Gibson Memorial Library has a new addition to its programming in the form of a chess club.
The club’s inaugural meeting is 4 p.m. Thursday at the library.
“We want to raise our numbers of kids, youth, during the school year,” said Director David Hargrove. “We have a pretty good turnout for the summer reading program and such, but we’ve been doing our best to find new programming during the winter for kids.”
The club will meet at 4 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at the library. There is no age restriction, and several chess sets will be provided.
“This is an activity that includes people of all ages,” Hargrove said. “I’m hoping this will be a good opportunity to forge some inter-generational bonds and show that the library is a place where folks of all ages can make meaningful connections.”
While the word has been spread around the local schools and library, Hargrove said he hopes to see between 12 and 20 people in attendance.
“My hope is that we’ll have a good turnout for the inaugural meeting, but I am committed to hosting this activity for the long term because it’s dear to my heart and it’s something that the community can really benefit from in a number of ways,” Hargrove said.
Those wishing to participate do not have to sign up in advance. Six tournament-size chess sets, the same type grand master chess players use, have been purchased through the United States Chess Federation.
“If you see how the strategy has evolved over time, it gives you a more sophisticated understanding of the game and culture, in addition to becoming a stronger player,” Hargrove said. “It’s a great paraeducational activity. It teaches critical thinking, it teaches social skills. It teaches problem solving and it has a very rich history.”