Chess supporter sets the table on public displays of addiction

Friday, August 18, 2006
Julie E. Washington
Plain Dealer Reporter

If more Cleveland school kids know their rook from their pawn, thank Mike Joelson.
He’s president of Chess for Success, a nonprofit organization based in Cleveland Heights that provides chess instructors for more than 35 schools.

Northeast Ohio offers several places for aficionados to gather. Joelson explains why a public game is different from playing in your den.

Q: What is the etiquette of a public chess game?

A: Often times, you can go up to a game and ask if it’s OK if you have the winner. Also, sometimes these games are conducted with a chess timer, so they go fairly quickly. A standard speed chess period of time is five minutes per side.

Q: Do you ever ask for the loser?

A: (Laughs) That’s not standard!

Q: Are there any places around town where someone could find players to play with?

A: Sure, there are a number of places that you can go. Here are a few:

Eton, Chagrin Boulevard, near Barnes & Noble, 28601 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere. Outdoor chess tables from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Edgewater Park, most evenings, bring your own board.
Dewey’s Coffee House, 13201 Shaker Square, Cleveland. Most days 6-10:30 p.m.
Crocker Park, 25 Main St., Westlake. Outdoor chess tables, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Lakewood Chess Club, Lakewood Senior Center, 16024 Madison Ave., Lakewood. 7-10 p.m. Thursday.

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