Clark’s Chess Club During COVID-19


Richard Park

Although the board game only has 32 pieces set among 64 squares, chess is a game that has survived for over 1000 years thanks to its complexity. Committed chess players will spend countless hours learning chess theory, teaching themselves concepts like developing pieces and tempo. Players must familiarize themselves with openings like the Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Defense, and the Caro-Kann amongst many (and I mean many) others. After openings begins the midgame and endgame – a battle of exchanges and advantages. In all of this, chess players also must be ready to punish opponent mistakes by using tactics like the skewer, pin, fork, zugzwang, etc. Players will spend years studying chess theory. Beautifully complex, chess is a game that has thrived during the COVID pandemic and our Clark Chess Club still continues to play and practice. 

“I love chess because it’s a great way to practice patience and persistence; being able to sit down for a couple of hours just for one game truly allows for one’s skill to be shown and it’s something that makes you inherently feel proud,” says Maxx Tandon, Clark Chess Club’s president. 

“Before virtual learning, Chess Club was just meeting at Mr. Vigrass’s room and playing chess against each other on one day of the week. On another day of the week, we would go out to other schools in a van driven by Vigrass and play against them,” says David Teklea, a chess senior. 

With the introduction of online learning, chess games have now shifted online. Clark Chess players use accounts on that are in accordance with district policies to play at tournaments.

“For virtual learning, we’ve made sure that all of our members can play against each other online while also trying online tactics just so they can stay in touch with chess. We host meetings Tuesdays and also invite everyone into our district tournaments,” says Maxx. “To anyone that would like to join, feel free to stop by anytime and simply try it out; play a couple of games with other members and see whether or not chess is for you. We strive to be a fully inclusive club where anyone can come and have fun; whether it be beginners enjoying themselves or advanced members playing in tournaments, Chess Club caters to everyone.”

If you want to join, Clark Chess Club’s remind code is @clarkcc20 and Mr. Vigrass is the advisor.