First Annual ChessHelps Charity Tournament
August 16th, 2014
Thirteen and having just started high school at BASIS Chandler, it was time to do something with chess other than play it and that is how I decided to launch ChessHelps, a organization that helps through chess for various causes locally and globally and the tournament was a result of this idea.
Locally I decided to contribute a portion of the proceeds to BASIS Chandler's Annual Teacher Fund, a fund that enables the school to retain the best teachers. Globally I chose to give to Kiva.org, a micro-lending firm that gives small loans to individuals and groups all across the globe. Kiva collaborates with local organizations and monitors the loan and it is repayment plan and timeline and because it runs it a very tight ship, 98% of the loans are payed back on time and you can re-loan again, so it is truly a loan that keeps giving and giving.
Mrs. Terrell, the Principal of BASIS Chandler was kind enough to allow me to use the school premises to host the tournament. Michelle Martinez a long time friend of the family from Tucson helped me with the set up with the advance sign-ups through www.events4chess.com and promote the event. Martha Underwood, another of my family friend and Chess player helped with organizing the trophies and both of them came down from Tucson to help run the tournament and be the tournament directors.
Many of my our friends and family participated in the casual play section and several titled players and masters signed up and on 15th August, it was a pleasant surprise to see 130 players in the advance entries list. Now how did that happen? I decided not to play myself but help with the tournament set up, answering questions and helping out in general.
Thanks to everyone who came out and supported this tournament, by participating, by volunteering and by donating. I was able to raise close to $10,000.
|All set to go|
|Martha Underwood welcoming the players and giving instructions|
|Richard and GM Barcenilla|
|Open Section, Issac Martinez and Manu Reddy|
|Open Section, Joanna Liu and FM Pedram Atoufi|
|Unrated section, Rishi|
|Saru Aunty and my uncle Ravi taking care of the snack station.|