Hundreds of Children to Participate in Virtual Ben Kallos Chess Challenge Tournament
NEW YORK, NY — On Saturday, March 28, over 200 New York City students are expected to participate in the Council Member Ben Kallos Chess Challenge. This annual Chess-in-the-Schools event will be held online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on daily activity in New York City.
In an effort to provide those young people with at-home learning and extracurricular activities, Chess in the Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering intellectual and social development among low-income young people through chess education, will hold the virtual chess tournament originally scheduled to take place at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in the Upper East Side.
"I love chess and I love computers, what better way to practice ‘social distancing’ than playing chess from home," said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to Debbie Eastburn, President, and CEO of Chess in the Schools, for teaching and inspiring students to play chess and for going the extra mile and teaming up chess24.com to give the children a platform to play online during these tough times. This online chess tournament will go a long way in helping keep children busy and doing something productive while they have to stay indoors. “
Kallos, a chess player and longtime advocate for chess in public school classrooms, made the tournament possible thanks to discretionary funding allocated to Chess in the Schools for fiscal year 2020. This tournament was originally scheduled to take place at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in the Upper East Side. Due to restrictions on crowd size and the need for social distancing, while our city addresses the COVID-19 pandemic; that tournament had to be indefinitely postponed. In consultation with Council Member Kallos’office, Chess in the Schools was able to develop a way to ensure that the over 200 hundred young people looking forward to the tournament would not be stopped by COVID-19.
"We have long believed that chess is an important part of a young person's education and life, providing lessons that go far beyond the chessboard," said Debbie Eastburn, President and CEO of Chess in the Schools. "Those lessons must not stop simply because coronavirus has fundamentally disrupted our lives, and we must work hard to ensure that these essential opportunities remain for our young people. We thank Council Member Kallos for supporting this tournament and our city's young people, and we are thrilled that the Council Member Ben Kallos Chess Tournament will continue virtually."
The tournament will begin at noon on Saturday, March 28th. Interested participants can register on Chess in the Schools tournament website, where they can select their section based upon ability level and USCF rating.
Each online tournament takes about three hours to complete.
About Chess in the Schools
Since 1986, Chess in the Schools has taught, inspired, and empowered more than 500,000 students in low-income New York City public schools. Through structured classroom, after-school, weekend, and summer programs, Chess in the Schools fosters the intellectual and social development of low-income youth through chess education.
For more information on Chess-in-the-Park, contact Shaun Smith at email@example.com or 646-688-0725. For more information about Chess in the Schools, contact Debbie Eastburn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-688-0726.
About Council Member Ben Kallos
New York City Council Member Ben Kallos was praised by the New York Times for his “fresh ideas” and elected in 2013 to represent the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem along with all 8.6 million New Yorkers in the New York City Council. During the 2014-2017 session as Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee, he sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government. As Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus he has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development, and transportation improvements and safety. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions from 2017 through 2019 he focused on preserving and building more than 7,000 affordable homes overseeing every deal made by the City to ensure New Yorkers are actually getting the affordable housing they need. Currently, as Chair of the Committee on Contracts, he brings the same scrutiny and tenacity to oversee procurement policies and procedures, government and collection agency contracts, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the Procurement Policy Board. His office is open and transparent, with constituents invited to decide on how to spend one million dollars on local projects in the district as well as to join him in a conversation on the First Friday of each month, or he will go to them for “Ben In Your Building.” For more, visit Benkallos.com.