‘Garden’s Gambit’: Chess Master to take on 25 opponents at Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens

A world-renowned chess master is coming to Omaha on Saturday to play a 'Garden's Gambit' at Lauritzen Gardens.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nate Solon will be a marked man on more than two dozen chess boards come Saturday.

In what’s billed as a first-of-its-kind event here in Omaha, Solon will take on 25 different opponents, at the same time, outdoors in the courtyard of Lauritzen Gardens.

It even has a catchy name: The Garden’s Gambit. It’s a takeoff on the TV miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” about a child chess prodigy.

“I’m just going to kind of walk around in a circle to each board. When I come to the board, my opponent will make their move which they’ve been able to think about. I’ll play my move pretty quickly and go on to the next board and keep going around like that,” Solon said.

The U.S. Chess Foundation has listed Solon as a Master chess player. It’s a rating system based on how well he’s done in tournaments. He grew up in Michigan, started playing chess as a kid, spent time in Boston, and relocated to Omaha a few years ago.

“I’m not only competing, but also coaching, writing, being on social media and that’s what I do a lot of now,” he said.

The simultaneous exhibition was actually his idea. Managers at Lauritzen not only liked it they found a spot for it on the grounds. Spectators will be able to pay general admission to the gardens and watch the matches.

“People who enjoy chess or want to learn more about it or want to see something different on a Saturday, it’s a great way to come out and spend an afternoon or morning,” remarked Mia Jenkins, Director of Marketing for Lauritzen Gardens.

The first ever Garden’s Gambit will take place rain or shine. The event starts at 10:30 a.m.