Sometime in the summer of 2008 while we were dating Warren introduced me to a game he enjoyed playing. The game was chess. He would travel to the Atlanta Chess Center and talk about how so many kids were crushing him in tournaments.
I could tell he was serious about becoming a better player. One day while we were pool side he suggested teaching me how to play chess.
Chess I laughed, “isn’t that the most boring game ever?” Boy, was I wrong!
He set up the board, went over the basic rules and we began to play. Quickly, I began losing pieces and my king was soon checkmated.
I can’t tell you how many games we played that night. I can tell you that pool ended up being our spot each night. He would give me a lesson then we would play more rounds.
This board with two armies of men and simple rules had made its way to the top of my board-game list. We played over and over again night after night.
I started to see why Warren enjoyed it so much!
We then decided to purchase a travel roll-up chess set. We left it in his truck and had a board with us everywhere we went. We enjoyed playing outside mostly. We would break it out during family events enjoying some friendly competition.
In 2009 we learned as much as we possibly could about chess and kept finding new ways we could add chess into to our lives.
One day in April of 2010 Warren told me he had an opportunity for me. He explained there was a chess workshop for women that taught you how to teach chess. He helped me sign up for the necessary memberships and explained to me what the USCF and FIDE are.
I was introduced to women from all over the US that coached chess. I learned that day about IM’s, GM’s and even met the Women’s World Chess Champion at that time.
We discussed ways to engage students in their learning of chess – what works and doesn’t work.
I really felt small in the world of chess as I learned that chess has been played the longest through history. I realized I was one of many who loved this great game.
As Warren and I were planning for the biggest day of our lives we realized our love for each other was strong, but we also shared a love for chess that made us unique.
We started planning towards ways we could spread our love for chess. We wanted to figure out how to introduce chess to as many people as possible. Somewhere in that time we decided to start Chess Made Fun, LLC. Our goal was to make chess fun for EVERYONE.
We got work to launch our new business, but didn’t want to be just another scholastic chess company. We desired to introduce chess to all age levels.
Soon after we had to put the company on hold for 8 years while we both worked full time jobs.
We found ways to incorporate chess on the weekends. After work we would play a game or two. We looked for chess clubs in our area, but the club organizers kept changing, and the clubs seemed to come and go over the years.
We did find ways to volunteer teaching chess within our community. We loved seeing players faces of all ages as we introduced them to this beautiful game.
After the birth of our daughter in 2018 we decided to officially launch ChessMadeFun.com.
We started as an e-commerce company selling chess equipment and instructional materials with the idea that schools, senior facilities and clubs could start their own chess programs.
In 2019 we started our own official chess club (Paulding Chess) holding free events throughout the community offering the basics of chess instruction for free. We volunteer our time to this club and have loved watching it grow. So many families come join us and everyone plays.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 we were forced to stop meeting for over the board play. Although we were hesitant we decided to meet as a group to play chess online.
We played online for a few months, but our numbers started to dwindle. People wanted to play over the board again.
That’s when we found a solution. The solution includes a virtual chess classroom with video conferencing built in. We have integrated it within our website and will be launching a membership site soon.
From meeting “My King”, to learning the greatest game ever, and now launching our own membership site, we have learned how to make chess fun for everyone, and not just for kids. We fell in love with each other through chess, and now we share that love and passion we have for chess not only with our community, but through our new website, your community as well.
How do you spread the love of chess in your community?