My new hobby: Chess

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CREDIT: Andre Davancens

“Checkmate” the white queen says with a scornful expression.

When I was a little boy, I would always play chess with my grandpa — and always lose.

My chess knowledge was mostly limited to the colors of the pieces and what they do. Now that I’m finishing my junior year of high school not much has changed about the way I play. I am still very bad at chess, but even so it has grown into my newest obsession.

I became obsessed with the game after watching my favorite twitch streamer, Félix Lengyel (also known as XQC), participate in an online chess tournament called Pogchamps 3. The way the pieces moved and the strategies involved — like the different openings and ways of getting a checkmate — peaked my interest.

After watching the tournament I wanted to try the game out for myself. I was inspired by what I had seen. So I jumped into the world of chess brimming with confidence. But after playing a few games on chess.com I was only able to win once. I realized that I wasn’t as good as I thought.

My will wasn’t broken, though. I wanted to play better so I could win. I looked for a way to do that. After watching XQC play chess, I discovered another streamer named Grandmaster Hikaru, one of the most famous chess players on the twitch platform with over 1.2 million followers. I had a fun time watching him play. I learned basic moves and tips from his streams.

I began to get the hang of the game. I learned from watching streamers and from actually playing. During my journalism class with Mr. Goins, after expressing my interest in chess, Nathan Han invited me to join the Chess Club. Since it was a great way to play against people I knew, I joined.

I have attended the club meetings a couple of times already. I enjoyed the time I spent in the club listening to good music and playing chess with friends. We played chess in a tournament style, finishing in about an hour, however,. I usually procrastinate and get distracted when I’m learning, so attending the club meetings motivates me to learn new strategies I can use to beat my friends.

During the first meeting I attended, we played with customized rules that turned it into a completely different game. Unlike with regular chess, I found myself beating players I normally wouldn’t. It was great to actually win.

Slowly I’ve gotten better and better thanks to attending chess club meetings. Chess is a very intriguing sport that is rarely boring.

Chess teaches me patience. It’s more than just a hobby. It’s a very intriguing sport that is rarely boring.
I won’t give up on it.