Mattias Anderton (left) learns the game of chess in a matchup with Quesnel mentor Kirk Morgan. (Karen Powell photo)

Mattias Anderton (left) learns the game of chess in a matchup with Quesnel mentor Kirk Morgan. (Karen Powell photo)

The tactics of starting up a Quesnel chess club

Kirk Morgan working on the Quesnel Chess Nuggets’ next move

Kirk Morgan is trying to take the black and white game and add a little gold. He is the leader of the Quesnel Chess Nuggets, an upstart group of players who are trying to check in with some new mates at the chess board. They are also sometimes just called Quesnel Chess.

“I am trying to establish a permanent city-wide chess club here in Quesnel,” Morgan said. “My background in chess includes playing chess 40-plus years, organizing and teaching chess in many schools (Grade 4 through Grade 12), organized several adult chess clubs, and I have played in many rated tournament chess competitions. I love the game and I believe there are many long-term life benefits in learning to play the game well.”

Morgan said he plays for fun as his first priority, and when he can, he finds opportunities to play competitively. That’s what he’d like to see for more Quesnel players. The more people he can expose to the fun of the game will lead to more who will try to push it into more competitive directions.

To do that, according to the moves he’s making in his imagination, Quesnel needs an inter-generational chess club, so veterans and newcomers, novices and experts, can all learn together and inspire one another.

“This club is open to everyone of all skill levels and we play in safe locations,” he said. In the winter, much of their activity is at the library. In the warmer months they are at K-Pax Games & Videos (there are meetings there every Thursday at 6:45 p.m.) and anyone is welcome to show up and make introductions.

Morgan said the club obtained some funding from Small Community Grants BC and were able to invest it in some common equipment.

“Quesnel Chess Nuggets now owns 10 regulation chess sets and five regulation chess clocks. In the future we will play some rated tournaments. I look forward to meeting new chess players in person,” he said.

The group has a Facebook page where anyone can leave a message and investigate a little further into the presence of chess in the area.

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