Let's play - Limassol

Hello everybody,

Limassol is a wonderful city by the Mediterranean Sea. Fantastic weather and a beautiful sea promenade is everything you need to enjoy as many happy days as you dream… The mall is a perfect place for very early or very late walks by the sea on the summer and all day long walks in the winter when the temperatures are just ideal.
You can rent a bike and stroll along the pathway, stop at the playground or just simple play in the sand by the sea. There are beautiful shaded areas where you could relax and enjoy the view.
I like seeing people sitting outside in a park, playing a game, reading a book, or watching their kids playing. That gave me the pleasure to meat there Mr. Vassilis Aristotelous. He is the President of Limassol Chess Club.

Izzy: I am very pleased to meet the person who makes the chess lessons possible in Limassol. What you could tell us about yourself? How did you start playing chess and enjoy this life as teacher of this beautiful game?
V.A.: My uncle taught me how the game is played when I was five years old. Then after a while I discovered a neighbor boy, two years older than me that he had the passion of the game of chess in him, inherited from his father. Imagine that his father had a chess library of books half a century ago! And then we started playing and more and more children gradually pulled into the game. It was fun! During the years I became a more mature and knowledgeable chess player, participated representing Cyprus in many international events, like world chess Olympiads and pan-European chess championships. I only recently became a chess instructor, five years ago, after a persistent friend decided to make the first chess academy in Limassol and needed help. The massive participation and the enthusiasm of the children astounded us and made us realize that we were writing history as far as children chess in Cyprus is concerned.

Izzy: I was very impressed to hear that besides having a job, teaching chess for kids, being a FIDE arbiter and a Cyprus Chess Champion you also found time to write a book about chess. You are the first one in Cyprus that wrote such a book. Why did you decide to take this step and how do you believe your book is helping the young readers?
V.A.: I have to say that during the years as a chess teacher I was preparing and giving out papers to my students. It is these papers put together that make the backbone of the book. The book’s name is “Chess One – A complete introduction to the royal game” and it is the perfect help for everybody studying Chess. Having a book in the class makes things much easier for everybody, for the teacher, for the students, even for the parents.

Izzy: The book is already published, where we could find the book to buy it?
V.A.: The book can be found at Kyriakou Bookshops and also directly from me: just let me know you want one and a book will find its way to you!

 Izzy: Seeing the cover of the book I realize the chess could involve a lot of work and study. We live now in a world dominated by computers, pads, internet and all sorts of new technologies that occupies your time. Do you believe there it could be time for chess study, for a book to read, for kids to get out of their daily routine and enjoy something closer to reality as a chess game played face to face with your adversary?
V.A.: There is always time for something you like, a hobby, and children can take up chess in this way. Now if along the way they discover that they have talent for the game and they enjoy playing in tournaments then they can pursue it further.

 Izzy: Limassol is a beautiful city with gorgeous views to the sea. What are your favorite places to play chess?
V.A.: We are using a few near-the-sea places to enjoy the game. I have to say that Limassol has some nice spots to offer. I always wanted to organize a beach chess tournament, where people in their swimsuits take short splashes between rounds!  I will let you know…

Izzy: Could you tell us more about your dreams in making the game of chess more popular around Limassol kids and adults? Does anybody is getting involved to help you making your dreams come true?
V.A.: I’m offering my teaching to more and more places, I even teach chess to Russian children in Russian schools! And since last year I started teaching adults in the Government public education evening classes. I believe my book will help in this direction.

Izzy:  What advice would you give to aspiring players out there and to the parents of the kids who would like to introduce chess in the lives of their children?
V.A.: Play chess, it’s cool! The sooner one realizes that serious chess needs serious investment of time and effort for studying and playing, the better it is. Chess is good for children. It teaches them so many things which would be otherwise almost impossible to get through to them. They get to know responsibility for their actions in very pressing conditions.

Izzy: As I know that everybody enjoy a nice story I also like to hear one from you. Do you have any?
V.A.: When I hear the words chess and story, I cannot help myself thinking about the invention of chess. Long time ago, there was this King who got sick and tired of playing dice and cards. So he assigned his wise man the task of coming up with a game which the factor of luck would be absolutely absent and the qualities of logic, calculation, strategy and taking right decisions would be the winning factors. After some time the wise man presented the game of chess to the monarch. The King was so thrilled with the new game that he called his wise man and told him to ask whatever he wanted as a reward, half of the kingdom, the hand of his only daughter, his weight in gold, anything! The wise man just asked for grains of corn! One grain of corn to be placed on the first square of the chessboard, two grains on the second one, four on the third one, and so on, doubling on the next square all the way till the last sixty fourth square of the board. The King thought the wise man was crazy not to accept his generous gifts and to insist just for a few grains of corn, so finally ordered his officers to go and give a couple of bags of corn to the wise man. The King was shocked to hear, after some time, from his officers that all the corn of the kingdom was not enough after reaching only square number thirty on the board!
And it is really so! The way the wise man asked the grains of corn to get double on the next square by the time the sixty four square is reached an astronomical number is created which all the corn of earth is not enough. The King did not know what to admire more, the fascinating game of chess or the clever request of the wise man.
This story is in my book, together with much and various information about chess.

Izzy: Congratulation once again for your book. Thank you very much for this nice opportunity that gives us the pleasure to meet the Limassol Chess Club through the words of its master.

V.A.: People of any age interested for the game of chess please contact me and I will find a way to keep you learning, playing and enjoying chess!
Vassilis Aristotelous, 99651120, varistotelous@gmail.com

Lots of sunny days from Izzy the Cypriot Lizard!

Vassilis Aristotelous President of Chess Club Limassol
Phone no: +357 99 651 120
Facebook: www. facebook.com/vassilis.aristotelous
E-mail: varistotelous@gmail.com