Mission

Chess Nova Scotia aims to promote chess as a recreation and sport for Nova Scotians of all ages. Our mission is to support learning, competition, and enjoyment of the game of chess through programs, clubs, tournaments, and special projects.

Chess is recognized as a sport by the Canadian Olympic Committee and by Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, elected annually, has the responsibility for managing the affairs of Chess Nova Scotia. The Executive Officers are responsible for day-to-day operations. Directors are assigned to regions or committees.

There are two standing committees: Tournament and Projects. Ad hoc committees include: Community Outreach, Club Development, Communications, Youth, and Seniors. For Chairs and contact information, see List of Directors.

Society

Chess Nova Scotia (CNS) is registered as a non-profit society in Nova Scotia under the name, Chess Nova Scotia Society. Registration number: #3330426.

Chess Nova Scotia is governed by the Bylaws of the Nova Scotia Societies Act. The Constitution and Bylaws specific to CNS may be found at Constitution and Bylaws.

Why We Value Chess

The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions. For Life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it. By playing at Chess, then, we may learn: Foresight. Circumspection. Caution. — Benjamin Franklin, 1786

We could not have said it better!

List of Directors

Ken Cashin, President — Bedford
Chair, Tournament Committee
ken.cashin@chessns.ca

Ken first caught the bug for the royal game when he walked into the Bluenose Chess Club in September 1993. He played his first rated tournament in November of that year and has been competing ever since. In 2005, he began organizing tournaments and was soon elected president of the Nova Scotia Chess Association, now Chess Nova Scotia. Ken is looking forward to a new era for chess in the Maritimes, starting with Pawn Wise: The Atlantic All-Ages Chess Festival 2020, Halifax. Ken is also a musician and songwriter. When not playing chess, he can be found at various open mics performing as Kenny Angel.

Ian Anderson, Vice-President — Wolfville
Chair, Community Outreach
tfeloc@hotmail.com

Ian has played chess since before the Fischer-Spassky series in 1972, but has put the game away for years at a time. He returned to chess in 2014. Somewhere along the way he decided to improve not only his game but the prospects of chess throughout Nova Scotia. “I wish everyone could spend some time with chess to see if they enjoy it as I have throughout my life.” Ian’s focus as VP of Chess Nova Scotia is to strengthen chess activity throughout the province. If you’re interested in starting a club in your area, Ian is the one to contact.

Roger Langen, Secretary — Dartmouth
Chair, Projects
langen2003@yahoo.ca

Lloyd Lombard, Treasurer — Middleton
Chair, Club Development
l.c.lombard@ns.sympatico.ca

David Bardsley, Director — Hackett’s Cove
Chair, Communications
davebardsley@eastlink.ca

Steve Saunders, Director — Blockhouse
Chair, Seniors 
stephenpsaunders@gmail.com

Farhana Kanth, Honorary Director — Halifax
Chair, Youth Committee
Nova Scotia Scholastic Chess Association

Chris Felix, Staff — Halifax
Nova Scotia Scholastic Chess Association
chris.felix@nssca.ca

The Story of Chess

The Story of Chess
As told by the Chess Nova Scotia Society registration number: #3330426

333 – Three is creativity. Three 3s (in numerology) is trinity in divinity: Creation, angels close by. The opening is preparation: knowledge, education, book. The middle game is invention: planning, tension, risk. The endgame is the reckoning: calculation, precision, technique. Imitating the drama of our lives, each game tells its own story. The story of chess is similar. It begins in 6th century India, defeating nard, a form of backgammon, in a contest of games. Thought is thus preferred to chance, free will to fate, as the basis for human action, for method in war. By 1200, chess migrates to Persia, Arabia, and Europe, where (in different guises) it becomes an iconic symbol for an ordered society, based on fealty, self-regulation, and civility, each piece an independent actor. In 1475, under new powers for the Bishop and Queen, chess dramatically expands, universalizing: its method of thought parallel to the Renaissance — a rapid advance, Rosetta stone for the sciences, compass for the future.

0 – Zero, the catalyst for a new method of calculation, was invented alongside chess. The invention greatly expanded mathematical capacity to calculate extremely large numbers and even imagine the infinite. Chess, its companion and abacus, “carried the new math across the world,” the scholar writes.* As math would become for the natural sciences, so chess for (certain of) the human sciences. On the chessboard, the Emperor discovers that a grain of wheat, doubling itself along the squares (as payment asked for invention of the game) ruins him. Exponentials allowed other large counts, as the number of atoms in the known universe (1079) or the number of possible chess games at 40 moves (10120). For this reason, computers cannot “solve” chess. They may yet pass the Turing test” and think like a human. Perhaps this is what Google’s self-learning behemoth did when it demolished the computing colossus, Stockfish, 28-0 in 2018. Its name? Alpha Zero.

42 – Four is the number of divisions in the original Indian army: Elephant (Bishop), Cavalry (Knight), Chariot (Rook), and Infantry (Pawn). Two is the number in command: Emperor (King), General (Queen). Four is also the number of squares at the strategic center of the chessboard (e4/e4/d4/d5). Two are the opposing sides, White and Black, that strive to control them. Four-times-two squared is the formula for the chessboard: (4 x 2)2 = 64. (64! — the smallest number that is both a perfect square and a perfect cube.) On this mathematical surface turns a great abstract mill for thought and calculation, a loom for infinite possibility. How does the mind make good decisions within so vast a space? The answer is – as cognitive science has used chess to discover – patterns. [See Binet 1894: memory; de Groot 1946: rational choice; Chase & Simon 1973: “chunking”; Charness 1992: practice]. Patterns make meaning. They form, in chess, concepts of space and time, material, strategy & tactics, piece development, pawn structure, harmony, piece activity, and a myriad of others. Through such patterning, good decisions in chess come to resemble good decisions in other fields where information is imperfect and methods of logic and intuition combine: as economics, tax planning, transportation logistics, the NHL draft, and — at the deepest level — music.

6 – Six is the number of pieces, sufficient to portray successive worlds: from Indian war array to medieval civil assembly to the modern nation state. The King (today) is the Rule of Law, dignified in movement, indispensable to the board and game. The Queen is the State in all her offices of power: intimidating, wide sweeping, hard to measure. The Bishop is Counselor, a subtle diplomat, of double colour, and indirect movement. The Knight is (still) the Soldier of Fortune, the trader as agile horseman; entrepreneur, claw-footed capitalist, a clever hop in his step. The Rook, once Castle and Tower, is Minister for Defense: eyes cast far and wide; master of transport & communications. The Pawn, of low authority (but not the least), is the Citizen: maker of chess positions, then talent of the game. Once tiller of the earth (or mere Romantic gambit), the pawn today is the future. In chess, a child learns how to think, keep hands still, plan, concentrate, respect his or her opponent, gain confidence, self-calibrate, acquire grit, practice & decide. The royal game replies, giving to the smallest piece the greatest compliment: You know how to play!

*David Shenk, The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, or, How 32 Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain (Anchor Canada, 2007)

NOTE: Text by Roger Langen, Chess Nova Scotia 2019

About our Logo

The Chess Nova Scotia logo was designed by Asif Illyas. A keen eye can spot its many interesting touches. The logo uses the CNS Montserrat font in the following colour palette: CNS Hills Green, CNS Mayflower Gold, CNS Atlantic Blue.