Chess players offered new play place in Vancouver-area mall stalement

Chess players who have gathered for 50 years in a West Vancouver shopping mall will be meeting elsewhere in the facility following a protracted stalemate and public outcry over the group's abrupt banishment.Photo courtesy d_scoones on Flickr.

Park Royal Shopping Centre manager Karen Donald says players have been offered a new space to be installed on the mall's second floor.

Donald says in a statement that she's glad a long-standing tradition is being allowed to continue.

On March 22, Donald sent a letter to player Terry Fellows ordering the group to leave the food court by month's end or the mall would contact police.

The group received an outpouring of support, and the nearby West Vancouver Presbyterian Church announced it would hold a sit-in protest in solidarity with the players.

Fellows says the group is grateful for all the support and commends Park Royal on the resolution.

Church minister Glenn Inglis also believes public action inspired the mall's change of heart.

"It's wonderful, it really is," he says, adding that next weekend's planned sit-in has been called off.

Park Royal has announced there will be a community chess event at the mall later this year.

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