Queens, knights, and a ticking clock

Sophomore Eric Morales Morales and freshmen Xander Barden practice chess in a game against each other.

By Jackie Ruiz, Editor

         Are you interested in joining a club that will test your knowledge on a game played with knights, queens, and a clock?

         Senior High’s Chess Club might be the place for you. The Chess Club meets every Monday for one hour in room 208.

         Students learn how to play chess and discuss what moves are the best to make. They put themselves in the shoes of their opponents and analyze the game they play.

         Club advisor Vincent Jodoin is a part of the Academy of Freshman Exploration and teaches freshman algebra and geometry honors.

         Jodoin said that he began playing chess in fourth grade.

Boyd, Wyatt, and Holdan Wemhoff play a game of chess.

         “I remember going to Chess Club on Saturdays at a local community center. Both me and my friends played chess,” he said, “It was something fun to do on the weekends when there wasn’t a sport in season.”

         He added that he enjoys being the club advisor because it allows him to do something that he is passionate about (teaching) but with a subject other than math.

         Jodoin explained that the Chess Club has been around for a couple of years, but they weren’t always recognized because they were looking for a new sponsor.

         Early this year, the nine members made a constitution to be an approved club on the school activities list. 

         “When you join our Chess Club, there is an academic integrity aspect. We have an issue where you can’t be failing any classes if you want to participate,” Jodoin said, “You can still be a member, but you wouldn’t be allowed to go to tournaments.”

         He explained that on top of becoming an approved club, they also went out to buy four chess sets and two clocks that they didn’t have before.

         Sophomore Eric Morales Morales is the secretary of the Chess Club. His main role is to advertise the Chess Club and encourage others to join.

         He said that he started playing chess when he was five years old and sees it as a hobby he will continue to do for the rest of his high school career.

         “I’ve always had a personal interest in chess and it’s something I enjoy doing,” he said. “I used to play randomly, but now I’m starting to develop an understanding of the game and play actual tournaments with other club members.”

         Jodoin said that he is currently trying to work with the Chess Federation to get the club officially recognized.

         Jodoin added that their goal by the end of the year is to be student-led.

         “Right now I’m doing a lot of the start-up work because last year’s sponsor didn’t have a lot of things left, but I’m hoping that with this new website and equipment, students can continue the club even when I retire or have to leave for some reason,” Jodion said.

         He said that he is most excited to see the students’ enthusiasm for the game. Many students reached out to him to get the Chess Club running again.

         “One of our freshmen was really excited and got the club running with me in just two days of him contacting me. Not only did he reach out to me, but then consistently kept reaching out until we got the club set up,” Jodion said.

         Jodoin said he believes chess is great for teaching not only analytical skills but can also build interpersonal skills.

         “You’re getting to meet all sorts of people that otherwise you might not be able to have met, by playing chess,” he said.

         Morales said that chess is a good way for people to think in a more organized way.

         “Chess is a good way to start thinking about long-term moves and not short-term ones. If we’re in the middle of a game, I need to be thinking about the future and focusing on what’s going to happen next,” he said.

         Jodion said that they are hoping to get snacks approved, so make sure to join because “while supplies last, there might be snacks.”

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