Belfast Chess Club sharpens skills for state tourney

Relative of missing man lends support in his memory
Dec 11, 2012
Courtesy of: Russell Kahn Seated from left, Belfast Free Library Chess Club members Kirk Stillman, Henry Saggese, Joshua Chun and Ilianna Kahn (standing) participate in a round-robin chess practice at Ellsworth Elementary and Middle School Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Ellsworth — Members of the Belfast Free Library Chess Club have been busy stepping up their game in preparation for the state chess tournament this coming spring.

Last Tuesday, Dec. 4, some members of the club participated in a round-robin chess practice at Ellsworth Elementary and Middle School, which included students in grades K-8.  Other schools that participated in the exhibition matches were Ellsworth, Bucksport, Deer Isle-Stonington, Blue Hill and Bangor.

Team coach Russell Kahn said the Belfast players will be practicing through January and February to continue preparing for the state tournament at University of Maine in Orono, which is slated to take place in March.

In September, the club got a boost during a visit from Susan Alex, the stepmother of Jeremy Alex, who went missing in Northport in 2004. Susan Alex presented a check to help keep the chess club going at the library, and she presented each team member with a magnetic chess set. New members also received a beginner's chess book.

"The Jeremy Alex fund helps support groups that help remember the good choices Jeremy had made," stated Kahn, who noted that Jeremy Alex was known as an avid chess player.

The club meets every Monday night at the library on the third floor. Beginners meet from 5-6 p.m. and advanced players meet from 6-7 p.m. The club is free to all students, and new players are always welcome.

"This year we have fancy tie-dye shirts that the students made with our logo printed on it by Inner Sense Screen Printing from Searsport," said Kahn. "And the design on the back of the shirt was done by Dave Hurley."

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