Check out Chess Club, mate!

Andrew Domencic  / Staff Writer  

A new club is up and running on campus. Under the leadership of president Dylan Van Sky, the Chess Club is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing clubs at Geneva. 

Spurred by a desire to get more involved on campus, sophomore business major Van Sky sought to bring his love for the game to Geneva College.  

“I’ve been playing chess since I was a little kid,” Van Sky said. “It’s something my dad and I really enjoyed doing, and that was one of the ways we’d spend time together. I thought it would be a cool thing to bring out here.” 

While most clubs take a while to be recognized on campus, this was not the case for the Chess Club; about 40 people showed up to the first meeting. 

“On the first day, we were preparing for about 15 people to show up,” said Van Sky. “And the place just erupted. People were waiting for boards, and the people who couldn’t have a board were pulling up chess apps on their phone because everybody wanted to get in on it.” 

The first week set a positive tone for the club, which now has roughly 60 members. On Fridays at 10:10am, they meet in an open room in the basement of Northwood. Vice President and sophomore psychology major Jason Bagliore supplies donuts from Oram’s every week in addition to drinks and snacks.  

The goal is to continue to grow the club in the upcoming years with the hope of taking part in the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. This annual tournament will be held in North Carolina in 2019.  

While this goal for growth is always in sight, the current focus is on having fun and uniting people around the game of chess. Anybody can join the club regardless of skill or commitment. Meetings are not mandatory and participants can come and go as they please. 

“It is a group that you wouldn’t expect to come together a lot of the time,” Van Sky said. “A lot of people show up not knowing how to play chess, and they play their first game, and they just start playing and playing and playing. . . that’s a really satisfying thing to see.”