Jesús Medina Molina talks to Eric van Reem about ‘Urban chess’

by ChessBase
10/26/2020 – “Let’s talk about chess” is a podcast hosted by Dutch writer and photographer Eric van Reem. After reading an article entitled “Bringing chess to public spaces” in a FIDE newsletter, Van Reem decided to invite Jesús Medina Molina, the man who initiated a national program in the Netherlands which promotes the placement of public chess tables in open spaces.

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Chess tables in city parks

“Let’s talk about chess” is a podcast hosted by Dutch writer and photographer Eric van Reem. In this podcast, Eric talks with various interesting personalities from the chess world about their life and careers, and he also keeps an eye on the current situation in the chess world. 

After reading an article entitled “Bringing chess to public spaces” in a FIDE newsletter, Van Reem decided to invite Jesús Medina Molina, the man who initiated a national program in the Netherlands which promotes the placement of public chess tables in open spaces. Medina has succeeded in getting his initiative approved in 18 Dutch cities so far. It was in March 2018 that the first three public tables were inaugurated in Máxima Park in Utrecht.

In the 45-minute interview, Van Reem and Medina discussed the following topics:

  • How Medina taught himself to play chess at a late age in order to help his daughter improve her calculation skills after she had presented some difficulties with mathematics in school.
  • The difference between a chess court and a chess table, with the former including an integrated plan to motivate people to use them in a broad number of ways.
  • A correct approach to sell the idea to municipalities and sponsors, taking the focus away from chess and emphasizing the societal benefits related to the initiative.
  • The logistics behind building chess tables and promoting their proper use with the main goal of connecting people.

Jesús Medina Molina

Chess tables at the Máxima Park in Utrecht

Do follow Jesús on Twitter and visit his website

This was the eighth episode of the “Let’s talk about chess” podcast. Previous guests were Surya Shekhar Ganguly, who has created a marvellous YouTube channel for hardcore chess fans; Tony Rich, the executive director of the successful Saint Louis Chess Club; Peter Heine Nielsen, the main assistant of world champion Magnus Carlsen; three-time Norwegian chess champion Jonathan Tisdall; Merijn van Delft, who recently launched a new book and records weekly shows here in ChessBase; and with Icelandic musician Hjörtur Ingvi Jóhannsson.

You can replay all the episodes at the official website.


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