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August 18, 2022
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Chess tournament celebrates 40-year sister state relationship

MADISON, WI. AUG. 18, 2022 – Wisconsin students and their counterparts in Heilongjiang, China will compete in two online chess competitions – starting this week – to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Wisconsin’s sister state relationship with Heilongjiang.

“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the bond between Wisconsin and Heilongjiang,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “Our businesses need to thrive in a global environment. Tournaments like this help our youth learn valuable skills that will help them work across countries and cultures.”

About a dozen Wisconsin students are set to challenge their peers in Heilongjiang to a game of chess Saturday night. The virtual tournament is scheduled to run from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. central daylight time on the website: https://lichess.org/.

Chess is a perfect medium for youth to get to know people from other countries and cultures, said Fred Lange, the chess coach for the University School of Milwaukee and the Wisconsin tournament director.

“We don’t have a language barrier,” he said. “It’s a game that can easily be played across the world.”

Lange said he is hoping that eventually about 100 Wisconsin students will take part in the tournament – adding that he expects the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 16 tournament to be better attended as school will be back in session.

The top 100 players in Wisconsin and Heilongjiang will receive wooden chess sets made from trees in Heilongjiang’s forests as a gift from the Chinese tournament organizers. The Wisconsin tournament will gift flash drives shaped like chess pieces to the top 100 participants on each side of the tournament, Lange said.

More information on the tournament, including how to sign up, can be found on the tournament website.

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