Tag Archives: Ted Winick

Chess sets for South Africa!

Chess in the Triangle of Hope

The Leacock Foundation’s Triangle of Hope connects an independent school in Toronto with a high-needs school in Toronto and with a high-needs school in Eastern Cape, South Africa.

When students at Branksome Hall were leaving for a visit to their partner school in Queenstown, South Africa, they became aware of a need for chess sets. So the Leacock Foundation reached out to Annex Chess Club.

Partnering with the Chess Institute of Canada, who already provides chess programming in schools in some of Toronto’s “priority” neighborhoods, we were pleased to be able to provide a number of standard tournament sets with vinyl boards.

Ted Winick, our founder and currently the Chair of our Board, who is also the President of CIC, took the lead on the initiative.

Here are the chess coaches at Get Ahead Project School, Queenstown, with their new sets in hand.

chess sets to south africa

Thanks to the Leacock Foundation for giving us the opportunity to help support chess in South Africa.

four square shadow

UPDATE (May 26): It was wonderful to receive the following letter this week from the Leacock Foundation.

Thank you from Queenstown SA

Dear Mr. Winick and the Annex Chess Club,

Thank you so much for your generous donation of chess sets to the Get Ahead Project school in Queenstown, South Africa. Located on the Eastern Cape, South Africa’s poorest province, the Get Ahead Project spans three campuses and hosts over 1400 students from grade primary to matric. The Leacock Foundation provides funding and support for the Get Ahead Project schools, knowing that education provides youth a route out of poverty and a chance to be empowered in shaping a community.

This year at Get Ahead, two teachers, Mr. Simon and Mr. Zata established a Chess Club for students to participate in after school. Students from grades 8 to 12 have joined the club and meet regularly to learn and play chess. Although we weren’t there to see their reactions when they received the chess sets, we’ve been told by our South African colleagues both Chess Club instructors were absolutely thrilled and incredibly grateful. Both Mr. Simon and Mr. Zata are passionate about chess and recognize the importance of teaching it as a tool for problem solving, teamwork, and math literacy.

Moving forward, our Toronto Program Director Pat, will continue the conversation with Leacock’s Triangle of Hope partner schools here in Toronto about possibly initiating some after-school chess programming for next fall. She will keep you updated and let you know if a school becomes interested in getting involved.

Thanks again, Mr. Winick. Your thoughtful generosity is truly appreciated. We look forward to staying in touch and expanding the scope of chess education both here and in South Africa.

Sincerely,

Kristine Gaston
Executive Director

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Harmony’s Story on CBC

Harmony’s on TV this weekend!

CBC’s Our Toronto features our own eight-year-old phenom, Harmony Zhu!

Harmony Zhu CYCC 2013

The segment aired on CBC TV Sunday February 9 at 5:00 pm, but is now posted online.

Harmony gave a chess interview, filmed on location at Annex Chess Club – just before her game against Jonathan Yu – and a piano performance, filmed at the Royal Conservatory of Music. (Jonathan Yu and Ted Winick also appear in the video.)

“We’re going to introduce you to a young girl from Richmond Hill … who has the world at her fingertips. Her name is Harmony Zhu. Debbie Lightle-Quan discovered – she’s full of potential and surprise.”

our toronto

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Ted Winick and the Capablanca Chess Club

On Sunday December 30, 2013 – just last week! – Ted Winick visited the famous Capablanca Chess Club in Havana, Cuba.

Capablanca Chess Club, Havana Cuba Dec. 30, 2013

Ted played one game with a local resident…

Ted Winick plays chess at Capablanca Chess Club Havana Cuba, Dec. 30, 2013

Ted informs us that he won the game in an unceremonious rook-and-pawn ending. (He didn’t record the game, so we cannot verify his claim.)

Ted advises us further that he was immediately challenged by a Mexican FM, but declined – claiming pressing business commitments. (Remember this was Sunday afternoon in Havana after all…!?)

On further questioning it seems this was the only game Ted played during his 11 days in Cuba and he preferred to depart from the Capablanca Club (and from Cuba) undefeated.

trophy cabinet at Capablanca Chess Club, Havana Cuba

Descriptions from the Capablanca Chess Club trophy cabinet:

Trofeo otorgado a Juan Corzo en al año 1902 por haber obtenido el titulo de Campeón del Torneo de Ajedrez de la Isla de Cuba, donado para el torneo por el entonces Presidente del Club de Ajedrez de La Habana, Don Aristides.

(Trophy awarded to Juan Corzo in the year 1902 for winning the title of Champion of the Chess Tournament of the Island of Cuba, donated to the tournament by the then President of the Havana Chess Club , Don Aristides.)

Prototipo de la pieza de ajedrez que se encuentra sobre la tumba de José Raúl Capabalanca, obra del escultor Florencio Gelabert, colocada alli en 1988.

