Home » Opening move for local outdoor chess

Opening move for local outdoor chess

Daniel Bouwmeester    July 2, 2023    3 min read   

Public chess tables have finally been installed at Robelle Domain Parklands – thanks to the initiative of the founder of Springfield’s regional chess club.

The idea for an outdoor venue was a gambit made by Springfield Ipswich Chess Club president Eduardo “Ed” Cubilla – part of his long-term goal to encourage more social gaming, especially outside in the fresh air.

“I think it will be a great thing for the community… for people of all ages,” Ed said.

The tender, construction, and installation of the six new tables and 12 chairs were finalised and completed last month following Council approval last year.

Ed said he believes playing games such as chess outdoors is healthier, and has plans to make 

“We have beautiful weather here. We can go to the park, grab coffee or tea, and play chess in the open air with nice solid tables and benches.

“[I’m] playing with the idea of creating ‘Robelle Domain Social Chess’, and [using] the chess tables as a meeting point.

“People start talking, make friends, and communicate with each other… I want that to start growing.”

Tabled motions

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic – who supported the initiative and its successful approval at Council meeting a year ago – joined Ed to play a ceremonious first match at one of the new tables.

Together, they reminisced over the moves they made to reach this point.

Councillor Nicole Jonic takes on Springfield Ipswich Chess Club’s Ed Cubilla for the inaugural match at the recently opened site. Image: Cr Nicole Jonic

“From idea to design and location, [Ed has] been a major player – pun intended,” Ms Jonic said.

“Thanks for being a source of great inspiration.”

Ed had originally suggested the installation of tables to Council and the Springfield City Group back in 2018 – but the pandemic delayed it by years.

He noted that, until now, there had been 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 [was] nothing,” Ed explained.

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.

Ongoing strategy

Ed launched the Chess Club in Redbank in 2017, moving meet-ups to Orion Springfield Central a year later, 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. He 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.”

Ed also announced that plans to hold the first ever Ipswich open chess tournament have been delayed to 2024.

“Unfortunately, the Ipswich City Chess Open is not happening this year.”

Springfield Ipswich Chess Club is held on Wednesdays from 4:30pm 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 edcubi@hotmail.com or call 0431 065 425.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.