By: George Zack
One of the latest and greatest additions to the WHS extracurricular scene is none other than our very own Chess Club.
This organization was officially added to the extracurricular roster in early 2021 by students Haley Day and Anne Hart. The faculty advisor of the club is Italian teacher Mrs. Becker.
Forged out of the fire of the pandemic, the Chess Club initially held all meetings completely virtually. According to Google Classroom posts from March 12, 2021 and Oct. 4, 2021, all virtual meetings were held on Google Meet, with games and activities on the sites Chess.com and Lichess.
Today, the club meets every other week, alternating between meetings in person in Mrs. Becker’s room (403) and virtually on the club’s Google Meet. According to Haley Day, this decision was made predominantly to reduce the risk of spreading COVID while still meeting on a regular basis.
The schedule is also designed to be more accommodating for those taking part in other extracurricular activities that may conflict with one of the time slots. If members cannot attend the 2:30 meetings after school, there are always the remote 6 PM meetings and vice versa.
For more insight on the club, we spoke with Day who shared that the club was founded largely with the intent of being a place where, “People who like chess can get together, hang out, play chess, share things they think are interesting, and have fun“. Since its conception, the club has grown to be 27 students strong.
The Chess Club invites new members of all knowledge and skill. A large number of the group are students who originally had little to no knowledge about chess, but are eager to learn. Multiple posts can be found on the Google Classroom page directed specifically for these burgeoning chess players, ranging from a simple chess tutorial posted on Mar. 16, 2021, all the way to a slideshow on how to use the Fried Liver Attack and Traxler Counter Attack.
According to Day, “[The club] is open to anyone. I was really worried that people would be intimidated to join because they thought ‘I don’t know anything about chess’“. She wants the club to be a learning opportunity for all members, regardless of knowledge and skill.
The events of each meeting can widely vary. Aside from just playing games online or against each other, club members also work together to solve chess puzzles, beat up some AI opponents, and even talk strategy.
If you are interested in joining, the club’s Google Classroom class code is BNQF64U. If you have any questions, reach out to Mrs. Becker, Haley Day, or Anne Hart.
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