Sunrise Chess


Sunrise making name for itself in wide world of chess

9 October 2015


Chess is a big deal in this town on the edge of the Everglades, right up there with Panthers games and shopping at the Sawgrass Mills Mall.


You heard right.



Sunrise, a suburban enclave that happens to be home to the mega shopping mall and Florida hockey team, was recently named "Chess City of the Year" by the United States Chess Federation — the only city in Broward County to earn the title. Sunrise joins a long list of cities recognized in previous years for their commitment to the game, including Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York City and Seattle.



Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan is on a mission to bring chess to young players as a way to help them use logic and learn to think ahead.


The honor, a salute to the city's scholastic chess initiative, has put Sunrise on the map as the county's chess capital.


The man leading the charge is none other than Mayor Mike Ryan, a chess aficionado who helped start a chess program in Broward County schools and just this summer earned an Outstanding Achievement Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors for his role in bringing chess to the community.

Magic 102.7, read about the chess initiatives in Sunrise and

spontaneously gave a shout-out to Sunrise | Runtime 1.55 secs


Sunrise City Manager Richard Salamon, a chess player himself, says other cities are looking to get their own chess programs going.


"Our mayor started this and it has just taken off like wildfire in Broward County," Salamon said. "It's turned into this big movement."


Ryan hopes his mission is to bring chess to young players will end up helping them at school and beyond.


Every Saturday, Sunrise offers free, openplay chess sessions at its Civic Center at 10610 West Oakland Park Blvd.




Hikaru Nakamura now

calls Sunrise home

The city also helped bring a "First Move" chess program to Sunrise elementary schools. That pilot program led to the introduction of classroom chess for 30,000 second and third graders throughout Broward.


In a twist of fate, America's top chess player Hikaru Nakamura now calls Sunrise home.


Nakamura bought a place in Sunrise last year after winning a key to the city for his work in promoting the game. The world-renowned chess champ has even attended events at Ryan's invitation to give the kids pointers.


"Chess teaches you to think ahead," he said. "It teaches you to be patient and not rush ahead just to make a move."


Nakamura, who began playing at 7, says Ryan has done what others could not by getting elected officials in on the game.


If You Go


In addition to Saturday's 10 Oct event in Sunrise, other Mayors' Chess Challenges are scheduled at the following locations:


Tamarac: Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon, Ballroom Community Center, 8601 West Commercial Blvd.

Lauderhill: Dec. 5 at 9:30 a.m., Lauderhill City Hall, 5581 West Oakland Park Blvd.

Coral Springs: Jan. 23 from 9 to 11 a.m., Mullins Hall at Mullins Park, 10000 NW 29th St (Ben Geiger Drive).

Cooper City: Feb. 27 from 9 to 11 a.m., Pool & Tennis Center, 11600 Stonebridge Parkway.

Wilton Manors: March 19 from 2 to 4 p.m., Hagen Park Community Center, 2020 Wilton Drive.


Mayor of Newham Shows off his Chess Moves


The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, showed off his chess moves in a special online game against an American mayor as part of an initiative showcasing the benefits the game has on childrens’ education.



Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales


Sir Robin pitted his wits against Mike Ryan, the Mayor of Sunrise in Florida, in a match over Skype at the Gate Community Neighbourhood Centre.


The event, supported by Chess in Schools and Communities, was part of the Mayors’ Chess Challenge being run across Florida’s Broward County, including the city of Sunrise. The city has recently been named as Chess City of the Year by the United States Chess Federation.


As part of the initiative mayors from across the county invite their counterparts from other parts of the world to take part in a chess game. Schoolchildren from the respective areas also take on each other.


Pupils from Park Primary, Keir Hardie Primary and Ravenscroft Primary Schools joined Sir Robin at the event and played against children from Sunrise.


The aims of the Mayors’ Chess Challenge mirror those of Newham Council’s Every Child a Chess Player - giving children in the borough’s state schools the opportunity to learn the game to help them develop skills outside of traditional learning. Chess helps children develop concentration, logical thinking, numeracy, problem solving and enhance their social skills.


Sir Robin said: “I believe that every Newham child matters and I want to give them the same chances to develop academically and socially as children in wealthier parts of the country.



“Chess is a fantastic way of developing childrens’ focus and discipline that can then translate into their school work.


“I have never played chess against someone on the other side of the world before but events like this are a fun and great way of showcasing the benefits of the game.”


Mayor Mike Ryan said: “I was delighted the Mayor of Newham also recognises the values of chess and was able to take part in out initiative. “The Mayors’ Chess Challenge is really about exposing chess to as many people as possible. Chess crosses all boundaries – on the board everybody’s equal.”


The match was declared a draw.


Anyone wanting more information about Every Child a Chess Player and the other Newham Council’s Every Child initiatives should see


Sir Robin Wales photo | Ray Morris-Hill


Gallery photos | Tereza Pribanova



© SC


Copyright © Chess in Schools and Communities

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