Checkmate: A New Trend Sweeping the Upper School


Lauren Salzman Bobby Fisher, a renowned chess prodigy, learned the game at age six. He won eight US Championships in eight attempts. From 1965 – 1972, Bobby Fisher only lost one game. They aren’t quite up to Fisher’s caliber yet, but the Latin School of Chicago has had an uprising of chess players who are making the game one of the most common pastimes at the school. The upper school started a thriving chess club this year. Nick Rose, one of the club heads, said,“It was really surprising to us (the heads of chess club) that Latin didn’t have a club already. We knew their was a good deal of interest, but none of us could have guessed how intense this chess fervor would get.” What started off as a couple of guys wanting to play chess for fun has become an uproar of chess fever sweeping the halls. There is a chess tournament currently going on that has attracted 40 students and teachers, and the championship match will take center stage at an upcoming gathering. The whole school will be involved in the fun. But don’t worry, if you didn’t get a chance to enter this go round, or simply need a chance to brush up, the chess club is, “planning on holding another tournament sometime in the near future to allow the increasingly large group of aspiring chess players a chance to play.” It is interesting that it is “classic Latin” to love chess. We have always prided ourselves on being a community composed of a wide range of accepting people with varied interests. But, to me at least, this seems like a prime example of how fads work. Five years ago, the two kids playing chess in the upper level of the library would have possibly attracted many stares. But now chess is the “in” activity for students (mostly males) no matter the grade. Interestingly, there is only one female in the Autism Support Club sponsored chess tournament that is currently taking place. Chess is one of the most intellectual games out there (no offense checkers enthusiasts). It takes skill, motivation, precision, brains, and lots and lots of patience. Apparently it is also a confidence booster. Fisher also said, “I like the moment when I break a man’s ego.” So if you need to take your anger out on someone, do not resort to blows but rather head to the library and move to check-mating your enemies.]]>