Chess Club Beginnings at SMA YPK in Borneo Tuesday, Nov 3 2009 

Starting up the chess club at SMA YPK in Bontang, Indonesia has been slow. I’m working here as an English teacher and also facilitating the English Club as well.

The pictures below of some of my students playing Western chess and XiangQi are from my house, just some students coming over to play.

After the 3 days of signup for the Chess (or ‘Catur’ in Indonesian) Club only 2 people came. After this depressing result I decided to postpone the club officially and announce it in my classes.

Since then I’ve announced it in almost all of my classes and in a few of the classes in the other two grades as well (high school in my school only has three years, 10th – 12th). 20 more people have signed up already. At this rate I’ll hopefully have a lot more students than I can handle.

Wish me luck,
Paul Chiariello

Western Chess & XiangQi at my House in Bontang, Indo Wednesday, Oct 21 2009 

The Chess club at SMA YPK in Bontang, Indonesia in East Kalimantan, or Borneo, is underway and hopefully will be starting this or next week.

Thursday of last week, however, I had about a dozen students over my house to play chess and to teach some of them how to play XiangQi, or Chinese chess.
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Chess Lessons at My House

Chess Lessons at My House


Some students already know how to play. In the picture above I’m playing a great game against one of the students while teaching the others and making general points on strategy and rules of thumb.
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Two Students Playing

Two Students Playing


In SMA YPK in Bontang I have fortunately not the same assumptions about chess and gender as other school. It is much more like the Kakemer Resource Center where girls were just as eager to learn as the boys. Among those that already play, however, the vast majority are boys. When the club officially starts we’ll see how many join.
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Chess and XiangQi (Chinese Chess)

Chess and XiangQi (Chinese Chess)


Some of the students already knew Western Chess, but none of them were familiar with XiangQi or Chinese Chess. Though at first intimidating with the foreign characters it has on its pieces, there was a lot of interest and one of the students immediately started reading one of the books i had on how to play XiangQi. This is the first program where I will be teaching Chinese Chess.

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Thank you
Paul Chiariello

Short Updates on CEA Chess Programs Friday, Oct 16 2009 

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I have been able to write an update on any of our current projects or plans.

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Bontang, East Kalimantan (Borneo) Indonesia

1) Currently I am in the midst of setting up the Chess club here at SMA YPK, a highschool in East Kalimantan, or Borneo.  There is a lot of excitement and my students (I’m also working as an English teacher here) have asked me when it will start.  Yesterday I had several students over my house to play chess.  I also taught a few the basics of XiangQi, or Chinese chess.  I plan to add XiangQi to the formal chess club later.

Kakemer, Western Kenya

2) The Kakemer Resource Center has officially opened.  Along with the largest library in Kakemer and a very successful computer training program (the first of its kind in the area), the CEA chess program that was started at the KR Center for primary and secondary students in the surrounding villages has been more than successful.  Many students are coming almost every day after their classes in the neighboring secondary school and are bringing their friends as well.  New boards for the resource center should be arriving with the help of the Global Literacy Project within the next few months, allowing more and more students to play.  There are picture of students from the KR Center playing below.

Malaba, Western Kenya

3) Students at the Isegeretoto Primary School in Malaba, Kenya are keeping the excitement of their first tournament alive.  From reports of Collette Young who works with the school, the chess club is as active as it was before CEA volunteers left it to be run by the school itself.  Beautiful new plaques have now replaced the temporary tournament trophies that are in pictures in previous posts on this blog.  Hopefully I will be able to post more pictures soon.

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Thank you,

Paul Chiariello

Arrival in Bontang, Borneo and Other Chess Sites Thursday, Oct 1 2009 

This past Saturday two other Chess for Education Abroad volunteers and myself set off for their sites throughout Indonesia.  We will be starting several chess clubs in east Kalimantan (Borneo), South Kalimantan, and West Java.  I will be working in Bontang, East Kalimantan setting up several Western Chess clubs as well as the CEA’s first pilot XiangQi, or Chinese Chess, clubs.

More updates will follow about our progress in the coming weeks.  And, hopefully, the other CEA volunteers will be able to post updates on their own progress as well.

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Thank you and Terimah Kasih

Paul Chiariello

Arrival to Indonesia Friday, Sep 4 2009 

Hello all,

I just arrived in Indonesia less than a week ago.  Spent some time in Jakarta for Fulbright orientation and will be taking three weeks of relatively intense language courses in Bahasa Indonesian.  After that i’ll be heading straight for Bontang to the site where I will be teaching English and setting up several CEA programs.

I’m going to be spending 9 months in Bontang inside Kutai National Park in Borneo, Indonesia.  I hope to set up several western chess programs as well as the CEA’s first Xiangqi (chinese or elephant chess) and Go clubs.  Hopefully these programs will be as great of successes as we had in Kenya and Northern Uganda.

I probably won’t be writing too much over the next few weeks but hope to write as often as i can while in borneo working with the chess clubs.

Thank you,

Paul Chiariello