Hear ye, hear ye...The Mockingbird Chess Club is back in session on January 15, 2019. Think chess is an outdated game? Think again! More than 25 million people are members of the popular website Chess.com, which allows members to play each other online. And that's just one website! Multiple studies have shown the benefits that playing chess has for developing one's logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Schools now sponsor chess clubs for UIL competitions. Plus, chess is just good plain fun.
If you are interested in learning how to play chess, improving your skills, or just hanging out with other chess players, stop by the Mockingbird Branch Library where we have a novelty chess board set up round-the-clock. This board features pieces designed to look like characters from the popular "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" movie, so there's an extra thrill when you capture your opponent's ship (rook) or swashbuckling pirate-queen. If you own a chess set, you're more than welcome to bring it along to take advantage of our multiple tables.
For the youngsters, we have an official chess club. The Mockingbird Chess Club meets on the first and third Tuesdays, 4pm-5pm, at Mockingbird Branch Library. This club is for youth ages 8-18, and includes snacks, brief chess lessons, and lots of fun. We strive to foster an environment of teamwork and good sportsmanship as we have fun learning and playing the classic game of chess. Our spring sessions start on January 15 at 4pm, so feel free to stop by the Mockingbird Branch for more information or call 325-437-7323. The chess club is open to all skill levels, so if you have any interest at all, come try it out.
In addition to our hands-on activities, we also have chess books of all kinds! Everything from traditional books on how to play chess, such as Win at Chess by Fred Reinfeld, to books on the history of the game, such as Birth of the Chess Queen: A History by Marilyn Yalom. Reinfeld's book introduces multiple chess problems and walks through the solutions. This is a common format for chess books, so readers can find one that matches their skill-level and interests with ease. Yalom weaves the history of chess, specifically the development of the chess-queen piece into the modern version of today, into a discussion of the historical rise in power of real-life queens. Anyone with interest in the history of chess or the medieval history of queens and politics will find Birth of the Chess Queen: A History to be a nice addition to their reading lists. Another good book on beginning chess is Chess for Children by Ted Nottingham, Bob Wade & Al Lawrence. Using the Lincolnshire system, the authors introduce each piece from pawn to king separately in practice sessions that demonstrate the piece's strengths and limitations. In the Pawn Game, for instance, players attempt to cross to the opposite side of the board using pawns only. Official terminology, including rank, file, and correct shorthand notation, is used throughout. Clear black-and-white photographs and drawings illustrate each move.
To find out more about the chess books offered by the Abilene Public Library, or about the Mockingbird Chess Club, please contact us at 325-437-7323, or explore our website and online catalog. We look forward to speaking with you soon!
Article Contributed by Susannah Barrington, Library Assistant I