A day in the life of: A Chess Club Member

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This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.

By Nicole Yow (16S03J), Chairperson

It’s a good day for the average member at the CHESS (Cool Hours Enthusiastically Spent Sitting in an air-conditioned room playing chess) Club. That is, aside from the mind-bendingly exhilarating face-offs over the chessboard, incomparable psychological satisfaction, and communion with some of the coolest, trendiest members of the student body.

Members of the CHESS Club sign up (that’s right, there are no trials!) in anticipation of honing their skills in their chosen variant of Chess (Chinese or International chess), but consistently receive more than they’d bargained for! Interaction and play with fellow thrill-seekers of other variants of Chess make joining this CCA equivalent to a dual CCA experience! To our knowledge, that is a deal that one refuses at the risk of extreme regret.

There’s a reason why the CHESS Club CCA is hailed as the coolest in Raffles- and no, it’s not that we train in an air-conditioned room. The CCA is home to some of the most dedicated trainees in the hallowed arts of the mind anywhere on this island.

Beginners are most welcome to the club; in fact, they are sought after. After all, a seasoned checkmater can possess no greater achievement than the bragging rights to polishing the moves of this age’s next grandmasters.

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If you’re a beginner, join or forever hold your piece! You’ll surprise yourself with just how good you’ll get. Even if you’re not up for some serious game, but you’d just like a share in the coolest CCA experience there is, we’ll be sure to make your time more than well worth.

International Chess trainees can expect sessions warming up with tactical puzzle exercises, and culminating in intense sparring against your friends. Whatever the time control, be it lightning (1 min/player) or standard (25 min/player) our esteemed Vice-Chairperson Andrew Tan (16S06B) is bound to quip, ‘Let’s get high! Let’s get high!’ Rest assured, there is nothing of a narcotic nature in our dealings here in the CHESS Club. There is however, an addictive quality to the roller-coaster ride that each game promises, that draws even non-member “crashers” to weekly CCA sessions for their weekly chess fix.

Covert out-of-CCA thrill-seeking. Guess who’s the crasher?

Chinese Chess members are just as fortunate.

Sessions are graced by none other than the wise guru known affectionately as Jiao Lian, hailing from the highest snow-capped peaks from across the river. Olden gnarled scrolls detailing shrewd strategems of days long past are dusted off; the ways within its words spoken like thunder above, heard only by the select few seated in classroom A23.

Our Jiao Lian, Mr Chan Mau Yin, is sharp, and in more ways than one.

Trainees of the ancient art of Chinese Chess can look forward to meeting their match, in the form of other devotees to the craft. Indeed, our craft is a refined one; but, it is, by no means, perfect. Following peer sparring, our resident guru Jiao Lian tends to any errors made in play. This style of instruction has been valued by many trainees, who tout it to ‘make the whole experience less competitive and more about learning’.

Chinese Chess devotees smile simultaneously as their photograph is taken.

Life for all of us here at the CHESS Club might as well be a battlefield, where allies flank each file. We can’t possibly have world peace, but the next best thing is a world of pieces. Our unforgettable days and knights can be yours, too.

Like what you see? Come on board with all of us at the Raffles Institution Chess Club.

109170cookie-checkA day in the life of: A Chess Club Member

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