The organizers recognize the challenges presented by COVID-19 and are implementing precautionary measures to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 among players and guest at the tournament. Details can be found on the event website.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
NOTE: I still do not have any information about when and how Weibel Chess will reopen. Kwee Kuntjara, who heads the Weibel Chess Committee, will inform you as soon as they have some information.
Chess is Forever,
Alan Kirshner, Ph.D.
Weibel Chess Director Emeritus
Thursday, March 11, 2021
TO MEMBERS OF WEIBEL CHESS 2019-2020 AND OTHER POSSIBLY INTERESTED PARTIES:
I hope all of you are doing well. I know it has a been a rough year for all of us. I closed Weibel Chess on Friday, March 13th last year. The Fremont schools closed a day later, I believe.
I do not doubt that fairly soon the schools will open with safety prodigals in place. I suspect we will be able to reopen Weibel Chess sometime next Fall. This will necessitate some changes in the program.
As most of you know I have established a Weibel Chess Committee under the leadership of Kwee Kuntjara for this was to be my last year, after 33 years running the program. I did not want to turn Weibel Chess over to a for-profit Chess Company (even if some of them are non-profits). There have been two parent run Fremont school chess programs in our area who did so years back and they have not only lost their school identity, but the number of students participating dropped dramatically.
The Weibel Chess Committee met a few times a fair number of months ago. The Chair of the Committee, Kwee Kuntjara, has set a Zoom meeting for tomorrow, Friday night, March 12, at 7:30 PM. He and I would like to invite any of you who are interested or might be interested in being a member of the committee to attend or just to observe to please let me know ASAP. WeibelChess@comcast.net and I will send you the Zoom connection.
For those of you who are looking forward to seeing Weibel Chess back in operation here is a summary of what changes I feel will have to occur due to the still lurking dangers of Covid 19 in the Fall:
Weibel Chess, when we reopen will have to use only the Multi-use Room. The membership will be limited to between 30 and 45 students with the Club on Tuesday and the same number on the Team on Friday. The hours on the Friday Team meetings will be reduced. These changes will create good social distancing, better air circulation and clean-up that might need to include disinfectants.
The number of members will be reduced by more than half of those we had. Of course, without Sixth Grade we would have lost a few members in any case. There will be only a need for three instructors on each day instead of the seven we had for Club and six we had for Team in 2019-2020. I will hope we can get back three instructors from last year. Two are no longer in the area and most of those that are now work near full-time for the big Scholastic Chess companies.
The big question is how we will cut off membership. Those parents who were members in previous years will have first shot until a set date and then Weibel Chess will be open to the Weibel community at large. I believe that on the Friday Team we should reserve a few spaces for players new to Weibel who have competed in U.S. Chess Federation tournaments and have a rating.
Keep safe and if you have not yet been vaccinate as my wife and I have, I hope you will be able to obtain yours soon.
Saturday, August 8, 2020
Mechanics' Chess Social, Zoom show hosted by the Mechanics Institutes' Chess Director, Abel Talamantez, and the Youth Outreach General Manager, Dr. Judit Sztaray interviewed me on their Friday show about Weibel Chess and some history of youth chess in Northern California. Considering the chess celebrates they had already interviewed here and across the nation I felt truly honored.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Sadly, for the first time in 33 years we will not start a Weibel Chess program in September. The FUSD made the only decision they could at this time which is to keep the physical schools closed until there are no new cases in our county for seven days. They showed great human concern for the health of your children, the Weibel School staff and teachers and all of us connected to the schools. The death rate, due to better knowledge and equipment, has been lower than a few months ago. However, the information of the short and long range serious heath damage to those having active cases of COVID-19 along with a new increase in death rates must be of concern for all of us not just those like myself in the high risk categories.
Sadly, I had given serious thought to retiring from Weibel Chess at the end of this year with a transition team shadowing me to learn the process. I figured that no matter how healthy I was, being 83 at the end of this upcoming school year, Weibel Chess needed to have a plan to continue. Initially I thought I might have to turn it over to a chess company, however, this concerned me. Even though the three companies in this immediate area have great love and respect for our program, there is no way, I felt, they could run it separate from their chess business. While I had hoped all along a parent could come forth and follow in my footsteps, none arose until last Spring. Kwee Kuntjara, parent of Sarah and Sabrina, offered to run Weibel Chess with a chess committee totally separate from any chess business keeping it under auspices of the PTO. Officially, since the get go, Weibel Chess has functioned as a committee under the PTO—candidly, as a committee of one.
My hope had been that Kwee and the Weibel parent committee, he established, would shadow me through the transition year. The committee is up and running and they have had a few Zoom meetings. We still have time to prepare the Committee for the transition. While some changes in the physical operation are underway, I have been assured that the mission and goals of the Weibel Chess, I set up as an educator, will not change.
Since there are numerous chess business and clubs running online classes. I do not feel there needs to be a Weibel Chess online program. Besides, even though, I was a pioneer in teaching college course online in the late 1990’s, I do not believe that groups of more than four students can benefit from chess classes online. That is not to say that dedicated experienced chess students can’t benefit, but Weibel Chess has been a program with great instructors who know how to excite and motivated beginners and intermediate chess students in large numbers to enjoy the game, art and fun of playing chess.
If you want help in deciding which online program or chess tournament your child should participate in or how to contact an individual coach, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail.
I will miss all the wonderful children, parents, instructors, Weibel staff and faculty that I was looking forward to seeing again in September as well as a large new “crop” of chess players and parents.
STAY SAFE UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!
Chess is Forever,