Introducing Harry S Truman High School’s hottest new extracurricular activity: The Check Mates.
The Check Mates are the newest addition to the school’s vast repertoire of groups, and this after-school gathering is taking “chess club” to a new level. Every Tuesday afterschool in room C23, a group of potential chess masters meet to hone their skills, hoping to eventually reach the level of national competition. With great skill and strategy, Mr. Gleeson, one of the school’s Italian teachers, guides the members into the realm of kings and queens, of knights and rooks, and how to master them all.
This club has been underground for the majority of the 2016-2017 school year, only reaching new members through word of mouth. But, even in such a limited time, the members have seen substantial improvement and plan to enter tournaments in the beginning of next year. They extend an invitation to all students and staff who wish to join in on a fun and relaxing afternoon, whether you’re hoping to improve your game or simply to wind down with a fun mental work out.
“When you’re thirsty, you drink water. When your mind is thirsty, you play chess,” states Chess Amateur Kalia Geary, leading member and Co-Founder of the Check Mates (also the one you can blame for the name). Marcelino Collo, another member, continues, “Chess lets me be distracted from life for a while, and allows me to think about something worth thinking about.”
Chess Master Gleeson, as this is what one must address him as in the club setting, gives great tips for improving your game after brutally beating you in a bloody three-part saga in which he leaves you with nothing but a pawn and a lack of motivation. On a more serious note, he advises that, if you legitimately want to improve your game, to “play chess as much as you possibly can - like, just keep playing, all the time. It’s the only way you’ll get better.”
The club is riddled with humor and can guarantee a good time. Marcelino, when ensnared in a strategic trap by a fellow member, was asked “How do you respond to losing?” His response? “You’re about to find out.” When asked what his favorite piece was, he said the pawn. When asked why, he said, “I relate to the disposability of it.” See? Just chock-full of laughs and a sure-fire way to have a good afternoon.
The Check Mates plan to continue meeting for years to come, and, in the meantime, they advise you to join them and participate in one of the most interesting and popular sports… for your mind.