| Knight to H3. Pawn to E3. Check mate!
believed by some people that to master chess, you must master geometry,
strategy and patience. For members of the Sequoyah High School chess
club, it's all about critical thinking.
"They are thinking critically
what kind of move they make results in either your pieces being
taken or maybe you move in a place where you might be captured or
you have to move and make another decision," chess club sponsor
Elvina Thompson said.
Many educators believe understanding the
game's moves, rules and structure encourage the development
and training of intellectual skills such as inductive and deductive
reasoning, long-term planning and creative problem solving.
Some Sequoyah students said being involved
with the chess club has caused them to think more critically and
from someone else's point of view.
"I'm thinking about the move
the other opponent is going to make, and then I have to counter
that move," said club member Logan Saiz. "It's fun.
I like chess. It's kind of like a war game. You have to be
smart and know how to play it."
Saiz, a sophomore, said he learned how
to play chess from his dad.
"He taught me how the pieces moved,
and he taught me the three-step kind of kill move. I don't
remember the name to it," he said. "My dad still beats
me. We play once or twice a week."
Chess is considered one of the oldest
games in history. Some scholars believe it originated before 600
A.D. Despite its age, many people still play the game today.
At Sequoyah, different students have participated
in the chess club for the past eight years. Unfortunately, Thompson
said, during the years the club's ranks have fallen.
"We have about six or seven members,
but we have just one team," Thompson said. "We meet every
Thursday after school for about one and a half hours."
She said many students sometime shy away
from the game because they believe it's for exceptionally smart
people. Thompson said that is not the case.
"It's not that the members aren't
good students, they are, but we want to get rid of that cliché,
so to say, and it's for anyone and its fun," she said.
"Once you learn the moves, it's really easy to play."
Thompson said she was teaching the game
to her geometry class, but had to quit due to scheduling changes.
For the upcoming school year, Thompson said she hopes the new schedule
allows for more members to join the club.
"We've been kind of rebuilding
our chess club here, and we're going to have an opportunity
to maybe get more players with a new schedule that's about
to come out for our classes. So there will be opportunity for other
students to become involved in learning how to play," she said.
For those who think past club members
just sat around and played each other would be wrong. Past members
have participated in chess tournaments and even hosted a tournament
Thompson said this year's club will
compete against outside competition for the first time during a
March 5 tournament at the Tulsa Community College's southeastern
"Generally prizes are not just trophies
and metals, but they're also like tournament chess boards,
stuff you wouldn't pick up at Walmart, where the pieces are
weighted, that kind of thing," Thompson said.
Thompson added that this fall, she hopes
to host another tournament at Sequoyah so non-club members can see
how chess is played and will join the club.