[View in HD here.]
We were collecting footage for our Home video and came across this bunch of chessplayers at Toa Payoh Lorong 1. Initial concerns that they would be as unfriendly as the Chinatown bunch were soon dispelled as they joked and laughed around our cameras.
We have just come up with a new segment — “Slice of Life”
It is inevitable that we stumble upon interesting stories on our weekly adventures around Singapore. The Rediscover crew was considering where we could slot in this particular story on the Chessplayers and decided that a new segment would be the best. The team vehemently protested the word SLIFE after I suggested it so I guess it’ll have to be kept at Slice of Life for now. For how long, I cannot guarantee.
Last week, on our facebook photo page, we posted a photo of an elderly lady. She brings her belongings in a luggage and stays at the void deck during the day due to strained family relations. One of the chessplayers fondly known as “The Saintly One” brought a copy of the Chinese newspaper, gently told her to stand up, laid it down for her to sit on before saying farewell.
What struck us was the passion with which Uncle Peter Lim shared about the little community in the void deck. A corner for friends to play chess, to share laughs, and more crucially, to have a good time. They have been playing together for as long as six years. Some days, the chessplayers share a tip or two with one another, sometimes staying for up to eight hours. Their easy-goingness and love for chess have caused the chess-playing population in the neighbourhood to increase. They have cute little nicknames for one another and seem to have a strong loyalty to one another.
A closely-knit community right at the void deck inspired us to produce this — The Chessplayers’ Den
You can check out more photos in our album.