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The Stormont Kings Chess Club
The above picture is a picture of myself and Chris Stormont who runs the club. Chris is wearing the striped shirt on the left and I am wearing my New Jersey Devils hockey jersey on the right. Since our first ever game was played where I was with the black pieces, I purposely placed myself on the black side of the board on purpose for the photograph.

Please note that this is the small version of the Stormont Kings Chess Club. We have created a separate web page just for the club so I recommend that you visit that site since it contains a lot more information than the one that you see here.  It can be reached at the following URL:

http://stormontkings.tripod.com

About the Stormont Kings Chess Club

History of the Club

About Chris Stormont

My introduction to the Club

Upcoming Events and Tournaments

Rules of the Club

Photo Gallery

Current Newsletter - coming soon!

Archives of previous newsletters - coming soon!

About the Stormont Kings Chess Club

The Stormont Kings Chess club is a scholastic affiliate of the United States Chess Federation (USCF for short).  The club has been in existence since 1991 and meets each Saturday at two different libraries.  It meets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Dade Regional Library located at 9445 SW 24th Street in Miami, Florida and also meets at the Kendall Branch Library located on 9101 SW 97th Avenue in Miami, Florida from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Membership at the club is free and everyone is welcome to join from people who have never ever played chess before to the very best players in the world and everyone else in between. The club mostly consists of children of all ages although there are some adult players who play regularly in chess tournaments. The goal of the chess club is to help with the promotion of chess in general and to hopefully foster a lifetime love for the great game of chess.

At any given Saturday, you are likely to find anything going on from mini chess tournaments, to simultaneous matches, team chess, bughouse chess ( a favorite of the club!), chess puzzles, and more. Don't worry if you don't understand what the previous terms mean. We will be more than happy to explain what those previous terms mean. The club mostly maintains a low key profile so don't feel that you have to be a very good player just to play at the club. For those who have never played chess before and feel that chess is simply just too hard a game to learn, trust me when I tell you that while chess can be a complex game from time to time, the very basics of the game like piece movement, the rules and values of the pieces can be taught to anyone. We have had kids as young as 3 years old playing after only 15-20 minutes of instruction so anyone can learn to play chess just as long as they have patience. So if you have always wanted to play chess but felt intimidated to even try, this would be a great opportunity to learn this wonderful game.

Studies have shown that children who play chess on a regular basis improve their ability to concentrate in other areas besides chess, increases their ability to use their imagination creatively and assists them with their problem solving skills as well as help them develop their ability to make new friends and gain a sense of fair play.

History of the Club

The Stormont Kings Chess Club was started way back in 1991. Originally when the club first began to meet, the club would meet on Saturday at one of the local PizzaHut restaurants. The club was at PizzaHut for about one year before a change in management took place and the new management requested that the club no longer meet at PizzaHut.  Despite the fact that the club would bring in business to the restaurant (both kids and their parents would attend the club), the new management was not as appreciative of having as many kids as the club would bring in on Saturdays so the club was forced to move from that original location.

The club would end up moving from that first location to both Barbecue Barn and Hardee's before both of those companies went out of business. Because of their going out of business, the club was forced yet again to seek a new location and the next one that was chosen was one of the local Burger Kings. Burger King however was not the most ideal location for the club since the club was forced to play in the smoking section of the restaurant for some strange reason and given the fact that the club has almost always consisted of more children than adults, this request to have the club play in the smoking section of Burger King eventually would become an issue of concern.

Because of the less than ideal location at Burger King, a decision was finally made to try to find a more suitable location for the club and finally the club moved to the West Dade Regional Library back in 1995. When the club first started at the West Dade Regional Library, it would only meet on each Saturday for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. so long as the library was open. This changed beginning in 1996. There was another chess club in operation at the Kendall Branch Library. The gentleman that was running that club at the time was an employee of the library. He was getting ready to start a new job elsewhere and would no longer be able to continue running the chess club at the Kendall Branch Library. Chris was asked if he would be interested in volunteering to run the second club that met in the afternoon. Chris did in fact volunteer to run the second club as well and today, the chess club meets at the Kendall Branch Library on Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m as well as the session in the morning.

About Chris Stormont

Chris first starting playing chess at the age of 9. He was taught how to play chess by his father. Having been taught at such a young age to play chess, Chris has been playing chess ever since.

Chris's first tournament was back in middle school. South Miami versus West Miami was the event of his first tournament. He played 3 games with an unlimited time control. As a result of his matches, Chris was in a three way tie for first. In order to break the tie, it was felt that the players should play each other 2 speed games of 5 minutes each. You could just imagine how my friend Chris must have felt since he had never played speed chess before up until then. He didn't even know that chess clocks even existed. Despite the fact that Chris had never played with a chess clock, he did well and finished 2nd overall.

