SHS and RMS chess clubs are combining

September 9, 2019 — by Shreya Katkere and Harshini Velchamy

As Chess Club president, Ronit Pattanayak, sits across from his opponent, thinking about his next move, he spots a flaw in the 11-year-old’s play. Pattanayak slides the rook across the board and calls out, “check-mate.”

Scenes like this are now commonly playing out during chess club meetings. In the spring of 2019, the school’s Chess Club hosted a tournament in which the high schoolers had the opportunity to play with members of the Redwood Middle School chess club. This provided a gateway for new changes this year regarding the two clubs. 

Starting this school year, the two clubs will be combining to form one club. Redwood club members reached out to the Saratoga  club recently to propose this change.

In previous years, the SHS  club has had around 10-20 members, while the Redwood club has about 30 members. The SHS chess club has been around for over 10 years while the RMS chess club has only been around for two years.

Junior Anthony Liu, vice president of the SHS club, likes the change.

“We hosted a tournament last spring where we had elementary and middle schoolers over the area come over and compete and we made it free,” Liu said. “Since then, they have wanted to do more activities with us.”

Even though the clubs are merging, they will still compete separately. The combined team will meet every Thursday to practice at Redwood.

The Saratoga chess club is working on holding more tournaments and making them more official than previous years, Liu said. They are also looking into hosting activities such as chess nights where both schools’ students can play together.

“In addition to practicing, we go over to Redwood Middle School to teach the students there,” Liu said. “I feel like the combined club will make the middle schooler’s transition from middle school to high school easier.”