Upcoming legal chess tournament sparks competition, promotes family connection

In a family friendly competition pitting plaintiffs' attorneys against defense attorneys, two Indianapolis law firms have come together to host a chess tournament to raise funds for civic education.

The We the People White Knight Chess Tournament will take place at 2 p.m. Oct. 26, but registration is already open. Hosted by Cohen & Malad and Barnes & Thornburg at the Indianapolis City Market, the fundraising event will allow opposing counsel to compete in a head-to-head chess tournament.

Gabe Hawkins of Cohen & Malad said he first came up with the idea for the event after routinely running into lawyers while at his son’s chess tournaments. After chatting with other attorneys and realizing many similarly enjoy the game, Hawkins decided it would be worth a shot.

The tournament will be open to lawyers in the Indiana legal community, as well as the special kids in their lives, Hawkins said. There will be two divisions to compete in: an adult division and a children’s division. The top-ranked finishers from both divisions will advance to a ‘simul’ against chess grandmaster Fidel Corrales Jimenez of Boston, who will simultaneously play all players in individual games.

A full 100 percent of the funds raised from the tournament will be donated to the We the People citizen and constitution program. WTP promotes civic competence and responsibility among Indiana’s elementary, middle and high school students – something Hawkins said is the perfect charity for lawyers to promote.

Cohen & Malad and Barnes & Thornburg will pay the hard costs of the event, he added. Both firms teamed up with the goal of bringing the statewide legal community together for a bit of family fun.

Hawkins hopes attorneys from all over the state will partake in the spirit of competition. Even more, he hopes lawyers will bring the children in their lives to participate too.

“This is an event that you can have lawyer-child participation,” Hawkins explained. “The unique aspect is that people can do this with their families and promote the hobby of chess. I’m hoping it’s a family event where they can engage with a competition while spending time with their family and doing something their child might find neat.”

Hoosier attorneys interested in signing up for the tournament can now register online.

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