Tournament planned in front of city hall
By Angie Landsverk
The lawn in front of Waupaca’s city hall and library will be the site of the first Waupaca Commuinty Chess Tournament.
The free event will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16.
“The purpose of being outside is to build awareness,” said Andrew Whitman, the city’s recreation program supervisor.
Tables will be set up on the lawn. If it rains, the tournament will move to the library’s lower level meeting rooms.
All skill levels are welcome to be a part of the non-rated chess tournament, said Christa Hemmila, who works with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to offer various chess programs at the rec center.
Tournament participants are asked to bring their own boards and chess pieces, if they have them, she said.
Those interested in participating in the tournament may email Tim Hiddemen at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for it.
“Make sure you sign up ahead of time, so they can set it up on the computer ahead of time,” Whitman said.
Hemmila said those who do not sign up in advance may arrive downtown by 5:30 p.m. on the day of tournament to sign up and be paired with another chess player.
Hiddemen, who is the coach of the Waupaca High School Chess Team, is also the contact for those who have questions about the Aug. 16 tournament.
The idea behind the community chess tournament is to hold an event which merges the program for students with the program for adults while also bringing awareness about the various chess programs offered in Waupaca, Hemmila said.
“We would like to get people from the community who are interested in playing chess involved, those who are maybe not aware of the various chess programs in the community,” she said.
Chess programs for children are offered throughout the year at the rec center. That started about two years ago.
Last April, an adult chess group began meeting at the rec center at 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays.
Hemmila’s three children play chess.
She approached the city’s Parks and Recreation Department about offering chess programs there for children.
“The chess club was interested in building awareness. They wanted to build a stronger base and more chess programs, so I approached the Rec about getting more chess programs going in the community,” Hemmila said. “There was a high school club but nothing for children or adults.”
She said chess has been shown to help with the patience of students.
Children who play the game also become more confident and learn problem solving and critical thinking skills, as well as how to work with others, Hemmila said.
Those who have questions about the ongoing chess programs offered at the rec center may contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 715-258-4435.
The organizers of the Waupaca Community Chess Tournament hope to see a large turnout.
“We invite everybody to attend,” Hemmila said. “We just want to stress that it’s open to everyone, and we want to make it an annual community event.”