OREGON CITY — Despite playing chess for decades, Brian Berger still believes he’s learning the game.
At 68 years old and a chess player since he was a child, he says even if he played for several lifetimes he doesn’t think he would master the game.
“It’s never exactly the same,” said the West Linn resident. “You’re always finding something new in it, and it’s a game you grow with throughout life. I know I have.”
Berger is the organizer of the Oregon City-West Linn Chess Club, now in its 35th year. The club meets weekly at the Pioneer Community Center in Oregon City and recently resumed club tournaments in honor of founder Ralph Hall, who died in January.
“Ralph was the club champion many times and we thought he would have wanted us to keep this going,” said Frank Niro, 63, who volunteered to be the tournament’s director. “We miss him.”
The club’s member numbers are modest, Berger said. He’s satisfied with eight to 14 people on a given night. But the club makes up for its lack in numbers with a relaxed playing atmosphere, he said.
It doesn’t take much to join the group, just an eagerness to play and a $1-a-week donation to help pay the club’s rent fee.
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