Lexi Valenzuela

If you are interested in a game of wit, logic, and theory, then you should check out Whittier College’s newly established Chess Club.

The Order of the Pawn was established this year when a few students bonded over a passion for chess. “We realized there was an entire chess community within Whittier College.” said senior Gabe Forbes.  “Sean and I pitched the idea to each other several times and we finally got the ball rolling.”

“What I find interesting about chess is that there are more stars in the galaxy, than there are grains of sand; there are more neuron connections than there are stars in the galaxy, however, there are more chess games that can be played than there are neuronal connections,” said Forbes.

There are two types of membership within the club. The president is regarded as the King, the vice president is Queen, the treasurer is Rook and secretarial roles are fulfilled by a Bishop. Beginning chess players are referred to as Pawns and are promoted to official members by the King.

“Chess is more than a nerdy game,” said senior King Sean Sternberg. “You can learn a lot. There’s so much to the game in regards to logic, deductive reasoning, and pattern recognition. People play chess for a lot of different reasons. Our first goal is to make chess enjoyable.”

A game of chess involves pattern recognition and mental stamina, with the ultimate goal of capturing the king. Observing a game is like watching of two kingdoms attacking one another, and sometimes games can last several hours as players debate their next move. The longest game to take place occurred in Serbia, lasting 20 hours and 15 minutes, with a total of 269 moves.

“I’m interested in anything remotely competitive,” said first-year Daniel Buyske. “If there is a winner and loser, I like it. Chess was something I played with my dad and something I got into the swing of senior year of high school.”

There are several ways to play chess and multiple games available. For example, Blitz Chess has all the rules similar to a regular game but is time-controlled, restricting the players to make a move in under 60 seconds. Atomic Chess is similar, but instead of a time constraint, all captures result in an explosion within the surrounding area on the chessboard.

The Chess Club has several goals over the course of the year, ranging from community service to hosting tournaments between students and faculty members. In particular, Sternberg plans on collaborating with the Boys and Girls club as a volunteer effort to help young students develop a passion for chess and find an extracurricular outlet. “Chess is applicable to college [preparation], including logical reasoning and critical thinking,” said Sternberg. “It’s a true test of skill.”

For those interested in joining, the Chess Club will meet Wednesday, Dec. 14 with refreshments and snacks in Club 88 at 5 p.m.