Campbelltown City Council plans to hold chess tournaments | Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser
Millions of people around the world have been captivated by The Queen’s Bet over the past few months, and a Campbelltown councilor believes Macarthur has the potential to be the next home for chess champions.
Councilor Rey Manoto raised a motion at the last Campbelltown council meeting, which was seconded, to promote and encourage chess tournaments and weekly sessions at area libraries and promote board gaming more besides popular Catan.
Cr Manoto said he noticed his sons playing chess on their phones and recognized the growing popularity of the activity.
“We need to have a progression for the chess tournaments that take place in our local schools so that we can have bigger and wider fields of participation,” said the chess enthusiast.
“It shouldn’t just be in schools, but also in the wider community. That’s how you can develop international masters and grandmasters. How good would it be to have a grandmaster of Campbelltown?”
Cr Manoto said fostering a love of chess in the region was the first step.
It’s a feat that should be aided by the popularity of Netflix’s chess-based series. The Queen’s Betwhich followed the journey of prodigy Beth Harmon, showcasing the strategy, obsession and intrigue surrounding high-level chess.
Cr Manoto said that if Campbelltown could build a reputation as a chess hub, with a Campbelltown City Chess Tournament, it could have ripple effects on the economy.
“Interest will come if we have tournaments and regular chess sessions, and students need encouragement to keep going,” he said.
“I think the council is the best organization to host this kind of activity. Campbelltown could become the next destination for chess lovers.
“We could have grandmasters from Russia and America coming here with their teams, staying in the area, spending money in our restaurants.
“It’s the future, but it starts with a first step.”
As well as further promoting chess and hosting tournaments, the council will now also test sessions of the board game Catan, which Cr Manoto says is ‘growing in popularity with young people’, especially following the shutdowns. .
He said it was a relatively new game, coming from Germany, which relied on both skill and luck and, like chess, had an Elo rating system.
“It’s used to calculate player skills,” he said.
“It’s like in boxing – you wouldn’t have a heavyweight and a lightweight fighting together.
“Catan is on the same level as chess, but there is also a bit of luck involved.”
Councilor Ben Gilholme was entirely in favor of Cr Manoto’s motion.
“As a board game enthusiast, I think this is a great opportunity to not only encourage people to try something new, but it’s also a great opportunity to test something that is equivalent failures for today’s society,” he said.
“Catan is starting to become very popular. With International Games Week, so many different people across the LGA will be able to experience board games in general.”
The board will look to follow the Catania sessions as part of International Games Week in November.