While Chris was in high school, he started a chess club in his school. Eventually, Chris found out about another local club that was run by a particular gentleman. Chris would often meet there and play games with whoever was available. Since Chris was a regular member, he was asked if he would like to assist with the running of the club. Chris was about 16 1/2 years old at the time when he was asked to assist with running the club and Chris mentioned to me that sometimes he would be asked to run  the club with as many as 60 kids present. Obviously this early experience would later turn out to be very helpful with running the Stormont Kings Chess club.

In addition to running the Stormont Chess Kings, Chris is available for private and group lessons. For further information, please contact him at (305) 552-1493.

My Introduction to the Club

I first came in contact with the Stormont Kings Chess club back in September of 1998. I have always enjoyed reading books since grammar school and one particular Saturday I happened to be at the West Dade Regional Library looking for a specific book (A Xanth Book no doubt). I happened to have glanced at one of the club flyers that was on display at one of the tables while I was there and made a mental note to myself to drop by at the library the next Saturday to check out the club. The flyer had mentioned specific dates and I thought to myself that if I did not attend during those dates, I would miss out on my opportunity to discover what this chess club was all about. The following Saturday I showed up very early but had a bit of a problem with finding the club itself. The club was meeting at the time at meeting room B in the library which is probably why not too many people were aware of the club's existence. Meeting room B at the library is kind of in a hidden area of the library which most people don't get to see. In addition, even though the club owned a sign that could be displayed, the sign was not put up on that day. I had to ask one of the library employees where the club was meeting.

When I arrived, I was the only one there besides Chris. Chris was just starting to get set up when I arrived and I helped him set up the tables to play on. While we were waiting for the rest of the players to show up, Chris offered to play me a game. At the time, I thought that all people who ran chess clubs had to be master class chess players so I was a bit intimidated to play him at first but I figured that if he was a master class player, it would probably be a good learning experience for me to play him. I told Chris about that first game that we ever played the other day and he was very surprised that I still remembered the details of the game. The first time that we ever played against each other, he played a Smith-Morra gambit.

I remember that game very well because of the gambit that he chose to play. I had studied the Smith-Morra Gambit a bit back then and because of that, I was ahead a pawn for the entire match. Having studied it a little bit, I remember that once black accepted the offered pawn, theory held that black had to develop very quickly to avoid getting steam rolled by white's lead in development. At one point towards the end of the game, Chris played a tactical move by sacrificing his bishop for one of my kingside pawns to try to breakup my kingside. Since I thought that Chris was a master class player, I thought to myself that I was going to be in trouble but the tactic didn't work out as well as Chris had planned and he was only able to get a perpetual check which resulted in a draw. It was only after the match was over that I found out that Chris was not a master class player but was in fact a regular player like myself.

Anyway, I have been going to the club each Saturday ever since. In fact, I have had the opportunity to run the club a few times myself for Chris when Chris has decided to attend a tournament. And I am usually the one running the computer when we host a USCF rated tournament. So I look forward to meeting new members at the club and tell me when you visit that you saw this web page when you speak with me. I would be most appreciative of any suggestions or comments to help with the improvement of this page.

Upcoming Events and Tournaments

The Stormont Kings next chess tournament is scheduled for Saturday, March 3rd, 2001. The tournament will be a USCF rated scholastic chess tournament and will be held at:
 

City of West Miami Community Center
(Located next to City Hall and the Police Department)
901 SW 62nd Avenue
Miami, FL


The tournament will be a 5 round swiss tournament with a time control of G/30. The tournament will be a USCF rated event so you will have to be a member of the USCF at the time that the tournament is held and you will need to bring proof of your membership at the time that you register for the tournament. Do not expect us to be able to find your membership. Please bring proof with you in the form of either your USCF membership card or your shipping label from one of your chessmate / chesslife magazines.

The round times will be :

ROUND 1     10:00 a.m.

ROUND 2    11:15 a.m.

ROUND 3    12:30 p.m.

A break for lunch

ROUND 4    2:00 p.m.

ROUND 5    3:15 p.m.

There will be 4 sections available for players to play in.

The 4 sections are:

SECTION 1    Kindergarten to 2nd grade

SECTION 2    Kindergarten to 5th grade

SECTION 3    Kindergarten to 8th grade

SECTION 4    Kindergarten to 12th grade.

Trophies will be given to the top 3 players in each section and players who finish from 4th to 10th place in each section will each receive a certificate. All participants regardless of which position they finished at the end of the tournament will be receiving a small prize.

