Let’s go to Canada!
One of the great privileges of living in the Pacific Northwest is the ability to just drive up to Canada on a whim.
It’s international travel lite, in your own car, staying in familiar motel networks, no real need for money exchange nor learning how to survive in an alien culture. Border guard greeting in French already feels like a guilty pleasure for the lazy globetrotter.
It’s just 2 hours of driving, 120 miles to Langley, BC -- where on September 3 - 5, 2011 the Langley Chess Club organized their traditional Labor Day Open chess tournament. The playing venue was Brookswood Senior Centre (oh, yeah! it’s “re”, not “er” -- which feels like visiting both Paris and London on the same day).
We stayed at the Super 8, the kids were most happy to eat in the nearby McDonald’s and we made a point of living these 3 days on credit cards, without changing any money. Sans problème!
Details: Open Tournament, 6 Rounds
Time control: 90 minutes, 30 second increment
Day 1: Sat, Sep 3, Round 1: 10am, Round 2: 4pm
Day 2: Sun, Sep 4, Round 3: 10am, Round 4: 4pm
Day 3: Mon, Sep 5, Round 5: 9am, Round 6: 3pm
As kids played Round 1, we went to a local park and saw an owl. After Round 2 we took them to the exquisite Sendell Park:
During Round 3, while Ethan and Naomi played chess, we visited Fort Langley National Historic Site and enjoyed the unforgettable experience of sheep shearing. It’s highly recommended to watch the videos in the online photo album:
After Round 3 we took the kids to see Fort Langley as well, and got Naomi face-painted:
After Round 4 we enjoyed some time in Douglas park. All Canadian parks are very user-friendly.
The next day was the last one, and we drove home as soon as the kids finished Round 6:
While waiting for the games to complete, we had most interesting conversations with a senior local chess player named Stewart G Paulson about great range of topics regarding politics, international relations, culture, and his daughter’s avant-garde performances.
In the follow-up email exchange we discussed literature, sociology and philosophy. As a result, we came to stereotype all senior Canadians as friendly, articulate and highly intellectual types with wide-horizons and quick to strike a deep and meaningful conversation.
Importantly, Stewart mentioned to us chesstempo.com, which since then became paramount in our kids’ chess education.