Separation Day 2016

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What a day!

How could anyone have predicted such an amazing day of chess with such amazing weather…


June 11th, 2016 — Delaware celebrated its 240th anniversary of Separation from Pennsylvania and the British Crown in Old New Castle.

The day started off as imagined — warm, blue skies, and a field full of vendors who were ready to celebrate Delaware’s separation from Pennsylvania while simultaneously telling the attendees about their business and how it benefits the community.

At the New Castle Chess tent we met kids and adults from all walks of life and levels of interest in the game of chess. Throughout the day we taught kids lessons and the rules of the game, gave away cool chess key chains, and even raffled off 2 brand new club chess sets!

It was a beautiful day all around. The weather held off the storms that were almost guaranteed to roll through the festival.

It’s as if a higher power wanted us to spread the good word about the benefits chess can have on an individual and the community!

As the day began to heat up, figuratively and literally, there were dozens of kids and adults who stopped by the tent  to play some games. Some having brand new experiences, having only played a family member on a rainy day while others have played during their time in high school or in the Navy, all have had the same reaction while coming into our tent — “How awesome!”


Chess is a game that intrigues most but very few understand. To us at New Castle Chess, we strive to place the most importance on the PROCESS of understanding the game. The process is what makes the game fascinating. Each lesson and each game that was played on Saturday was different than the one previous and held different learning points. Each game showed a different level of understanding, values, strategy development, aggressive or passive tendencies, and so much more. This is what makes chess interesting. We saw kids and talked kids through weighing the imbalances of positions that were laid in front of them and they were forced to develop a plan in accordance to what they saw, understood, and valued most. By understanding what makes each chess position different, powerful, weaker, or different from another, the attendees were able to calculate and use decision making skills to find a strong, if not the best way to continue their games. Some people were very clever and while not necessarily the best moves were made, the moves were in line with their personal style and offered different chances and opportunities in very interesting positions. The longer someone sat with us, their critical thinking, problem solving, and confidence were three themes that seem to shine brighter and brighter.

The very first lady and her son who came into the tent expressed great gratitude and interest in chess as an activity for kids. Her child has a bone disease that has been detrimental to his confidence. In most activities, other kids would find him an easy target to pick on since he isn’t able to keep up as easily. In chess, she immediately realized that besides the educational benefits, the camaraderie, synergy, and difference in skill set that it requires to succeed would be the perfect place for her child.


Chess has even had a lasting impact on Congressman John Carney. Walking into the tent he immediately recalled local projects like the Wilmington Urban Chess Initiative that have played an active role in promoting the many benefits chess has for all who choose to play. Without hesitation, he grabbed a hold of our informational brochure and exchanged contact information while noting the importance of the game.

Even with a very busy schedule he stuck around to “talk shop” with one of the founders, Phil Simpkins. That’s how much the congressman thought about chess.


All in all, Separation Day 2016 proved to be a wonderful event with our involvement reaching many people overall. We look forward to the opportunity to participate in other community events and celebrations in the future.

Are you putting on an event that you’d like New Castle Chess to be a part of? Would you like to know more about New Castle Chess? Email all inquiries to or us the contact form by clicking here.





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