BY MOLLY SLOAN
For many clubs, the most important element of attracting new members is perception. Potential members might decide against joining a club purely based on assumptions. Chess Club in particular struggles with this problem. It might be easy to rule out a club based on first impressions, but Chess Club members encourage you to take a chance. Chess Club president, senior Arwen Como, is focused on “letting the school public know that Chess Club is not just for the ‘intelligent people,’ but rather anyone who wants to learn chess and have a good time with friends.”
Really, it’s much more laid-back than students might expect. And it’s more than just a board game–the club even offers members a chance to play with giant chess pieces. “A typical club meeting looks like us either getting one of the normal-size chess boards or life-size chess boards out and then playing a game,” said Como. “Playing with the life-size chess set is honestly a lot of fun.” It’s more than just a good time, though. Chess offers a great opportunity for the development of logic and other critical thinking skills, all of which will benefit you in much more than just the game itself. “I hope that students will gain some planning and strategy skills from the club, along with observation and critiquing skills,” said Como.
Como herself has quite a success story thanks to the club. “I joined the club because I wanted to learn how to play chess better,” she said. “Now I stay because of the environment we’ve created in the club.” While it started as just a hobby, the game became a passion for Como, and she ended up the most qualified to be president of the club. “I became president by being one of the longest-running members and showing some of the most improvement from day one to now,” she said. Como herself is a perfect example of the development a member might see when they join–even if they’re a complete amateur to begin with.
At this point, Como’s focus is all about membership. “I purely plan on getting more people into the club,” she said. “To anyone who wants to join, come look in at a meeting and just try it out.”
Chess Club meetings start after football season on Wednesdays in room 231.