Chess Club checks all the boxes


Francesca D'Urzo

Junior Andrey Shapiro plays in a chess match with his peer during one of Chess Club’s regular Friday lunch meetings in D10.

Francesca D'Urzo, Staff Writer

Though the checkerboard and the racing clock may be intimidating to some, Chess Club strives to educate students on the benefits of playing chess while providing an environment for chess players of all levels to compete with their peers.

Chess Club began at Carlmont in 2012 and is currently led by Club President Josh Vendrow who aims to share his passion for chess with his fellow students.

“I have been playing chess my whole life and when the last club president graduated it gave me the opportunity to lead a club dedicated to something I am passionate about,” Vendrow said. “I love my position because it gives me the chance to expand the chess community at Carlmont and teach beginning students how to play.”

During their lunch meetings, the club holds organized tournaments where students can play with a wide array of people and compete in a chess bracket.

Students do not have to be skilled in order to participate in Chess Club events. An aspect of the club’s overall purpose is to teach those who are interested how to play and how to improve their chess strategy.

Junior Andrey Shapiro said, “When I first joined chess club I was not nearly as skilled at chess as I am now. The club members are so encouraging and definitely have helped me improve and discover my love for chess.”

Chess Club also focuses on educating its members on the mental and physical benefits of playing chess, while providing a safe environment to exercise those benefits.

According to Health Fitness Revolution, playing chess can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, increase one’s IQ, and can optimize improvement in memory.

“Playing chess is not only entertaining but great for stimulating the mind,” Vendrow said. “Chess is also proven to improve one’s strategy and focus skills, as well as develop cooperation and good sportsmanship.”

The club currently has 15 members and is looking for more people who are interested in playing chess and learning about its endless advantageous qualities.

Junior Justin Hsu said, “Anyone can join Chess Club. It does not matter if you are an advanced player or if you have never played in your life. Everyone can still make friends, participate, and be educated about the health benefits that chess offers.”

To get involved in Chess Club, attend one of their lunch meetings held every Friday in room D10.