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New boards empowering young Springfield Chess masters

Cr Jonic and Cr Ireland with Springfield Ipswich Chess Club President Eduardo Cubilla.

The next generation of chess masters have taught Ipswich Councillors a few new moves as the Springfield Ipswich Chess Club held its first tournament on new boards provided by a $2,890 Ipswich City Council community grant.

The club has been working in partnership with the Springfield Lakes YMCA to facilitate the YMCA Junior Chess Club as part of an ‘Empowering Young People through Chess’ school holiday program.

Opening Wednesday’s tournament, and a passionate supporter of the club since its formation in 2018, Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland said it was great to see players of all ages coming together for some entertaining and competitive games.

“From small beginnings at Orion Shopping Centre, it is heartwarming to see the group become the only Chess Association of Queensland in the area and welcome anyone who wants to learn and challenge themselves,” Cr Ireland said.

“The club is doing a fantastic job engaging and teaching chess to young people, with a couple players already competing in tournaments across South East Queensland.”

Deputy Mayor Nicole Jonic said she was impressed and humbled by the skills and ingenuity of the young players christening the 20 chess boards, sets and clocks.

“Chess is a fun game in a family-friendly environment, and there are also reports it has cognitive benefits such as improving memory, concentration, focus and developing problem solving skills,” Cr Jonic said.

“I lost pretty convincingly, but I did so with dignity and grace. Look out for these future grandmasters!”

Major and Minor Funding Program

Through the Major and Minor Funding Program, Council supports Ipswich organisations to deliver one-off projects, events and activities for the benefit of the Ipswich community.

Groups can apply for up to $15,000 in support across four funding rounds per year.

To find out more, including an overview of eligibility criteria, follow this link.

President of the Springfield Ipswich Chess Club and volunteer with the Springfield Lakes YMCA Eduardo Cubilla said the junior players were very excited be the first to play on the new boards.

“The equipment we have been using was on loan from the Redcliffe Chess Club so that I could start the club. Once the club was running, we could not generate enough money to buy our own equipment,” Mr Cubilla said.

“It was fundamental to have enough equipment to run the school holidays activities, so I started trying to find sponsors or donors and somebody mentioned the Ipswich City Council has community funds programs. We applied and were lucky to get that support from Council.

“I would like to acknowledge Councillor Ireland for her help three years ago to start the club, Ipswich City Council and the Springfield Lakes YMCA Community Centre as their support is what helped the club form and continue today.

Now that the Club has permanent equipment, Mr Cubilla hopes his players can inspire the whole community to learn the game and compete against the best in the country.

“I would like to see the City of Ipswich becoming the chess capital of Australia.  That means to have the most titled chess players per capita in Australia.”

The Springfield Ipswich Chess Club welcomes all new members and plays on Wednesdays at the Springfield Lakes YMCA Community Centre.

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