Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lindsborg, KS: A Chess Tourist Report

As I mentioned in my last post about the Kansas Open, I was quite captivated by the city of Lindsborg. Yes it's actually a city of the second class under Kansas State Statutes. Don't ask me what that means. I am pretty clueless when it comes to differentiating between a village, town, or city. Civics was not something I had to take in high school. All I know it's a charming little place that is home to the Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess, which hosted Friday night's Kansas Quick Championship.

While waiting for the quick tournament to begin, I was looking in the windows of some of the various shops on Main St. What immediately caught my eye was the wood carving pictured below. It was in the window of Studio Lindsborg, a small art gallery and store that features the work of five local artists.

The wood carving is the logo of the Karpov Chess School, and was done by Gene Holdsworth. He had done six of these carvings. Five of them had been presented to grandmasters who were at the school for some event. The sixth one was sitting in the window, just waiting for some collector of chess themed objects to take it home. I made it a point to go back when the gallery was open so that I could buy it. The photograph doesn't really do it justice in terms of the intricate workmanship and carving. It's a wonderful piece of chess art, and now it sits on my bookcase in front of my chess books.

Wood Craftsman - Gene Holdsworth
Sitting behind some of his hand carved ornaments.

I loved walking around and looking at the different dala horses that were scattered around the city. I took pictures many of the ones that I like a lot. Unfortunately I forgot to write the names down so not all of them I remember.

Blossom - She was in front of the florist.

Dalamation - Firefighter

This one was in front of the Swedish Country Inn

A Christmas dala on wheels. She gets around town.

Kronor - The Dalla Horse
Worth lots of dollas

Old Grey Dala Mare
In front of the Lindsborg Senior Center

Salvador Dala
Great play on words!

I like bringing back some unique item from the places I visit. What would be more fitting then black and white dala horses?

Dala Knights

Maybe next summer I'll come back to Lindsborg to go to chess camp at the Karpov School. It's pretty reasonably priced, and it's open to adults and kids. I would certainly recommend a visit if you're in that neck of the woods. It's certainly a unique place, and not what you would expect to find in the middle of Kansas. I'm happy to report that I did not have to follow the instructions on this sign.


Pawn Shaman said...

Those little horses are pretty cool. Milwaukee had something like it for a time, but they were cows and they were painted so heinously and were disturbingly ugly to so many people that Milwaukee eventually sold them. Now you know some weird art history. Sounds like a fun trip!

Polly said...

Many cities do a series of painted animals. I've seen horses, cows, and roosters. I think what I found so charming about these were they're a part of Swedish culture, and it was fun to see how different artists did their piece. The little ones I bought are painted in the traditional Swedish style.

I wonder if my opponent would mind if I substituted those for the knights.

wang said...

I'm digging the horses, or I guess now you can just call them Knights.

By the way what are the chances of the Marshall Chess Club actually having the G60 tournament on September 5th? I'm asking because I will be back in NYC that weekend and I've never played a tournament in NY!

It would be great to play at the Marshall, but the NY state Championship is that weekend. How many people will actually do the Marshall thing?

Anonymous said...

Woodworkers do quite admirable work. It seems like one of those things in danger of being a "lost art", at least as a hobby. (Every hobbiest woodworker I know of is at least 60.) Of course, commercially, there's so much demand for wood cuts and the like, there'll always be people who know how to handle wood.

I am pretty clueless when it comes to differentiating between a village, town, or city.

Village: 100 gold for each load the Peasants bring back from the Gold Mines
Town: 110 gold
City: 120 gold

es_trick said...

Bennington, VT has painted moose everywhere. They're maybe half of life size.

Polly said...

Wang: They'll have the event. Last year 11 players attended. It's always a crap shoot on how many will attend a tournament there on a major holiday weekend. When I played on July 4th there were 14 players. There are always some people who will not attend out of town events. Those are the ones you will find at the Marshall that Saturday. If you can make it by Thursday you could play in the 4 rated games tonight event, which will be very strong have at least 20 players.

Anonymous said...

Hi Polly,

What do you do that you are able to travel this much? I wish I could do that.

P.S. The bottom picutre says dont use the elevator but to go to the room outside the elevator. I'd probably be lazy and use it and get there first.

Brennan P.

wang said...

Cool, it seems as if that Thursday will work better for me. Are you going to be there or will you be gearing up for the NY Championship?

chesstiger said...

Impressive art. Do you have special (chess) presents from other visited tournaments aswell? Or is this the first time you bought something?

Polly said...

Brennan: Some women spend their money on clothes and shoes. I spend it on travel. :-) When I've flown enough miles then I use the miles to go somewhere else.

Wang: I'll be there. I don't head up to Albany until Saturday.

Tiger: This was an unusual souvenir from a tournament. Usually the things I bring back from tournaments are tee-shirts or if I'm lucky a pin. I collect chess pins, but not many tournaments here in the states do pins for their events.

Timothy said...

This is fantastic!