A little help for chess, mates?

I play chess on the tables that have been kindly placed on the edge of the Pritchard Park. Lots of local players go there, and tourists of course. I would like to suggest two possible improvements but I don't know if the necessary financing could be made available or if it is possible.

I would like to see a cover over at least one set of tables so that play could continue during inclement weather. Something like a bus stop shelter type of thing might work. I wonder if there is a local business that might hold chess sets and boards for use there. I would gladly contribute some sets and boards for use if there was a place they could be stored. I wonder if the Firestorm Café might be possible for this?

At the moment, most of the serious players who go there bring their own sets and boards, but there are often more would-be players than sets and boards. It is an interesting vibe down there playing chess, and I like it better than the local chess club. There is always something interesting happening, with the strangest of folks turning up to watch or just chat.

For example I was playing recently with a local chap called Paul, a strong player and fairly frequent user of the tables. We had a tourist who was watching the game and he asked if he could make some comment, if it would disturb us or not. We both agreed it wouldn't, expecting some chess-game-related question. He went on to tell us all about The Silver Surfer in great detail, his family and troubles, (the Surfer's, not his). It is quite difficult to make interested-sounding remarks about such an abstract thing whilst playing (and winning) a chess game against a strong player.

I have never been importuned whilst playing there; it is a central meeting point for the local homeless folks who also seem to play chess and adds to Asheville's attractions and general friendly ambiance.

— Alan Dewey
Asheville

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