Chess club offers students, community members free classes to improve skills

Fumi Nakamura/The News Wayne Bell, chess club adviser, teaches Murray youth a strategy game related to chess called “The Peasant’s Revolt.”
Fumi Nakamura/The News Wayne Bell, chess club adviser, teaches Murray youth a strategy game related to chess called “The Peasant’s Revolt.”

Fumi Nakamura/The News
Wayne Bell, chess club adviser, teaches Murray youth a strategy game related to chess called “The Peasant’s Revolt.”

Unlike other chess clubs, the Murray-Calloway chess club strives to show students and other members of the community that chess can be an interesting game for anyone.

The chess club holds classes Mondays from 5-7 p.m. The classes are split into three difficulty levels: introductory, intermediate and competitive.

“The lowest level is a two hour session, the classes themselves usually last near 20 to 30 minutes and then students play practice games,” Wayne Bell, chess club adviser, said. “One of the things we do for the beginning class is have some games that you might call pre-chess games.”

For a beginner it can be hard to keep track of other players’ moves so as part of the class students participate in smaller games with different objectives.

Bell said one of the simplest learning methods is to put the kings or pawns on the board in the original position and see who can get to the other side of the board fastest. This helps the student grasp the idea behind how the pieces work.

The intermediate level teaches students how to make legal moves.

Bell said these classes teach players some regular things that an aspiring chess player would want to learn, such as to check mate with a king and queen.

The third level is catered toward those who have surpassed the lower level classes. That class has five students in it and all five of them have played in tournaments in the state championship cycle.

Saturday, Murray State will host the Calloway County Chess Tournament on the third floor of the Curris Center.

It will also be the Murray State championship and the highest finishing student will be the 2014 champion.

On Wednesday nights the chess club meets for any Murray State student interested in learning to play chess.

Right now the club is trying to build its membership.

There are chess clubs at Murray State, Murray High School and middle school but there are no chess clubs in the county school system.

The club does not have enough members to have someone teach at every school in the county, so the county chess could be the starting point.

The club maintains a website which includes contact information and meeting times.

 

Story by Brandon Cash, Staff writer