Toronto – June 27, 2023
Peaches Sports Bar in Toronto has been buzzing with excitement throughout the month of June as it played host to the vibrant Chess at Peaches event. This unique event, specifically made for the Queer and Trans community, brought together 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and allies for an engaging and inclusive chess experience.
On Tuesday nights from June 13 to June 27, chess enthusiasts of all abilities gathered at Peaches Sports Bar for evening sessions filled with casual chess lessons, activities, and positive vibes. The event aimed to create a safe and welcoming space for participants to learn, connect, and forge new friendships.
Ximena, Rose, and Michael, the inclusive hosts of Chess at Peaches, were instrumental in fostering a diverse community and promoting a love for chess among attendees. They ensured that players felt valued, respected, and comfortable expressing their identities throughout the event.
Participants shared their positive experiences and highlighted the importance of a space like Chess at Peaches. One attendee remarked, “As a trans woman, this place has been essential for me to feel comfortable learning.” The event offered a unique opportunity for individuals who may not have regular access to chess spaces where their identities are fully embraced.
Another attendee stated, “So lovely to learn more about chess in a low-pressure environment. Everyone was willing to take time to teach. I learned a lot being able to focus on the game not on being treated well and respected or having to correct pronouns. That’s huge. Rose and Ximena are amazing! They’re patient and kind teachers.”
The chess lessons and activities were designed to accommodate participants of all skill levels. From the chess-curious to experienced players, everyone found their place at Chess at Peaches. The mix of experience and abilities fostered a sense of camaraderie, as players engaged in friendly competition, shared knowledge, and supported each other’s growth.
One of the most inspiring moments during the event was witnessing the generosity and welcoming attitude among participants. Players challenged and learned from one another, engaging in lively conversations about moves, strategies, and alternative approaches. It was a true celebration of the game, where everyone had an opportunity to both teach and learn.
The success of Chess at Peaches was made possible, in part, by the generous support of The Marvin Rosenhek Community Chess Fund. This fund, established in memory of Marvin Rosenhek, a passionate chess player and dedicated lawyer, contributes to educational programs within schools and the broader community. The Chess Institute of Canada extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Rosenhek family for their support and commitment to advancing chess education.
As the Chess at Peaches event came to a close, the sense of accomplishment and community spirit was palpable. Attendees expressed their gratitude for the inclusive environment and the opportunity to learn and connect with fellow 2SLGBTQIA+ chess enthusiasts. “This is my second time attending, and a greatly enjoy learning more chess knowledge today. Learning about closings last time was really cool and learning about Antichess and Hand and Brain today was so cool! I look forward to playing more. I love queer chess nights!”
Chess at Peaches proved to be a resounding success, showcasing the power of chess to bring people together, foster inclusivity, and create lasting friendships. This event will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the Queer and Trans community, leaving participants with a deeper appreciation for the game and a sense of belonging.
As Pride month drew to a close, Chess at Peaches served as a testament to the power of chess to unite diverse communities, celebrate identities, and create positive change.