By the Editorial Board
Grandmaster Leinier Dominguez, the strongest chess player in Latin America today, paid a visit to the province of Pinar del Rio on the morning of Saturday May 15, 2010 to hold a simultaneous chess match with 25 boards in the hall of Western Baptist Church situated at Recreo y Retiro Street in the City of Pinar del Rio.
The most prominent Cuban chess player since the days of Jose Raul Capablanca, he was received with joy and simplicity by children and adults who filled the space generously provided by the Christian congregation. Pastor Becerra said a few words of welcome to Leinier and all who responded to the call. To these kind words of welcome the renowned chess player responded with the simplicity that characterizes him and welcomed the invitation of the Pastor and the participants. Then the Grand Master Adrian Abreu, Leinier’s coach, gave a lively speech of thanks and highlighted the importance of such activities to stimulate and increase the level of play of children.
Moments later the FIDE Grand Master opened the 13 boards defended by children simultaneously, accompanied by his coach who attended ten boards defended by adults. After the children had the opportunity to play with the young and accessible champion, fans and coaches took their places at the boards as they became vacant.
The hospitality of the church was marked by a simple toast to the participants.
Everyone won: Pinar del Rio was able to count on the presence and moves of one of the most famous chess players worldwide. West Baptist Church had the honor and joy to invite and receive him in their premises and also took the opportunity to make a valued contribution to the sporting and spiritual life of this city which need activities like this to grow not only the intelligence but also the heart and soul of the Cubans. The children had the excitement and great joy to be playing with such high-class and simple-hearted champion. Coaches and fans received the gift and recognition of winners and the audience.
All Pinar del Rio appreciate this gesture of Leinier Dominguez, his coach and the West Baptist Church. We hope it can be repeated on other occasions, more widely covered by local media and many more countrymen can enjoy such a valuable event.