Thursday, November 18, 2010

Playing chess in the park? Must bring a child with you.

Police have issued summonses to chess players who are 'unaccompanies by minors' in New York public playgrounds.  The playgrounds have signs that say adults must be accompanied or they cannot be in the play area.  Chess players are incensed, saying "What is so harmful with chess?"

While chess isn't really the issue, the intent of the law is plain: the playground is designed for children and 'unaccompanied adults' are not welcome.

‘Police! Step Away From the Chess Table’ (New York Times)

While I feel for the chess players, if they want to play, they can find another area or get the law changed.  And the police cannot make exceptions.  Allowing one group and not another would not be a fair way of dealing with the issue.

In the meantime, the chess players are required to go to court before the end of the year where they may pay a $50 fine.  Nothing is listed in the article, but I would think that they would be given a warning before any summonses are issued since this is a minor infraction by anyone's measure.

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