Chess club leads a recreational revolution among Urban students

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Chess club leader Jacob Winick (’15)

Jonathan Baer, Staff Writer

Zach Thomson (’13) patiently waits until Cody Siler (’13) moves his knight, then pounces with his queen and jolts back in his chair with a wide grid. “Checkmate!” he yells.

With the arrival of spring and clearer weather, students are now flocking to Urban’s garden to do more than just eat and socialize – they are there to play chess.

“Chess is on the up and coming,” said Thomson (’13), a frequent chess player in the garden and co-leader of Urban’s chess club. “We have chess addicts here. We have people who are actually interested.”

In past years, when the weather was nice, students could often be seen throwing footballs and Frisbees. This year, the game of choice has been chess, implying a shift in the interests of Urban students.

“My freshman year, seniors would play football in the garden,” said Thomson. “Now instead of that, we sit at tables and play chess. It is a more intellectual and studious environment.”

The arrival of chess is due to a rapidly expanding chess club. Urban’s chess club has existed for four years, yet it has risen from six student members and one faculty member during the 2011-12 school year to 13 student members and two faculty members in the 2012-13 school year.

“As a freshmen, chess club has definitely helped me meet a lot of upperclassmen who share similar interests,” said Andrew Siler (’16), who joined chess club in the fall. “It’s pretty chill. We mostly just meet and play in the garden.”