Chess club develops planning skills

Since the 1980s the Chess Club has been hosting chess tournaments but when the former Chess Club adviser retired from the school, the interest in the club seemed to diminish.
That was until three years ago when students who had attended Kalles Junior High began to come in to the library during lunches to play chess with their friends. After a while they decided that they wanted to start an official club. They asked librarian Beth Watts, who admittedly knows nothing about chess, to be their adviser.
“[After the club] had faded for a while, some students who had attended Kalles had a habit of coming in at lunch time and playing some chess. They asked if I would help and if I was willing to be their adviser and I warned them I knew nothing about chess but I guess I was just that adult they needed for [the club] so I have enjoyed having them around,” Watts said.
Watts also states that she has seen students gaining skills from playing the game that could be potentially beneficial in real-life situations.
“I [see] them [put together] strategies and see moves, many moves ahead and [I see] how they are going to be successful putting a plan together and slowly executing it seeing many steps ahead— it is kind of impressive,” Watts said.
Although they have not yet attended any such tournaments as mentioned above in the years that Watts has headed the club, Watts expresses her interest in being able to take these students to a level that she has not yet been able to.
“We have not organized to the point of having any competitions yet. The first year it was simply putting things together. I would love to see someone else who knows about chess take the leadership and be their adviser. In the meantime I will be that adult that they need,” Watts said.
The Chess Club meets every Friday in the PHS library immediately after school until around 4:30 p.m. For anyone hoping to join the club, it as simple as walking in the library doors. Even if you do not know how to play chess any of the 10 current members would be willing to assist as stated by Watts.
“[Everyone is] welcome to come because there are always chess people that enjoy sharing what they know about chess and I think once our juniors and seniors that have been attending chess club for the past few years start attending again after this sports season and then it will be an even better situation for new people,” Watts said.