Chess Tournament in Richmond

By Will Delaney The 2nd Annual McKinley Williams and John Easterling Community Chess Tournament was held recently at the Richmond Recreation facility on MacDonald Avenue. The Dec. 8 tournament was sponsored by the City of Richmond, Contra Costa College and the West Coast Chess Alliance (WCCA).  Coordinators were Trendell Ball, Gerl Jenkins and Will Delaney. The event was named after McKinley Williams, retired president of Contra Costa College, and the late John Easterling. Williams, an ardent supporter of chess, was instrumental in bringing Maurice Ashley, the first African American Grand Chess master, to the college, and encouraged chess as a learning tool to improve academic skills of students. Easterling was a moving force in the East Bay chess community for many years before his passing.  He taught the game to new enthusiasts and was responsible for keeping chess alive in this area. Over 40 participants enjoyed the 4-quad format.  Players were grouped at tables of 4 players who played each of their tablemates. Players ranged from 6 years old to 76. Some of the participants were novices, while one was a United Chess Federation player, who holds a 1900 ranking. Congressman George Miller attended the event. For more information contact Trendell Ball at (510)439-6311 or tcb_ball@yahoo.com.
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