Chess team works to rebuild to defend state title

September 24, 2010 — by Priyanka Nookala and Michelle Shu

Although it is still the beginning of the year, the chess team is already preparing to defend its sixth straight state championship title next May, and since one of the top two players, Charles Sun, graduated last June, the team has realized the need to work even harder.

“The team overall has to improve, although it’s really an individual effort to increase your own skill,” said club president Evan Ye. “Hopefully, chess club helps to inspire people including me and a lot of other team members to practice more chess.”

Unfortunately, the team struggles with finding time to practice outside of their Thursday lunches when they get together in room 107 to practice new game strategies and guide each other on playing better chess.

“[Finding time to practice] is the biggest block we have right now,” said Ye. “A lot of us are engaging in other activities, so it’s a lot of management between the two.”

As club president, Ye hopes to begin after-school meetings. He hopes that this will give team members extra time to practice and get feedback on their moves.

According to another team member, junior Brian Wai, there is also a need to recruit new team members, which they did during Club Day and will continue to do by spreading the word to friends who enjoy playing chess.

“We have to recruit a lot of new people and it’s kind of hard to do because not as many people played chess in Redwood,” said sophomore Kevin Garbe, one of the team members involved in recruiting.
The current members of the team juniors Evan Ye, Brian Wai, Sankash Shankar, Ali Shenasa, Jake Prasad, Sabrina Cismas; sophomores Kevin Garbe, Edward White, Albert Fang; freshmen Nick Chow, Mostafa Rohaninejad, Kevin Sun, Nelson Wang; and senior Amol Aggarwal hope to do well in the upcoming competitions and continue their success at the state level for what would be the seventh straight year winning the state competition.

“If there’s one thing that people should know about chess club is that we are constantly looking for interested people,” said Ye. “We’re hoping just to find people interested and who are willing to improve. Those are the people that will become the best players.”

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