A Week at the MarshallAn Introduction to the Challenge
I have grown accustomed to telling people that I work at the Marshall on "Saturdays from 4 to closing!" and to come by then. This week, though, many regulars saw me on Thursdays, and proclaimed their surprise. With the Marshall's Executive Director, Bryan Quick, and one of our tournament directors, Jarret Petrillo, on vacation, I volunteered to cover their shifts. Except for a temporary, one day break last Friday, I have been at the Marshall every day for almost a week. This is radically different than my one shift, 8 hours on Saturday schedule. Through this experience, I have come to learn a few nuances at the club that I cannot gleam from my once per week norm.The Marshall is a great place to study during the day
Besides a few classes and private lessons on weekdays, there is often not much going on during the weekdays at the chess club. Throughout my marathon week, I saw IM Jay Bonin, David Kantey, and several other chess players come to study at the club quietly. It is clear that in the hours before the nightly rush of tournament players, the club proves to be a great space to study chess. There are copies of Chess Informant
to read, chess boards and clocks, and bathrooms. The club is conveniently located near a few places to eat.
I have been the nearby chess store, Chess Forum, many times and see seniors playing there during the day. It would definitely be more beneficial to the club to have more seniors here during the day time such as the ones that appear to congregate there. Of course, regardless, chess players are welcome to stop in any time during the day.
There are many more people that you meet when you're at the club more than once a week
Throughout the week, I met many people who I never see on my single Saturday shift. It is especially interesting to see unique faces and names. My advice for if you are tired of seeing the same players over and over again at the Marshall, try to play on a different day of the week. This is also the case if you simply want to meet new people! Of course, there are many players who play on a variety of days during the week- I saw GM Michael Rohde numerous times- but it is still a different scene.The work doesn't stop, even if no one is physically at the club
Every day, my club email inbox fills up with bye requests, questions, and comments about tournaments and other club activities. These inquiries are answered no matter if there are people playing at the club. Phone calls are relatively common throughout the day which was something I did not expect. Clearly, working at the Marshall can get busy even when it is quietest.