Arts & Entertainment

Chess Club Set to Make Return to Scotch Plains Library in January

Alfonse Akins' son, Matthew (left) plays a game of chess against a young opponent. Credits: Photo provided by Alfonse Akins

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Chess is a game a wit, endurance and intellectual skill. But it is also a game that has been neglected in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood community for quite some time, according to Alfonse Akins, a member of the Scotch Plains Recreation Commission.

For years, parents and children were forced to travel to neighboring towns including Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Rahway and even Plainfield to participate in organized chess matches.

That is all about to change on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m. as the Chess Club will officially launch its inaugural 90-minute bi-weekly meeting at the Scotch Plains Public Library. Children between nine- to 16-years-old are invited to participate in the free program with registration now open. Chessmaster Errol Singh of Chatham Day School and ChessmatesNJ will lead the instruction.

Sign Up for E-News

“I asked myself, ‘why do all of these surrounding towns offer the intellectual game of chess, but we don’t?’” wondered Akins, who played an integral part in the resurrection of the chess club. “That motivated me to launch this program at the Scotch Plains Library.”

“I think chess is very important to the intellectual development of our youth in Scotch Plains,” added Akins, whose 10-year-old son, Matthew, is an avid chess player.

Akins was especially thankful for the efforts of Michelle Willis, Director of the Scotch Plains Public Library, who helped get the program off the ground and even helped raise the funding needed for chess sets. He also acknowledged the assistance of Matt Mercurio, Scotch Plains Recreation Director, Evan Murray, Chairman of the Scotch Plains Library Board, Councilman Llewellyn Jones, and Mike Walsh, Chair of the Recreation Commission.

Sessions are limited to Scotch Plains and Fanwood cardholders only. For more information, contact the Scotch Plains Public Library at 908-322-5007. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

State-Imposed Affordable Housing Requirements Will Lead to Overdevelopment in Scotch Plains

July 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

There will be a public hearing in Trenton concerning the affordable housing process on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the State House Annex (131-137 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608) in Committee Room 16 on the 4th floor.

This hearing is hosted by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, and the Committee will receive ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Caring Contact Volunteer Listener Training Fall 2018

July 18, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ -- Have you ever been told you are a good listener? Do you have a yearning to really make a difference? Become a Caring and Crisis Hotline Listener.

You could save a life.

Volunteers receive 52 hours of comprehensive training in active listening, Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.  You also are supported by ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...



Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM


Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza