Welcome to the Club: Checkmating the stereotypes
By Lawrence Moy, David Steinberg
Guest Columnists
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You may have seen us on occasion, while eating lunch in Commons after Friday classes: a bunch of bystanders crowd around a chessboard. They cheer as two players try to best one another in a battle of the wits. Tensions rise as the timer nears zero. The players stare at the board in desperation. They swear with every breath. Then, with an audible thunk, one player plays a killer move. The audience leans back with a sigh. The battle is over.

While we wish we could always exude an aura of excitement, we know we’re kind of nerdy. Nonetheless, the Yale College Chess Club isn’t as exclusive as you might think. We often get 20 to 30 different players at our meetings throughout the week. And despite the stereotypes, we’re not all science majors, we’re not all dudes, and we’re not all that good at chess.

And it’s a good thing that we aren’t. Chess shouldn’t be some kind of elitist sport. (We’ll leave that to golf.) It instead should be a way to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of Yale life. Unlike some of the snobby superstars at Harvard, we don’t play to get better; we play to have fun. We’ll play speed chess, we’ll play team chess, and we’ll even play salt shaker chess. We’ll play whatever it is that keeps the game fun. You want exciting? Ask to watch a game of bullet chess. You’ll see the plastic soar, hear the trash talk fly, and it’ll all be over in just two minutes. If you don’t believe us, make the request — we promise you it’ll be worth your while.

Full article here.

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