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New Chess Club starts at WA

Erin Killpartrick, Staff Writer

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As the new school year started, so did chess club. With around 15 people coming to the first meeting and the number staying the same each week since then, chess club has had a strong start.

“It’s good, I think, for rebirth of the club; it’s a good sign,” club adviser, Jose Aleman said.  

Although Aleman helps by advising, the club runs because of the students. Marcos Acosta and Ishan Bansal, the club co-captains, are the founders of the club. The two students approached Aleman asking him to be adviser.

“They didn’t have a venue and they approached me last year before the end of the year and they said, ‘if we move this initiative, would you be willing to be the advisor?’ I said, ‘of course.’ Ishan was my student last year so I knew him. I knew he was responsible, caring, honest,” Aleman said.

“I know they are responsible and they care for students who want to play and to improve their game,” Aleman said.

Chess club is very student-driven.

“They [Acosta and Bansal] organize themselves to bring chairs and tables from the room next door. They do their own paperwork too. They were talking about the t-shirts and wondering the sizes and also collecting all the information. [They were] signing up for online games, chess games. So I think they are providing a lot of support to new members,”  Aleman said.

Each week about 15 students come to learn about chess and also play the game.

“I just learned chess this summer, and my friends Marcos and Ishan encouraged me to join the club,” junior Shaina Gerald said.

“I have a deep interest in chess and I wanted to learn more about it,” sophomore Vagmi Bhagavathula said.

The students in chess club take the end of the hour to go against each other in games.

“They have a roster where one student below can challenge one student two steps ahead. They call it a ladder. All the names are there, classified and you challenge. The last part of the hour is challenge. And it’s a real game with time and everything,” Aleman said.

The members of the club have not initiated any competitions themselves nor do they have definite plans to compete. However, they have been contacted by Lowell High School on the subject of a competition and they would enjoy competing with other schools.

“They want to have some sort of — if not matches — exchanges. And we are looking forward to invite speakers to give us teachings on specific moves, plays or just keeping us up to date on chess,” Aleman said.

Chess club meets every Wednesday in room 107 from 2:00 until 3:00.

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New Chess Club starts at WA