Monday, October 15, 2012

Mail from USCF Executive Director Bill Hall

Just found the following in my inbox.  For those of you who aren't USCF members, it's a great time to join


USCF Online Newsletter October 2012 - A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Fellow USCF Member,


Over the years I have had many conversations with chess players talking about what it takes to grow chess in the United States. While chess is played casually by millions, one of the biggest obstacles has been making the competitive sport more broadly known as well as promoting the many societal benefits of the game. Well there are some significant tools to help change this perception and USCF is trying to support each of these endeavors plus a few more we'll be telling you about soon.

First up is a new book from Scribner released this past week, The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster. This is a moving story by sports writer Tim Crothers of a young girl in the slums of Uganda who learns chess and finds it a tool that helps her dream of, and achieve, grand successes beyond the subsistence life she has known. This is a book for chess players to give to their friends and family members and to encourage everyone to read, especially young women. Look for coverage in November's Chess Life.

Getting more players introduced to and active in chess starts in our nation's schools. The new Harcourt book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by noted education writer Paul Tough puts school chess into the broader discussion of character education being just as important for success as high test scores. Many educators are already reading this book; if you want to keep current in what the discussion is, we recommend picking this up, reading it and making sure it is in the hands of every influencer in education you know.

Finally, the most important tool is the film Brooklyn Castle as many folks are more engaged by seeing than reading about something. As you probably already know, Brooklyn Castle follows the successes and challenges of IS 318 in Brooklyn, NY, the most successful middle school chess team in the nation. While working to excel at the chess board, the students and teachers face another major hurdle as cutbacks to after school programs threaten the very existence of their program. It's an inspiring story of what it takes to be a champion, on the chess board, and in life.

Brooklyn Castle is a major resource for the chess community and we urge you to support it; go see the film when it comes to your city (Opens in New York followed by Los Angeles and then many other cities during November). Bring a group. Brooklyn Castle shows the many faces of chess in our schools, shows the importance of tournament play and demonstrates why chess deserves funding. If you are an educator, a parent or a player, there is something for everyone in this film.

Its first screenings begin this weekend in New York City where the USCF has made arrangements for a chess community Sneak Peek screening the night before the film opens to the general public. This screening will take place THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18 AT 7 PM at The Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York 10023. Click Here to get your tickets or paste this link into your browser:

Organized chess in America is a fairly small community. We need to demonstrate that we are small but powerful if we truly want to grow. It's great to buy the latest chess book or magazine, but supporting those projects that make chess real to the broad community will be the way we get greater media, corporate and education system support for our sport.

Thank you once again for your time to read this and for your participation in USCF.

Bill Hall Signature.jpg

Bill Hall, Executive Director

P.S. To view the October issue of Chess Life online, click here.
Or you can download the October issue of Chess Life here.
To view the October issue of Chess Life for Kids online, click here.
Or you can download the October issue of Chess Life for Kids here.

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