Students start new chess club at LT

Hayden Claesson, Reporter

Despite a lack of a sponsor for the club, several students are determined to form a competitive chess team at LT with the caliber to perform at highly competitive tournaments.

“It all started with a whole group of us on the wrestling team were playing online chess together a lot,” Will Bernstein ‘19 said. “We then started talking about how it would be so fun if LT had a chess club, and we looked at it and couldn’t believe that LT didn’t have a chess club.”

The road to official club status has some growing pains. In order to start a club at LT, the club to be must be proposed to Peter Geddeis, the student activities director. After that, they must show student interest in a possible club.

“We started meeting with board games club as a subsection of the club as chess club” Bernstein said. “We got a big turnout from that which proved interest in the club.”

The team continues to meet Fridays at SC as a part of board games club for the more casual members of the team. Yet on top of that, they meet on Tuesdays outside of school in Bernstein’s garage for the more competitive members of the team, team member Michael Ahrens said.

Initially, the group originally had a club sponsor in physics teacher Jim Mshar. However, Mshar dropped out from the team, leaving them sponsorless. Despite not having a sponsor at LT, when the teams meets outside of school, they’re coached by Whitney young coach Paul Kash, Ahrens said.

“It’s kind of like we are an unofficial underground club without a sponsor right now,” Ahrens said.

The team plans to be competitive in tournaments. With chess being an IHSA sport, tournaments kick off on Oct. 14, 2017 at Argo. However members wish to compete at IHSA state on Feb. 19, 2018.

“The endgame here for us is that we want to go to regionals,” Ahrens said. “Hopefully we can make it to the sectionals, then hopefully we can advance to state.”

Possible sponsors include John Cronfel, or any teacher who plays chess and is interested in it, Bernstein said.