(Prototype of the chess piece that is on the grave of José Raúl Capabalanca, the work of sculptor Florencio Gelabert, placed there in 1988.)

Mascarilla de Capablanca, obra del artista Florencio Gelabert, realizada en el salón Marti del Capitolio Nacional, donde estuvo expuesto su cadaver hasta trasladarlo al Cementerio de Colón.

(Mask of Capablanca by the artist Florencio Gelabert, made in Marti Hall in the National Capitol Building, where Capablanca’s body was received before it was transferred to the Colón Cemetery.)

Trofeo otorgado a Capablanca por su éxito en el Torneo de Grandes Maestros, celebrado en New York 1927. Pieza entregada por “Agua mineral La Cotorra”.

(Trophy awarded to Capablanca for his success in the Grandmasters’ Tournament held in New York 1927. It was donated by “La Cotorra” – The Parrot – mineral water.)

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ACC Membership Survey

We want to hear from you!

On October 31, we squeezed a mini-AGM into our normal chess lecture slot. ACC Executive members Ted Winick, Hugh Siddeley, Marcus Wilker, and Adie Todd (Yakos Spiliotopoulos was busy teaching) briefly reported on our respective areas of responsibility (finances, tournaments, communications, and membership) and introduced the issues we are addressing as we move into year two. We are inviting member feedback on our initiatives and on the state of our club generally. In order to make the AGM as short and sweet as it was, and to accommodate as many members as possible, we are hoping to hear back from you through our survey.

Survey forms were available at the club, and could be returned until the end of November.


Final Survey results

16 surveys completed by November 28

1. Support for strict 7:30 tournament start time: 9/13 = 69% (+ 3 indifferent)

2. Interest in playing at ACC two days per week: 8/15 = 53%

2b. Suggestions for second day, if interested:

  • Tuesday: 2/6 = 33%
  • Wednesday: 3/6 = 50%
  • Thursday: 3/6 = 50%
  • Saturday: 1/6 = 17%

3. Support for outsourcing and publishing all ACC games: 5/13 = 38% (+ 2 indifferent)

4. Support for rigid minimum ratings in sections: 7/13 = 54% (+ 1 indifferent)

5. Satisfaction with current time controls: 12/15 = 80%

5b. Other suggestions for time controls:

  • 40/2 SD/1: 1/4 = 25%
  • increment for all: 2/4 = 50%
  • faster – e.g., SD/1 +30s: 1/4 = 25%

6. Importance of lectures, out of 10: 91/15 = 6.1/10

6b. Interest in giving lectures: 8/15 = 53%

7. Frequency of checking the website:

  • daily: 4/15 = 27%
  • few times a week: 3/15 = 20%
  • weekly: 6/15 = 40%
  • rarely: 2/15 = 13%

8a. Favourite content on the website:

  • results: 4/11 = 36%
  • news: 3/11 = 27%
  • all aspects generally: 3/11 = 27%
  • events: 3/11 = 27%
  • visuals: 1/11 = 9%
  • lecture notes: 1/11 = 9%
  • selected games: 1/11 = 9%
  • frequent updates: 1/11 = 9%

8b. Least favourite content on the website:

  • club: 1/2 = 50%
  • none: 1/2 = 50%

9. Interest in submitting articles for the website: 9/14 = 64%

10. Interest in volunteering with the club: 6/14 = 43% (+ 1 possible)

11a. Other compliments:

  • atmosphere, community feeling, friendly people: 6/9 = 75%
  • well-organized, good organizers: 3/9 = 33%
  • club in general: 2/9 = 22%
  • website: 2/9 = 22%
  • convenient scheduling: 1/9 = 11%
  • beautiful hall: 1/9 = 11%

11b. Other criticisms:

  • too cold: 1/4 = 25%
  • shush loud voices: 1/4 = 25%
  • middle section should be 1500-1799: 1/4 = 25%
  • weekend ACC tournaments too expensive: 1/4 = 25%

11c. Other suggestions:

  • more blitz tournaments: 1/4 = 25%
  • attract stronger players: 1/4 = 25%
  • facilitate post-mortem analysis: 1/4 = 25%
  • advanced course by a GM: 1/4 = 25%
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Chess is Awesome

Why play chess? Why teach chess? Why sponsor chess? Watch the 90 second video Chess is Awesome starring Ted Winick, President, Chess Institute of Canada; and friends Theadora, Joseph and Mary.

Executive Producer and Script: Ted Winick; Consultant: David Cohen; Director of Photography: Carlos Esteves. Copyright 2011 by Chess Institute of Canada.

The World Premiere was at the Annex Chess Club, Toronto, Canada, on Monday, February 14, 2011.

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