The Student News Site of Boston Latin School

The Argo

The Student News Site of Boston Latin School

The Argo

The Student News Site of Boston Latin School

The Argo

Checkmate: BLS Chess Club’s Chess Tournament

Chess club members lock in for their intense games. (Source: Alexander Demaio (III))

On January 10, the Boston Latin School Chess Club hosted their first tournament of the year, where students gathered in the Seevak Room for an invigorating afternoon of friendly competition.

A welcoming and enthusiastic group of students, BLS Chess Club offers a lively atmosphere for students to learn about chess and cultivate their skills. Whether new to chess or experienced in the game, all are welcome to play or watch.

Every Wednesday, the club meets after school in BLS mathematics teacher Mr. John Walker’s classroom. With roughly a decade of experience as club supervisor, Mr. Walker helped in planning the tournament and has undoubtedly contributed to the welcoming and energetic atmosphere of the club. “Chess is a game that can be fun for anyone, from absolute beginner on up,” says Mr. Walker. “The goal is for students to have fun, learn a new game if they haven’t played it before, and for them to keep challenging themselves to get better by learning from each other.”

With this mindset, the club provides a casual and fun opportunity for students who are learning and having fun.

The current officers of the Chess Club are Elden Liu (II), Shane Lundrigan (II) and Alexander Demaio (III). They organized the tournament using an online Swiss pairing software, ChessManager, which helped ensure that the event went smoothly and everyone could sit back and enjoy playing chess.

Out of the 14 students who competed, Noah Dang (II) was the winner of this tournament. “Once I got back into the groove of playing over-the-board chess, the nostalgic feeling came back to me,” states Dang, emphasizing his rediscovered passion for chess. “The thrill of strategizing and outwitting your opponents reminded me of why I fell in love with chess in the first place.”

As an experienced chess player who has been playing competitively since the age of five, Dang somewhat expected to win. He notes that winning was in no way an easy task, but he and the other participants enjoyed being able to simply play chess and have fun playing it together.

Chess Club co-president Lundrigan also says, “Although there was a winner, the outcome and standings of the tournament were not too important, as most people were just there to enjoy chess, which was a goal for us.”

Although this tournament was not the first for the BLS Chess Club, it had been a considerable amount of time since the previous one. Two years ago, they had hosted a large tournament with the BLS Junior Classical League, but there was a delay in following tournaments due to scheduling issues.

Following the success of this past tournament, the club is making efforts to widen their scope of competitors, hoping to compete against teams from other schools. Mr. Walker is working on organizing a virtual chess tournament with former Assistant Head of School Jonathan Mulhern and his chess team at the William Galvin Middle School in Canton.

Hoping to compete in more tournaments, both virtual and in-person, the BLS Chess Club is enthusiastic to further expand the club and diversify the chess community at BLS, seeking to develop and strengthen their thinking skills, concentration, memory and even self-confidence. Not to mention, the students have been able to meet peers and bond because of their common interest in chess, allowing them to strengthen their interpersonal skills while learning and having fun.

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