Chess team retools with younger roster

September 23, 2009 — by Albert Gu

Although four seniors of the chess team graduated last year, the Falcons are still confident of their success this year with the emergence of rising underclassmen.

Two of the graduating members, Jeff Young and Aaron Garg, were among the strongest on the team, both ranked in the top 100 nationally for their age group and have been staple members of the team for the past four years. Although the loss is significant, the team’s strong freshmen and sophomores are bridging the gap.

“The current team is not as strong as it was in past years,” said captain senior Charles Sun , “but we are improving and I think there is a lot of potential in our group.”

New members this year are freshman Kevin Garbe, also nationally ranked in his age group, and senior Rolland Wu. There are a total of seven members on the team.

To start the new year, five members of the team attended the Labor Day tournament held in San Francisco on the weekend of Sept. 6. Wu placed first in the D/E section after winning four games and drawing (tying) two against tough opponents. As the prize for winning his section, Wu walked away with $380.

“I was surprised at winning because I haven’t played chess in a while,” said Wu. “I still retained some basic knowledge, though.”

Wu played chess in elementary school and joined the team this year after a nearly six-year hiatus because he feels that being a senior will give him more time to enjoy the game. His accomplishment in the Labor Day tournament may foreshadow success for the upcoming year.

According to Sun, the team has a good chance of winning the state championship again this year.

The chess club meets weekly on Thursdays at lunch in economics teacher Todd Dwyer’s room, where they play games of chess against each other and discuss strategies. Their next event is the inter-school chess league starting in two weeks.

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