Checkmate! Chess Club Challenges Students

By Samuel Makarovskiy ‘16

Knight to F-6. That would normally be a strange thing to hear, but not in chess club on Tuesdays in room 351.
Chess is more than just a game; according to the club administrator, Mr. Ashley Carter-Sinclair chess teaches “good fundamental skills for life.”
Chess is all about strategy and analyzing an opponent’s every move. Master chess players can see the game in its myriad of possible progressions up to twenty moves ahead. According to Mr. Carter, life is all about looking to the future and looking for the best course of action.  Chess is about having fun too by hanging out with friends or getting better at the game.
“It’s a communal place to be,” according to Mr. Carter.
Social connections are made between students who’ve never met before over a black and white checkered board which isn’t surprising since games can range anywhere from five to thirty minutes.
“You make a lot of new friends at chess club,” said Yaying Zheng ‘16, a competitive chess player at national tournaments.
The club is for amateurs and experts alike because it’s about getting better at the game. The school year has barely begun, and there is already over half a class of eager students from every grade who come every week to learn new strategies and make new friends. There are also dominoes for students who don’t want to play chess.
“It has grown each week,” said Mr. Carter, and he hasn’t seen signs of it stopping.
Mr. Carter hopes to see the club grow more, but he believes it’ll take more incentives and publicity to get new faces. He believes events, workshops, or advertisements would be the best for spreading the word about chess club.
Ideally he wants sample chess board arrangements hung around the school with a challenge to achieve checkmate, or corner the king, within a turn limit. The solution will then be explained at the next week’s club meeting for anyone who was interested.
The club existed previously under history teacher Mr. Sadok, but this year he was unable to run it anymore, so Mr. Carter took up the mantle of club administrator when asked to by Zheng.
Mr. Carter said, “The game itself teaches us skills that we can apply to decisions in our lives.” That is why students should give it a try.

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