Chess team making big moves
By: Jon Gilbert
Issue date: 11/6/07 Section: Sports

It takes hard work. It takes dedication. Most of all, it takes brains.

Chess is not a game for everyone, but it’s also not the game that many people believe it to be. In fact, leisure is hardly a part of the chess equation.

Utah’s chess club learned that the hard way when the club’s dedication fell off track in the late 1980s and 1990s.But a group of men have come together to put Utah back on the chess-world map.

Anchoring the resurgence, Robert Williams joined with Wes Gross in 2003 to re-establish the U as a serious contender in the chess community.

“This is something that makes people want to come to the U,” Williams said.

Williams has worked diligently to bring the club to a high playing level. His foremost goal is creating a successful team that welcomes all players. For this reason, the club is open to all U students.

“We have a lot of teams because we want to have a lot of diversity,” Williams said.In all, the club usually fields between two or three teams consisting of four players each. The club competes in team and individual events, many times with substitutes flexing in and out of the lineup.

Ivan Martynenko, however, usually stays put in the lineup. Utah’s highest-rated player is currently vying for victory in the College Chess League. After defeating a high-rated expert Nov. 4, the undefeated Martynenko will duel for the championship Nov. 10.

Martynenko might be the team’s Jedi Master, but he’s not the only one invested in his passion.

Here is the full story.

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