Chess as Lifelong Learning

09.04.10 Many of our stories feature children and young adults and their relationship with chess. In this particular entry we take a look at a group of seniors in southern Maine who, through the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning and Jon Malev, have opportunities to learn chess and improve their game. The group meets at Prime Toyota Scion in Saco.

A car dealership is an unusual venue for a chess class but it works. Prime Toyota Scion in Saco is the meeting place for the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning spin off intermediate chess class.

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in late August three students filed into Prime Toyota Scion on the Automile in Saco with chess boards and pieces in hand. Some also brought chess books, games and composed problems to discuss during class number seven of this eight-week intermediate chess class taught by long-time MECA board member Jon Malev.

Having taken a beginner's class at the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning (OLLI) at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, these students wanted to continue their chess learning and agreed on a summer class outside of OLLI.

Chess bridges many gaps and is truly a lifelong activity. It was great to see these seniors delving into games and positions with as much excitement and enthusiasm as any scholastic chess club.

Long live lifelong learning!

To begin the class, instructor Jon Malev checks in with his students and they decide on a plan for the afternoon: warm-up with a few problems followed by reviewing a game with discussion and conclude with a few live games.

Jon sets up a problem while Meredith Philippus looks on.

Jon makes a point while reviewing a game with his class (left to right): Laurie Leonard, Mogens Ravn and Meredith Philippus. (Regular student Richard Driver was unable to make this week's class.)

Here's a closer look at the position.

Mogens Ravn makes a move in his training game with Jon Malev.

Even your author (right) was able to get a game in with Laurie Leonard.

To visit the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of Southern Maine please click here.

You can reach Jon Malev via email at


Thanks, Dan.......Even on
vacation you do a bang-up job

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