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The Colonel Chronicle

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Club Showcase: The Chess Club

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Every Wednesday after school and Thursday for advisory, eager South High students and faculty head to A170 to play an ancient game that tests who has the better mental skills and strategy: chess. 

The Chess Club and Advisory are run by Psychology Teacher Mr. Garcia, who also teaches chess. His Chess students get more opportunities to play this game; additionally, the students learn how to play chess, ranging from the basic rules to even etiquette. There are two sections of this chess class. One section is only for one quarter which is for beginners while the other is a semester which is for more advanced players. 

Mr. Garcia saw the advisory period as a great opportunity to build a stronger community with chess; when he had to create an advisory, “of course [I] chose chess,” he said. With Math Teacher Dr. Mwangi and 20 students, the 30 minutes is a time for playing casual and relaxing games of chess. According to Mr. Garcia, the informality of the advisory allows students to form a “sense of comradery” with the other students and “personal relationship[s]” with the teachers who help facilitate the sessions. 

The Club is where students can get competitive though. Mr. Garcia and Dr. Mwangi have taken over forty students to five chess tournaments in Rhode Island and one in Western Massachusetts. 

Mr. Garcia emphasizes that he could not do this on his own.

Dr. Mwangi, who he describes as his “silent partner” and the “wind beneath [his] wings” aids him in teaching and mentoring all the students who demonstrate interest in the club and advisory period. Mr. Garcia, who describes himself as more  “talkative and extroverted” serves more time as the club’s spokesman and organizer. 

He also cites the South High Office Staff who help him organize the events, as well as Assistant Principal Ms. Papadopoulos who helps organize tournaments by providing bussing.

For Mr. Garcia, few things can make him happier than “a good cup of coffee to go with a good game of chess,” and the club and advisory are ways where he can share this joy with his students. With chess, students learn “patience, good decision making, [and] deductive reasoning” among other things. 

Take it from students interviewed during the advisory period. One student who wished to stay anonymous joined the advisory on his own accord because it appealed to him the strategy and thinking skills he would learn from simply playing chess. It is also just “simply fun” to play. 

Another student who had already played chess said, “It makes me think more and think more complex.” She advises other students who are scared about the difficulty of chess that “It’s not as hard as you think, and it’s also kind of easy to learn. Once you learn how to play, it will be fun.”

For those interested, Chess Club meets after school in A170 on Wednesdays, and advisory, of course, meets as other advisory classes do. Mr. Garcia may be contacted at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jason Murillo
Jason Murillo, Editor-In-Chief
I am excited to be co-editor-in-chief of the newspaper as we launch our brand new website to our peers, our teachers, and those we know in the Worcester Community. I greatly enjoy writing as I see it as a great method of self-expression, and I particularly enjoy it in a journalistic setting. Outside of the newspaper, I am part of the Drama Club, A Capella, and Chorus. I have also published works in The Apricot Journal. Outside of South High, I am a student at The Hanover Theatre Conservatory and am part of their Youth Acting Company. Performance arts is a big interest for me for similar reasons as writing. Feel free to email me at [email protected].
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