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WFM Meri Grigoryan raises money for charity and Women’s Chess!

Former ECF Manager of Women’s Chess Meri Grigoryan and England Internation gave up her Sunday to play chess. Sound like a regular occurence? Maybe, but not like Meri did it! She played about 50 games in the same day and most of them at the same time!

Meri kindly organised a simultaneous display in Bournemouth to raise money for charity as well as women’s chess. She got a big crowd, encouraged many to play and everyone enjoyed the display. Most importantly she beat most of the people :P

We would like to thank Meri for running this event and hope that many more people can follow in her footsteps at this great idea of raising money. Meri reports below:

Charity Simultaneous Chess Exhibition, Bournemouth Town Square, 10 July 2011

What could you be most worried about when having an outdoor event in England? I have always known that I’m the most luckiest girl when it comes to weather! And for my charity simultaneous chess exhibition the sun was just shining all day long and Bournemouth was welcoming tourists around the world.

The simul was a great way of promoting chess in Dorset area and fundraising for the cancer research and women’s chess. I was playing on 15 boards and when a game was completed onlookers were able to join in, so it was more like a chess marathon for me. The crowd was just amazing during my five-hour exhibition. My opponents were from France, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Italy, Norway, India and the rest mainly from Dorset. I managed to play over 50 games: 48 wins, 3 loses and 3 draws.

I lost against Bruce Jenks who won this year’s Frome Open (ECF 187, Bournemouth), Ivan Wallis (ECF 141, Bournemouth) and Petra Burilova (ECF 142, Czech Rep.). It’s worth to mention a few junior names such as local schoolboys Sam Kitson, Charlie Bowdler, James Learer and David Minasyan from Sutton, who put a great effort in their games. Also German schoolgirl Linda Liedel, who joined in at a later stage, showed a great fighting spirit and made a draw. I’m sure we will hear her name in the future.

I would like to thank Frank Hardman, the manager of Bournemouth International Hotel, for allowing me to borrow tables and chairs, special thanks to Martin Simons (Southbourne Chess Club) who provided the chess sets and helped with transporting the furniture, and also Leo from Bournemouth, Richard and Murray from Hastings (I promised to mention their names for their help!), my mother Mareta Grigoryan and my friend Lusine Vardanyan for their moral support and taking those great photos.
A big thanks to everyone who made this event happen. I have raised £135 online (plus gift aid of £26.23) and just over £100 during the exhibition. The event was by no means a success. I enjoyed it as much as the public did, so perhaps we should make it happen again next year :)
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