Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chess and a Booze Up

Sooner or later those regular weekend tournaments will tire you out. Same bunch of guys and stressful. One day the bell rings in your head and you realise, "Hec! I want out". If you've had enough of that scene or just want a little break from tournaments - then consider this.

A couple of years ago, avid chesser and entrepreneur Jelle Marechal (the name's Belgian), and who currently lives in Sydney, launched his venture, It's a site that basically connects people who want to organise and participate in many forms of social activities - from sailing, moonlight walks, lunches, touch rugby and, of course, play chess!

These days there is a group dedicated to our game, but with a little twist. Calling themselves the Social Chess Explorers of Sydney, the group explores and experiences the city via the chess board.

Jelle: "We play chess to inject a purpose into public parks, on beaches, pubs and streets. A pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors, discover new places, meet folks and have a chat. Chess is a social game. Our idea of a perfect activity is a couple of chess boards, a bottle of red or Belgian Trappist, a Miles Davis tune and a ray of sunshine."

Some past venues have included the Lord Dudley (Woollahra), Carrington Hotel (Surry Hills), Chelsea Bar (Chatswood) and Hyde Park.

I was curious about the demographics of these little chess get-togethers, so I asked. Jelle assures me that it's a "pretty" group, with a typically 50/50 split between men and women, ranging in age from 25 - 44. In fact, at that Lord Dudley do there were 8 girls and two boys. Well, I'm signing up!

The next chess-related event will be the Chezz, Jazz 'n Boozz, in Kings Cross. Details here. Note that does charge a subscription fee. Make sure that you check the terms and conditions.

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