Big Chess in Forsyth Park

Welcome to Savannah, America's Most Beautiful City










Chess is REALLY Big
in Forsyth Park
by Cima Star








If Bishops and Queens, Kings and Knights are more than just Medieval memory, you must be thinking – CHESS!

A larger than life chessboard lies on the broad sidewalk just south of the Forsyth Park fountain. Hand painted by the always ebullient and innovative Chris Miller, the green squares match the color of the oak leaves found throughout the park. After only a few days, the board and its giant chess pieces beckoned to old time chess devotees, novice players and an already growing number of would-be players. Kids, especially, seem fascinated.

In a small ceremony on July 24 Miller, the original founder and head of The Creative Coast Alliance, dedicated this new symbol of Savannah’s creativity to the City.

Of course, the 20+-acre Forsyth Park has always had plenty of fun and games, from tennis to softball, pick-up football and rugby, to skateboard artists and Frisbee. Not to mention romping dogs. But rarely a chess game. Although there are plenty of benches, the Park has no tables. So the occasional chess buffs who wanted to play amidst the cool greenery had to lug in their own folding table and chairs, or play sitting cross-legged on a blanket. Few bothered.

Now, every Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 5 pm, the life-sized game will be available for all to see and use. Next to the board is Miller’s card. Just a phone call at pretty much any time will produce Miller and his bike, towing his green chess trailer full of the gleaming, big black and white pieces.

Among other things, Miller believes that chess is ideal for kids. It teaches patience and perseverance in thinking ahead, it teaches them how to win and how to lose. Above all, it shows there is more to life than the city streets. --Cima Star

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Photos by Bob Wisener




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