Checkmate! A new chess club has been a huge success


“You don’t have to be good.” The chess club is open to beginners and expert players. Photo courtesy of Gabby Franzese.

The New Paltz Chess Club is the place to be on Wednesday nights. The club already had an impressive number of new members when it first met.

This meeting took place on Wednesday November 3 and over 50 students attended. Roan Martin, a sophomore transfer student major in computer science and club president, was delighted with how the club has gone this semester.

“I started playing when I was a kid when I was in my elementary school chess club, so I always knew the rules of the game, but I never expected to get into it so much for the lockdown, ”Martin said. “I took a year off between college, and without the school regiment I was in desperate need of something to keep my mind stimulated.”

Martin had always planned to join the on-campus chess club when they started dating New Paltz, but was disappointed to learn that he had passed away during the pandemic.

“I heard they needed a new president and decided this would be an opportunity to create the exact environment I wanted when I was just starting out,” Martin explained.

New members said they had a positive experience attending the meetings.

“The club is super inclusive of all types of players, the president has taught lessons for all types of players so there is really a welcoming environment,” said Libby Green, second year psychology major, who has decided to give chess a whirl after watching Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit.”

If you were to drop by to one of their meetings, you would be greeted with tables filled with chess boards ready to be used.

“In the previous two meetings, I took a group of newbies apart and taught a lesson on basic chess rules, principles and strategy so they would be better equipped to get into the frenzy. in the center of the room, ”Martin said. “There is a queue if there aren’t enough boards for everyone, but in our previous meeting no one had to wait too long for a new board to open. . “

The club posted colorful posters throughout campus and on social media with the slogan “You don’t have to be good” as the slogan. This makes the club more attractive to new members who are not experts but still want to participate. The president wanted the club to invite everyone.

“Chess really isn’t a game of intellect and fierce competition. Once the curtain is drawn and you find some nice people to play with, it’s a game full of laughter, drama, art. and self-expression, ”said Martin.

Advertisements for the club have proven to be beneficial and the early meetings welcomed a wide range of new members keen to test their chess skills. There were barely enough chessboards to keep up with the number of participants available.

“We rushed to trash neighboring rooms for more chairs and tables,” Martin said. “I desperately wanted to promise that everyone could play the majority of the time, so the following week was a mad rush to triple our inventory before the next meeting.”

As the second meeting unfolded, the club were better prepared for the large crowd. It was just as successful as the first meeting, and the club seems to get more and more elaborate every day.

“I am so excited to continue working on this club, and our members can expect nothing but improvements with every meeting,” said Martin. “We have big plans for the future to make the New Paltz Chess Club experience even better, so if you haven’t stopped by yet, now is a great time to get involved.”

If you’re looking for a new club to join on campus, meet at the Chess Club Wednesdays at 9 p.m. at SUB 414.


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