Public chess tables are to be installed at Robelle Domain Parklands, thanks to the initiative of Springfield’s regional chess club founder.
The idea for a local public venue was an innovative gambit by Eduardo Cubilla – who runs the Springfield Ipswich Chess Club – as part of a strategy to encourage more social and outdoor gaming, he said.
Ed thinks playing games like chess outside in the fresh air is healthier for people and all around smarter.
“I think it will be a great thing for the community… for people of all ages,” he said.
“We have beautiful weather here,” he added. “We can go to the park, grab coffee or tea, and play chess in the open air with nice solid tables and benches.
“People start talking, make friends, and communicate with each other… I want that to start growing.”
Last month, Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic went head-to-head with him at the park while they discussed ideal placements for the tables.
“I needed to get some advice from the best, of course,” Cr Jonic said.
The installation of the tables in a designated area of the Parklands was approved at Council’s June meeting, and now awaits a final tender and administrative financial process.
He described the petition and approval process, as well as engineer meetings to decide on table size and placement as having been a battle, but the result had made it all worth it.
Ed explained that – besides the new Robelle Domain setting – there are almost no outdoor chess tables publicly available in the wider Ipswich region.
“There’s something at the QUT campus – a few tables – but in public open spaces, there’s nothing.”
Ed launched the Chess Club in Redbank in 2017, then a year later moved to Orion Shopping Centre for meet-ups, and then to the local YMCA, where it currently meets on Wednesday nights.
He says teaching young club members – which he calls “Chessaroos” – is his driving passion.
Ed also wants to inspire adults who may have dabbled in chess long ago.
“One time in their life, chess was on their agenda… [but] most of the time they’ve given it up somewhere along the way… because there’s no good way to meet and make connections.”
He said he wants to hold the first ever Ipswich open tournament, which he is planning for August next year.
Springfield Ipswich Chess Club is held on Wednesdays from 5:30pm for juniors and 7:00pm for adults (or rated juniors) at the Orion Lagoon Room at the YMCA Springfield Lakes Community Centre – at 53 Springfield Lakes Boulevard, Springfield Lakes. For all enquiries, contact Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0431 065 425.