Every Friday at lunch, chess players from around campus are given the opportunity to put their skills to the test in F2.
Chess club provides a fun and competitive environment in which chess players can eat their lunches and enjoy a game of chess with their peers.
“The atmosphere of Chess Club is very welcoming,” advisor Susan Ramage said. “The players are always willing to help others learn and play chess.”
At a typical meeting, chess boards are placed around the classroom leaving the members with a choice of playing a friendly game of chess or watching their friends while eating their lunches.
“When you come in there are seven or eight chess boards set out on desks,” senior Lucien Luc said. “People walk in, play whenever they want and basically just hang out.”
During a lunch meeting each match can take anywhere from about 20 to 25 minutes.
“It depends how much time you want each player to have, you can go really fast or you can take your time,” Luc said. “It depends on what each player does, and it can typically depend on the way you like to start.”
Chess club has been a club on school campus, and the current advisor Señora Ramage has been the advisor for about 13 years.
“I know chess club has been on campus for decades, but I started being the advisor in 2006,” Ramage said.
Through these years a lot has changed, current club president, Maximus Vardeleon has recently suggested tournaments become a part of Friday meetings.
“I wanted to become president of chess club because I could push for organize events,” Vardeleon said. “I noticed when I entered chess club as a sophomore , there wasn’t much happening aside from just people playing for fun, I wanted some kind of competitive spirit.”
Maintaining the fun environment, the classroom is divided into two sides, one dedicating the time to relaxed chess games, and another dedicated to more competitive play.
“Recently, meetings have included some type of tournament, which can be fast moving,” Vardeleon said. “The room is split into two sides, one side is dedicated to casual play and the other side is devoted to the tournament.”
Tournaments can take about 3-4 meetings, the first meeting consisting of bracket play and later meetings going to playoffs and finals.
“Our most recent tournament was with a forced time limit on how much time you can spend thinking,” Vardeleon said. “The process is speed up greatly and we are able to finish the tournament within two days.”
Although tournaments have been happening more frequently, Chess Club is still a club that gives members a time and place for just hanging out.
“There is a sense of competition, but it’s friendly and easy going,” Ramage said “There is a great sense of comradely.”
Building off of the fun and welcoming atmosphere, chess club members have a great time each Friday.
“It’s just fun to play against a lot of my friends in a more competitive way rather than just more casual,” Vardeleon said. “In a competitive game, I’m forced to go with whatever happens, and adapt to situations.”
Tournaments have quickly become one of Chess Club members favorite parts of the club.
“I enjoy playing in tournaments, everyone is around you and watching you,” Luc said. “The pressure and excitement, especially if you win or lose. It’s kind of fun seeing your friends reactions, especially when you show up or something.”
Even with the new competitive nature of Chess Club, members are still able to enjoy a casual game with other members.
“I’d recommend it to anyone who knows how to play chess,” Vardeleon said. “It’s a great place to hang out at lunch, and bring all your friends, especially on non-tournament days, it’s really casual.”