Chess could easily be considered the most recognizable board game in history. Not everyone knows how to play, but you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of it. At the beginning of last semester, Mt. A got its very own chess club.
This week I interviewed club secretary Hugh McClelland, a second-year biology major, to find out more. “The funny story is, I tried starting a chess club last year but ran into some bureaucratic difficulties, and so it was only in collaboration with my good friends Tolga and Josh that we managed to create the club this year and have it certified by MASU,” he said.
McClelland “really enjoyed playing chess over the past few years, which is when [he] really got into it.” He found that it is “much more enjoyable with a strong community around it. And [he] knew there were other like-minded people at Mount Allison, it was just a matter of finding them and bringing them together into a space.” He noted he has “met many people through chess and [that] it’s a way to connect with people in a non-traditional sense.”
Club meetings occur from 8-9 p.m. every Thursday in Avard-Dixon 120. The meetings are, according to McClelland, “open format,” where the supplies needed to play chess with others are available, but attendees are welcome to play other games as well. During our interview, McClelland explained that students who don’t even know how to play the game yet are welcome to come and learn.
He also explained that “[the club is] looking forward to some big events in the future. [They are] hoping to become certified with the Canadian Chess federation, […] host tournaments in the future, and maybe even create some funds to send Mt. A students off to other universities to compete in their chess tournaments.”
If you like chess and are on the lookout for people to play with, or if you just want to learn, keep an eye out for the next chess club meeting.