The chess tournament has been a staple of the Library’s children programming for more than a decade. The event began as a collaborative project between children’s librarian Katherine Habley and Steve Young.
“He was a local guy who loved chess and gave lessons to kids in town, plus was very active in chess tournaments around Iowa,” Habley says.
Habley says Young knew children in the area who loved to play chess, but had to travel long distances to participate in tournaments. Habley suggested that the Library be a central location for a tournament and a tradition was created.
“It’s a well-attended tournament,” Habley says. “We average about 65 kids each year.”
Young passed away on Feb. 5, 2012. The tournament continues in his honor, funded by the Steve Young Memorial Fund. The Library provides the space, publicity and refreshments.
“I didn’t really know in the early stages if this would become an annual event, but it is so popular that it became a no-brainer,” Habley says. “In fact, every year I am asked if I would do a second tournament each year!”
The chess tournament is a free event, available to students in third through sixth grades. Younger children may participate if they are a member of the United States Chess Federation.
Trophies will be awarded to the winners. All contestants will receive a ribbon.
Participants must sign-in at the registration table outside of Meeting Room A at the Library between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on November 9. Play begins at 1 p.m. with computerized pairings.
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