail.com with your comments.
Next week’s blog entry: “Attacking the Castled King by National Master John Doknjas”