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Paisley Chess Club will be in Barshaw Park today (Saturday) as it is Gala day. We will be taking a couple of sets, playing some speed chess and hoping to interest the public in chess and our club. Feel free to come along and have a game or just say hello.

We will be there from noon and will be sitting near the café and picnic tables.

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An original and interesting idea. How did it go? In particular, was there any potential new recruits showing interest in coming along to your club?
Thank you for your interest Jonathan. The day went well and we got lucky with the weather. We had done similar things before but not with so much passing trade. The fact that it was the Paisley Gala meant there was bouncy castles, face painting, live pop music etc. so I knew it would be busy. We do not have many spare man hours for chess promotion so we kept it simple. It was just me, one club mate, a fold up table, two chess sets and a handful of business cards.

We met lots of really nice people many of whom were willing to give us a game and stop for a chat. On at least a couple of occasions young lads came up counting out money asking how much it was to play which seemed strange but in a good way and no I did not take it. A slightly saddening thing which happened twice was parents dragging their kids away from us saying something like " Leave the men alone you know fine you can't play chess" I did protest but to no avail.

This was done at next to no cost and with minimal organisation. If you view it as a nice day out it is a fairly painless way to promote chess and your club. I quite enjoyed myself and will probably do it again sometime. Several people said they would be coming to give our club a try however experience tells me to take this with a pinch of salt. We will just need to wait and see.
Impressive stuff Roland

If you try again next year let me know - I'd happily donate a few hours of my time to this kind of inititiative from the Paisley club. One of very few club who remain open during the summer = another impressive initiative
Ta for the info Roland. I was curious as it is an idea that could work well for our club. We have numerous gala type day events in the town throughout the summer months. Like you say the community footfall is large. I also like the concept of seeing chess outdoors, only seems to be in the movies and its the stereotype two old men playing in America.
Thanks for the encouragement Phil/Jonathan. I think things that give chess a bit of visibility do help. I just wish I had time to do more. With limited resources I tend to focus on what's important which I think is getting more people involved as nothing enhances an organisation like new members.
In Andrew and Kirsty's primary school the chess club used to set up boards at parents nights and challenge the parents to a game of chess. There were a few disgruntled parents when they were beaten by primary school children :p I always thought it was a good way to introduce the school chess club to the families who attended the school.

A fun raising idea that we tried was to set up a giant chess set at the school fairs and charge £2 to play against one of the children from the school chess club. If the game was won by the challenger they got their money back but if the challenger lost then the money went to club/school funds.
Great ideas Linda especially the giant chess set. It gets in peoples faces and grabs their attention. I'm not sure if every club could afford one but possibly one between each area or league might be a good investment. It's just getting willing people with time on their hands to do this that might be tricky.
A permanent giant chess set was installed in Edinburgh earlier this year, seems to have gone down a storm...

The ground prep and installation of 64 slabs cost £1500. Edinburgh Council paid for this, and the pieces cost approx £250 and were donated. Great idea, but very difficult to implement. I was looking into it recently, and obtaining local Council funding seemed to be straight forward. However the implementation just got mega complicated in every other regard. It is definetly possible with lots of time/determination to repeat this initiative in any town/city in Scotland.

Remains to be seen what future impact it might have for Edinburgh Clubs in terms of new members and youngster coming into the game, but it is undoubteldy good promotion for chess in the area.
The giant set looks great and would be an asset however I had something more portable in mind. Plug in and play solutions might be the way to go as resources of time and money are limited. Also with something portable you can hit different areas over the course of a year.

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