The new campus Chess club offers students a chance to have fun and meet new people, said member and Transportation Technology major Kendron Cobb.
The meetings usually have had about nine members present, said Cobb, but members are not required to stay the whole time. Members play different matches against each other and then the winners play against each other. This helps the club figure out each member’s skill level. Once a rank system is established, higher ranked students can teach the lower ranked ones, said Cobb.
“They can learn to play and learn strategy,” said club member and Architecture and Design major Jorge Cardinas.
Cardinas learned to play chess from his high school wood shop teacher, he said. Cobb said he learned in elementary school.
“You can meet people of all ages and levels,” said Cobb.
Chess can also teach life skills, such as patience and good sportsmanship, said Cobb.
“You have to learn how to lose, and by losing that will teach you in life that you can’t win everything,” said Cobb.
Playing chess can also allow players of different backgrounds to mix, said Cobb, who went to a national tournament and was paired against a seven-year-old.
“The kid killed me on the board. Age doesn’t matter; it is how you use your brain,” said Cobb.
To keep things fun the group will occasionally play different variations of chess. Sometimes they will play partners chess — where pieces captured by one team member are given to the partner to use on the board, said Cobb.
Because the club only owns two chess sets, members are encouraged to bring their own boards and pieces. The members hope to participate in tournaments and community service in the future, said Cobb.
The club is also interested in teaching members the history of chess. There are also many of books written about chess and its history, strategy and various gambits — strategies in which a player sacrifices a piece for a higher goal, said Cobb.
Chess games can last from one hour to an hour and a half. There are also two and four move checkmates. Games can also be timed, usually giving each player 45 minutes, said Cobb.
“If one player runs out of time, the other player wins,” said Cobb.
Playing chess can also teach a person how to think m o r e clearly, he said.
“It can help you learn to think differently in things like math,” said Cardinas.
The chess club meets every Tuesday on main campus in Ken Chavez hall, room KC 11 between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., said Cardinas. All skill levels are welcome to come by and play, said Cardinas.
“Just don’t be afraid to show up,” he said.
For more information about the club, email club advisor Adam Bailey at email@example.com.