Once the main tournament has concluded, a speed chess tournament will be conducted. The speed chess tournament will not be a USCF rated event so it will have a section that is open to everyone regardless of whether or not they are USCF members. The speed chess tournament will consist of 6 rounds with a time control of G/5. There will be 2 sections available for the speed chess. They are: Kindergarten to 5th grade and an open section that will be open to anyone who would like to participate.

The award ceremony will proceed after the conclusion of the speed chess tournament.

Entry fees for the tournament are as follow:

Main Tournament $20 if payment is received by February 24th
                               Payments received from February 25th
                               and afterwards will be $25 and can be paid on-site

Speed Tournament $5 if payment is received by February 24th
                                $7 if payment is received after February 25th and on-site

If you are not a current member of the USCF or are unable to provide proof of membership on the day of the tournament, you will be required to become a member of the USCF for at least one year in order to be able to participate in the main tournament. For those of you who are members but fail to provide membership information, your payment will be used to extend your membership once your membership has been confirmed. The current rates for USCF membership are:

USCF Dues      Scholastic $13 for 4 issues of School Mates (Ages 14 and under)
                     Youth $20 for 12 issues of Chess Life (Ages 19 and under)

VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!

There will be no refunds at all for the upcoming tournament.

All members who are participating in the main tournament will be required to register on the day of the tournament between the hours of  8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. If you will be delayed in making any of your round times for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Stormont before the start of the round so that a bye can be issued to you. You will be awarded a half point bye for the round prior to the round that you start the tournament and zero points for earlier rounds. Failure to call before the start of a round will result in a time forfeit lost if you do not make it to your match on time and you will be withdrawn from the tournament. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS! ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS!

Players are reminded that they should bring their own chess board, chess pieces and a chess clock. Some of the necessary chess equipment will be provided for those players who lack such items but only a small number will be available at the site so please bring these items with you when you arrive if at all possible to avoid any delays in starting your match. There will also be chess equipment available for purchase at the tournament in the skittles room. Notation of your match is strongly encouraged but not required.

For further information regarding the tournament or about the Stormont Kings chess club in general, please contact Chris Stormont at (305) 552-1493.

Rules of the Club

  1. Parents should make sure to pick up their kids on time. Both the chess club and each library will not take responsibility for your kids. While we try to take care of your kids while they are under our care, it is unfair to us if you are late in picking up your kids since we have to attend 2 different libraries plus we have other things that we sometimes need to take care of after chess is over which would be difficult if you are late in picking up your kids.

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  3. Please refrain from making too much noise while you are in the library. Always remember that chess is a game of concentration and making too much noise could be bothering someone else who is trying to play their game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a series of warnings, time out and discussion with your parents about your behavior. More on this set of warnings to follow.

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  5. No running or horse playing. There is a small chance that you could hurt yourself or someone else in the process. The club is for playing chess only and not for jumping around or for practicing your latest karate kick. If you are feeling bored, maybe you might want to watch a match or maybe play a team match with a partner.

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  7. Ask permission before leaving the playing area. We want to know where you are at all times just in case your parents arrive early and want to take you home. While you are at the club, we are responsible for you and don't want anything bad to happen to you so ask permission, even if it is just to go to the bathroom.

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  9. Please reset your boards when you are done playing a game. Even if you are not going to be playing another game, someone else might want to play a game and it will save them a lot of time if they could just start playing without having to take the extra time to set up pieces again or having to search for pieces that might be missing from the board that you were playing on.

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  11. No food or drinks are allowed inside the library at any time. While the club has run parties for Halloween and for Holiday parties in the past, the club has to obtain permission from the library first before being allowed to bring food into the library and can not obtain permission at the last minute to allow food in the playing area. Therefore, no food at all will be allowed except for maybe a bake sale if it is run by the library itself.

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  13. Respect all adults and other children. Treat everyone the same way that you would want to be treated and there should not be any problems. That goes for all activities in your life, not just chess.

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  15. If you have any problems with anyone at all, please raise your hand and contact Chris first before doing anything. Chris is very effective at keeping things under control so speak to him first if you can not resolve your problem with the person first.

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  17. No Pokemon or other activities that are not chess-related are allowed during the chess club time unless we otherwise tell you in advance that it will be ok. Remember that you are at the club to have fun playing chess, not to see which one of you has the best Pokemon cards.

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  19. And the most important rule of all the rules:  JUST HAVE FUN! :)
 Here are some of the consequences for those of you who decide not to follow the above rules:

1. First Offense:            You will first receive a warning.

2. Second Offense:       You will be placed on time-out if you continue to misbehave after receiving a warning.

3. Third Offense:           No one will be allowed to play bughouse chess (your friends will not like that, trust me!).

4. Fourth Offense:         Your parents will be notified of your behavior.

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