by Sarah Pruitt
Every Monday and Tuesday after school, a fierce battle unravels. The audience watches the contenders with bated breath as the fighters think out their next cunning move. Just one false step, and everything can crumble down.
Through playing a game of impeccable strategy and keen wit, the L.D. Bell Chess Club is able to develop their intelligence, improve their chess skills, and make new friends along the way.
Many of these players have been involved in the world of black-and-white squares for a long time now, though there are novices amongst the club. However, there are those who are so immersed in this world, they are certainly masters of the game.
“I’ve been playing since junior high,” said senior Jordan Torres, the president of the Chess Club. “I’ve always thought chess was interesting, like the strategy. I always try to stay one step ahead of my opponent.”
“I first got into chess when my friend Eric convinced me to join the Chess Club at Bedford Junior High,” Torres said. “Here, everyone is a little more lively, and they have a broader range of strengths and weaknesses.”
“I like chess because of its subtle intricacies,” Vice President and senior Obinna Anyadiegwu said. “It’s a hobby.”
Eric Oglesby, the sponsor of the club, can account for the longevity and timelessness of the sport.
“I was in Chess Club in high school, and it was very popular,” Oglesby said. “When I came to Bell, the Chess Club sponsor was retiring, and I enjoy doing it.”
Oglesby’s love of the game is matched by his apprentices’ fondness for it.
“Whenever I’m in Chess Club, I feel like you can concentrate but still have a good time with all your friends,” Torres said.
The atmosphere of Chess Club is not just all serious concentration and unwavering determination. The members also love to have fun, as evident by Oglesby’s sense of humor.
“I have been the Chess Club mentor for 10 years,” said Oglesby, before breaking into one of his trademark impish grins. “We murder kids. I physically, mentally, and emotionally beat them.”
Anyadiegwu, however, is quick to counteract, saying, “I like Chess as much as I love you…a whole lot.”
So when can you attend such a place of fun adventure and exercise to the mind?
“We meet on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m.,” Oglesby said.
If you’re having second thoughts about attending, just listen to Torres’ statement.
“I think Chess Club is a good place for anyone who is searching for something new that interests them,” Torres said. “I can guarantee that anyone who comes to Chess Club will be welcomed with open arms.”