NCA has celebrated its first 100 years with the first ‘Chessfest’, an open-air event held in Nottingham’s Trinity Square – and all involved agree it was a tremendous success. An estimated 500 people visited the event during the 6 hours that we took over the Square, including lots of enthusiastic children, parents and many passers-by who stopped for a game or three.
Stuart, the foreman in charge of erecting the marquees, was predicting at 7.30 in the morning that we might see “four seasons in one day”. While we didn’t have any snow, there were variations of wind, rain and sunshine, but Caissa the chess goddess must have been smiling on our efforts, since the weather proved no more than an occasional nuisance. Marquees provided shelter against the showers and were also used as spaces for informal coaching sessions and a perpetual running simultaneous display. IM Andrew Martin, our invited compere, took on some of the simul challengers but was supported in this for much of the day by local ‘Notts masters’ – as we advertised them to all-comers.
The financial support from both NCA and Notts Chess foundation meant we were able to acquire a giant chess set – popular throughout the day – and equipment to allow projection of challenge games onto a large screen for the sizeable spectating crowd to follow, complete with commentary from Andrew Martin. We have also had extra financial support via a crowdfunding page. It is not too late even now to show appreciation by making a modest contribution at:
Chessfest could not have happened without the voluntary support and help of many chess players from various clubs around the County. Huge thanks are due to all who gave up their time to make it such a big success. Too many to name but you know who you are!
So, how about Chessfest 2024?…