Checkmate, all Saturday long at Beach festival

ChessDay

Get your king and queen ready: Virginia Beach will mark National Chess Day today with an outdoor tournament and exhibition at the Fountain Plaza in Town Center.

The Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club and the Hampton Roads Chess Club are sponsoring the festival, now in its second year in Virginia Beach.

Players of all skill levels are welcome. Events run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., culminating in a simultaneous exhibition in which one or two Virginia chess champions will play as many as 20 players at one time.

Christina Schweiss, director of the Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club, said there will be tents to cover players if it rains.

“We like having it outside so people that are just walking by can be like, ‘Hey, what’s this?’ ” Schweiss said.

The action is free to watch, and there will be free lessons throughout the day. Schweiss said about 60 players had registered as of Friday.

Players are grouped by age and experience, allowing beginners to face off against other beginners. The champion chess player exhibition will feature National Master Dan Miller of Virginia Beach.

Entering the tournament costs $10. Participating in the exhibition costs $5. Learn more at www.vschess.org.

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