Sunday, February 21, 2016

Syracuse Plays Chess wins $2,000 grand prize

We're pleased to announce that the 7th DISHES winner is Syracuse Plays Chess and our second place winner is Paint the Town! Stay tuned for more details once our team gets some well deserved rest.


  1. Jon Speed & I thank SCD for the opportunity to bring chess to people of all ages in Syracuse. This is our chance to work at matching Buffalo, Rochester, Albany & NYC in chess activity and put Syracuse on the map in the world of chess. This city has a long chess history that most people don't know, from Samuel Calthrop in the late 1800s, who was an early American chess master and the minister of May Memorial U.U. Society, to hosting the national elementary school chess championship in 1984. A moment from that event was used to create scene in the memorable film, Searching for Bobby Fischer. When the real Bobby Fischer, arguably the best chess player in history, beat the Russians for the World Championship title at the height of the Cold War in the 1970s, every school in Syracuse had a chess club and we all got chess sets for Christmas. We've fallen far from those days, with many schools having lost their clubs. Now, with the DISHES grant in hand, we will work hard to bring chess back to Syracuse. Jon and I look forward to telling the DISHES audience just how far we've come back at your next annual dinner. - Anton Ninno, Syracuse Chess

  2. Since winning the first-prize $2,000 grant last February, Syracuse Chess has been teaching chess workshops at libraries all over Syracuse and Onondaga County. Several libraries are now hosting community chess clubs as a result, with more workshops and clubs being planned throughout the fall. Over the summer, we taught chess to children at two locations of the Syracuse Boys & Girls Clubs, two city branch libraries, and the YMCA youth recreation program at Schiller Park. We also expanded our mission to include older city residents by teaching chess at the senior lunch program operated by the Westcott Community Center. The chess programs we offer at the Syracuse Latin School and Ed Smith Elementary School are continuing this fall. With our help, Ed Smith will host its first public scholastic K-12 chess tournament on September 23. Their PTO will sell refreshments as a school fundraiser. As you can see, we are doing everything we promised and more. Most importantly, we applied to the IRS for 501(c)3 status and were certified as a nonprofit just this month. With that federal approval of our mission, we will begin seeking government grants, foundation support, and approach potential corporates sponsors to produce major chess events for children and adults in Syracuse. Watch what happens with this fall, as the World Chess Championship takes place in New York City from November 11-30. The top two chess players in the world will play 12 games for a prize purse over $1 million. Over a billion people are expected to follow the event online and with smart phone apps. An open adult chess tournament at Syracuse University and the Syracuse Scholastic Chess Championship at Southside Academy Charter School will held that same month. Chess will be BIG in the news, both locally and nationally. You can be proud to say that Salt City Dishes and Syracuse Chess are working together to bring chess to Syracuse like never before. Thanks again for helping us grow. If you like chess or want to help, call me at 315-350-1157 and/or join our group page on Facebook at: