Despite obstacles, chess club advances at COCC

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Chris Browning
The Broadside

Aaron Ballard, left, challenges Chess Club president Dustin Moore, right. (Derek Oldham)

First it was my pawn. Then a rook and a knight. Then checkmate. It didn’t take long for Sam Fisch to finish me off, only four moves. Fisch reassured me that it was okay. He does this to beginners all the time.
“It’s about looking for opportunities when they open up. Feeding off your opponent’s strategy, using their mistakes for your own benefit,” he said.
Fisch, a founding member of the Chess Club, enjoys the critical thinking and strategy the game utilizes. We played again, producing comparable results to the first game, my casualties swiftly collecting in a small pile by the side of the board.
In its second year of existence, the club faces many of the same obstacles typical of new on-campus organizations. Funding has been a challenge, as well as steady participation and student involvement, but the group remains optimistic about their future. Club President Dustin Moore has big plans for the club.
“I’d really like to play in a state tournament with the possibility of even advancing to nationally sanctioned competitions. It wouldn’t be too far out of reach. A guest appearance would be really awesome too,” Moore told players at a recent meeting
Moore’s enthusiasm for chess is evident through his expertise and comprehensive knowledge of the game.
“The game of kings,” Moore says. “I love playing strategy games, but there is something different about chess. It’s like an action game in your mind. A perfect game in so many ways.”
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, Moore played through a Chess ‘Simul’ where he took on eight opponents simultaneously at the ASCOCC Info-Fair. Moore paced  back and forth between each board, giving players tips while wiping out their armies at the same time, never failing to force a checkmate.
For an entry fee of $20 a year any student can join the club, become a member of the United States Chess Federation and receive an annual subscription to the bi-monthly Chess Life, the most widely read chess magazine in the world.
Chess is not usually considered a team activity, but in many ways it is. The players work on their strategy together, offer each other advice, prepare for the prospect of competition, and receive coaching from masters like Moore. For more than a thousand years people have gathered to play and watch this artful game. The COCC Chess Club keeps this tradition alive and well.

(Contact: cbrowning@cocc.edu)

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