Chess season starts off strong, looks to recruit

October 13, 2008 — by Albert Gu and Brian Tsai

Despite losing two highly-rated seniors last year, the chess team is confident they can win the league championship for the fifth year in a row. They have already defeated Leigh 5-0, Bellarmine 6-1 and Menlo Park 7-0.

“I guess we lost two of our best seniors, but our team as a whole is very strong,” said junior captain Charles Sun. “Basically, we’ve been dominating without even having to try.”

Even strong rival schools like Gunn, Lynbrook and Monta Vista have gotten considerably weaker.

“They are going to be easier this year because from what we’ve heard, they haven’t gotten any new people,” said senior Avinash Kumar. “When we were sophomores and juniors, all the other schools had upperclassmen who were really good, but this year we’re upperclassmen and they’ve all graduated, so we’ve got a strong chance of winning.”

A change in this year’s chess team is the weekly meetings held in economics teacher Todd Dwyer’s room. Every Wednesday at lunch, team members bond by practicing and playing bughouse, a fast-paced partner game played on two boards. The team is currently trying to find more players and welcomes anyone that shows interest to the meetings.

In addition to expanding the club at the high school, some of the upperclassmen are focusing on recruiting chess players from the Redwood Middle School chess team. Last year, Sun and senior Jeff Young visited Redwood every Friday to train incoming freshmen. The seniors are planning to do something similar this year.

“We’re trying to get more interest in [chess] because we want to instill a passion in playing that hopefully will last for the next couple of years,” said Sun. “The point being is that we have four seniors [on the roster] who will graduate this year, and hopefully, if we find some new players, it will kind of be like a Saratoga tradition of chess.”

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