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Chess Club Steadily Growing

Julie Plummer, Reporter

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Chess isn’t just for geeks or geniuses with a pair of glasses. A board game like no other, revolving solely around strategy between two players, chess is a revolutionary game that inspired our school to begin a Chess Club that is slowly becoming more and more popular.

During 2015 and 2016, founder of Chess Club and teacher Ed Smith held their first meeting as a result of community support for the idea.

Smith has had a passion for chess ever since he was very young, and that passion evolved into a hobby.

“My dad taught me chess so long ago that I can’t even remember when it was. It had to be before elementary school, I can tell you that,” said Smith.

After Smith created one of his own inquiry-based projects with one of his English classes, he came to the realization that he wanted to get more involved with the game.

“That interest spilled over into my classroom, and the rest is becoming history,” Smith said.

Smith began to realize how his students shared the same interest and passion for chess. Eventually someone suggested making a Chess Club, which we now have today, that meets every Thursday.

This year, the Chess Club has been getting their name out more and more and have been doing more outside of school, which has resulted in their gaining more members.

“This year we have been averaging over eighteen students a meeting, and we learn tons and have fun doing it every week,” Smith said, enthusiastic about the growing number of students.

Grateful beyond words, Smith said he’s fortunate to run such a welcoming and old-fashioned club for the students of our school, and believes something like this is needed.

“There is definitely a need for this type of digital-less, person-to-person, old-fashioned fun, and I’m very, very happy to be a part of it,” Smith wrote.

So, what exactly can Chess Club offer our students? Not only does the club offer practices of a strategic game, but it also gives students the chance to build relationships with like-minded others.

During this year, Chess Club has been more active with fundraisers, reeling in more members.

President Samantha Miles said, “I’m very excited about the increased involvement of our Chess Club this year. It’s important because we want to express what we’re all about–having fun in a safe environment, while striving to always better ourselves.”

For example, Chess Club meets once a month at Stewartstown’s Mason-Dixon library to play games like chess and more.

“This year we sponsored a Chick-fil-A Spirit Night, sold cookies at the homecoming game, and completed a fall Chess Club Challenge, which is a club activity that gets students reaching out beyond the club to invite others to chess,” wrote Smith.

The club is also busy identifying and organizing future events.

“We will be doing our Equal Exchange fundraiser leading up to Christmas,” Miles said.

The club is excited for other possibilities such as chess merchandise, specifically shirts or bracelets.

Smith additionally said that anyone is welcome to the club, regardless of their skill level of Chess.

“We are happy to teach students who don’t know how to play. There’s absolutely no commitment, so students don’t have to feel obligated to keep coming if they try one meeting and don’t enjoy it,” Smith said.

Members of Chess Club are welcoming and intelligent students who have the doors wide open for anyone who wants to join.

“Chess Club has given me a place where I can belong and feel appreciated. We’re all fun, goofy people, but we’re also competitive and we push each other to become better players and people. This club gave me an increased sense of confidence in myself and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Miles said.

A club growing fast, Chess Club offers students critical thinking skills and provides students with a place to play a revolutionary game, meet like-minded individuals, and develop skills that go beyond the chess board.

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Chess Club Steadily Growing