Bundaberg Chess Club is going from strength to strength with an intergenerational approach to upskilling future young chess masters.
The game of strategy has long been played in the Bundaberg Region and after a successful year, including the Bundaberg Chess Festival held in November, president Martin Cole said they were looking for new members.
“We are always looking for new members of any standard,” he said.
“Many of our regulars are in their 80s. I'm 70, and we have many juniors.
“We try to cater to the juniors in our monthly Kids Grand Prix on the last Sunday of the month from 9 am.
“This will commence in February and is run by John Harris a past Queensland champion.”
Martin thanked Bundaberg Regional Council for its support toward the local 2021 chess festival, which he said was the only open weekender held outside of southeast Queensland.
Micro Grant Program helps chess club with masterclass
Bundaberg Chess Club received a Council Mirco Grant of $1000 to assist with its masterclass.
Community Service portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said after the increased request for support last financial year, Bundaberg Regional Council’s community grants program had been bolstered to $100,000.
Cr McPhee said the Micro Grants Program, with a budget of $30,000, allowed not for profit organisations across the region to apply for up to $1000 in support.
“The Micro Grants Program provides financial assistance to community groups and associations that meet recognised community needs, as identified in Council's Community Development Strategy 2020 -2023 or Bundaberg Region Sport and Recreation Strategy,” Cr McPhee said.
Cr McPhee said last year the program had supported 24 local community groups for a range of projects from equipment purchases to events similar to Bundaberg Chess Club’s masterclass.
“Council has been able to assist groups such as Bundaberg Karting Club, Bundaberg Arts Festival and Isis District Horse and Pony Club Inc through its Micro Grant Program in the last financial year,” she said.
Martin said for the Bundaberg Chess Festival the assistance was invaluable as it gave the next generation of chess players a chance to see the possibilities firsthand.
“We have had great help from Bundaberg Regional Council and other sponsors,” Martin said.
“The Bundaberg Chess Festival started on Friday, 26 November with a day of teaching for local students by British Grandmaster Daniel Fernandez, which was funded by a grant from the Council.”
Martin said the open was contested over six rounds, with games lasting up to two-and-a-half hours.
“Thirty-two players did battle for the trophy including the visiting Grandmaster and two other Queensland International Masters,” he said.
“This was a very high-class field for a regional event.
“The tournament is run as a Swiss system with winners playing winners, and losers playing losers, in the subsequent rounds, so the field stratifies out to provide a clear winner.”
Bundaberg Chess Club members meet of a Wednesday from 6 pm in the U3A rooms at 80a Woongarra Street.
Find out more about the group via Facebook.