Players of all ages and skill levels made their way to Central Park Saturday for an annual chess challenge. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
The Bandshell in Central Park was transformed Saturday into a mecca for chess. The 12th annual Chess-in-the-Parks tournament drew hundreds of participants to the free event, most of them in elementary and middle school.
"It uses your mind a lot," said chess player Evan Schopfer. "That's what I really like about it. And it's sort of like a calming activity."
Under a partnership with the New York City Parks Department and the nonprofit Chess-in-the-Schools, the event is billed as the largest outdoor chess event in the Northeast. There were second graders as well as more seasoned adults who've played for years.
Each game was just 10 minutes long, matching players of equal skill in a duel of critical thinking and consequence.
"Once you reach a certain point where you really get it, where you get the strategy, then it can be addictive because you keep wanting, you want to continually challenge yourself and get better," said Edward Feldman, who organized the event. "You always see there's room for yourself to improve and that's I think part of the addictive part. And it's just fun to play."
The tournament is not rated, meaning a loss won't hurt a player’s ranking.
Players came from all over the city and state to take part in the chess challenge. Some even traveled from places like Atlanta and Rhode Island to attend. They say they wouldn't have missed the chance to say "checkmate" in Central Park.