Bennett Schnabel (front left) and Ian Martinovsky battle, as do Gene Butland and Jack Friesen (wearing glasses). Photo submitted

New chess club at Comox library

Club meets Wednesday evenings

A drop-in chess club has recently formed at the Comox Library on Wednesdays from 5:30-8 p.m., and is looking for more members. There is no charge, and players are asked to bring a chess set if they have one.

The club currently has players of a wide range of ability ranging from recreational to master level. Volunteer club co-ordinator, Philip Boyle, is hoping that there are players in the Comox Valley, Campbell River, and other areas looking to dust off the old chess set. Currently there are three members of the Bishops of Bowser Club who also attend the Comox Library Club on Beaufort Ave, downtown Comox. “We currently have an interesting mix of players. Sixteen-year-old Bennet Schnabel is on a one-year student exchange from Berlin, Germany, attending the Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School. He is the current Berlin under-18 champion.

“With his skills and positional sense, he was wiping the floor with us,” said Boyle. “Along came local master player Ian Martinovsky to the rescue, and together, he and Bennett are providing some highly entertaining super-fast blitz chess games. Ian is an amazing player who can assess a position very quickly and put together beautiful tactical combinations. I find myself watching their games instead of playing sometimes – they are so good.”

Jelke Hoekstra, a local optometrist, is also a very strong player, as is Rick Martinson.

Gene Butland and Jack Friesen are members of the Bishops of Bowser Club which has Robert McFetridge as its humorously titled leader, “the Archbishop.”

“We can’t all be as strong as Ian or Bennet, but it’s fun to pit your wits in a game of chess over the board, and learn more about the game which ‘imitates life,’ ” said Boyle. “If you love chess – come and join us.”

For more information, contact Boyle at 250-871-3998

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