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Sunday, May 16, 2021

CAMPUS CLUBS: CHESS CLUB

Chess club members, from left to right- Jake Ersfeld, Tom Yedidia, Shahob Mousavi, Peter Biethan and Josh Sheppard // Photo by Sara Helms
Chess club members, from left to right- Jake Ersfeld, Tom Yedidia, Shahob Mousavi, Peter Biethan and Josh Sheppard // Photo by Sara Helms

Chess: It’s like rock-paper-scissors, only more difficult, Chess Club Vice President Tom Yedidia said.

The chess club provides a quiet, welcoming atmosphere for students that are looking to sharpen their concentration, memory and problem solving skills.

The club meets from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in Viking Union room 714.

“Chess club is open to all skill levels. We openly invite anybody to show up. If they don’t know how to play chess, we’d love to teach them.”

Peter Biethan

“It depends on what the weather is like. If it’s a sunny day, we like to go out into Red Square and play chess on the benches,” Club President Peter Biethan said. “Partially, it’s to enjoy the weather and partially it’s a good way of showing people the chess club who might not necessarily know about it.”

Biethan said that the club hopes to host speed chess tournaments in Red Square in the future, which would be open to anyone.

Playing chess has been a source of enjoyment for several years for Biethan.

“I’ve been playing chess for 18 years now. I started playing when I was 3 years old,” Biethan said. “My older brother was a really good chess player, and that’s one of the things that really inspired me to play chess when I was younger.”

The chess club meets on Tuesday, April 12 in the Viking Union to practice their skills and compete against one another. // Photo by Sara Helms
The chess club meets on Tuesday, April 12 in the Viking Union to practice their skills and compete against one another. // Photo by Sara Helms

Many of the club’s other participants also have childhood connections to the strategic board game.

“I started playing in first or second grade, and I was a regional champion among people my age,” Yedidia said. “I was a very sore loser and the first time that somebody beat me I quit. I started up again last year, so I took an 11-year break.”

Junior Shahob Mousavi, the club’s treasurer, who also has played since childhood, said anyone that is interested is welcome to participate in Western’s chess club.

“Chess club is open to all skill levels. We openly invite anybody to show up. If they don’t know how to play chess, we’d love to teach them,” Biethan said.

Usually, five to 10 people drop in and play each week.  

“Of any board game, it’s the only one that doesn’t really rely on luck,” Mousavi said. “Every game is different. It can get pretty exciting.”

For more information contact Biethan at biethap@students.wwu.edu or 425-736-9159.

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