Hello everyone. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have suspended all chess club activities. The club meetings have many things working against us that prevent a safe and healthy environment including:
- Large numbers of kids in the same small room (library). The CDC still recommends ten or less people in the same space which we could never accomplish. We could hold meetings outside, with each chess board spaced out enough, but see the next item.
- Two players sitting less than 2 feet from each other hovering over a chess board. It is hard to play a game of chess without being very close to the other player. We could require all players to wear masks, but see the next item.
- Each player has to physically touch their chess pieces and the pieces they capture that have been touched by the other player. We could have the kids wear gloves and disinfect all the pieces before and after each game.
If we tried to implement the above measures to conduct a safe chess club meeting, it would look like this: We would setup outside perhaps behind the school on the concrete steps near the playground. All players and parents wearing masks and gloves, with parents who’s job would be to disinfect all chess pieces prior to each chess game and monitor the kid’s behavior to make sure no one violates our safety rules. Being outside would most likely cause a lot of distractions that are not conducive to focused game play.
So, I listed out the top three reasons we can’t provide a safe environment for the kids. While there are options we could employ to help reduce the risk of transmission, it just doesn’t make sense right now to try to force chess club meetings.
Another issue is that the school and the district probably would not approve any club meetings on campus anyway. All of the local chess tournaments have these same problems and that is why they have cancelled and not planned any new tournaments.
Our only option right now is to use online chess tools. The kids have their chesskid accounts from last year and while our annual membership has expired, we could consider renewing it, but we first need to know how many kids would actually use it to justify the high cost of the annual membership. I know with most kids participating in online school, adding another online activity might not make sense for many families. This of course doesn’t stop you from using your Chesskid account to play online games against other kids. The lapse in our Chesskid memberrship just reduces your access to the training videos they provide.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email me
Chris Jones firstname.lastname@example.org