This year has been a banner one for scholastic chess at Mechanics’ Institute (MI), despite most schools hosting classes remotely. So far, MI has organized two sponsored events, offering free participation to all students.
On Saturday, March 13th, MI hosted a special 5-round scholastic tournament sponsored by the Thompson Family Foundation (TFF), an organization started by the family of Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson. Since the tournament did not require US Chess Federation membership, there were participants from our programs as well as the greater Bay Area. Afterwards, we held an online chess arena with special guests from the TFF and MI's chess community, including Mychel Thompson, Adam Cheyer, co-founder of Siri, Inc., and Seth Tarver from TFF.
On Saturday, March 20th, MI held its annual signature free event -- the 2021 San Francisco Scholastic Chess Championship sponsored by the AO Dragge Foundation. This year's virtual tournament had 341 players, a significant increase over last year's 280 players. The 2021 event included both non-rated sections by grade level as well as US Chess Federation-rated sections by skill level. Players competed for individual and team awards, and students had the option to represent their schools or chess clubs.
Both of these events were live streamed via the MI Chess Club's Twitch channel, twitch.tv/mechanicschess, with commentary from Grandmasters and other celebrities. While all of these events were streamed live, students and parents can view the San Francisco Scholastic tournaments parts 1 and 2 on YouTube. If you missed the TFF special event, you can watch it here.
The game of chess has its own universal language -- bringing people together from many different cultures and communities. MI's Scholastic Chess Club takes great joy in bringing all children together to compete in organized games. Special thanks to the Thompson Family Foundation and the AO Dragge Foundation for their support of scholastic chess in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area!