Society Spotlight: Chess Club

ONE OF THE newest societies at Aberystwyth is the Chess Club – welcoming everyone from the most advanced players, to someone who doesn’t know their Rook from their Bishop. We spoke to president James Corrigan to find out a bit more about the club.

chessSo, as a new society, how is this year going for the Chess Club so far?

It’s going much better than I could have hoped for. We got over 80 signatures at the Fresher’s Fair, and new faces turn up every week to try their hand at chess. The good thing about it is that, because it lasts from 12-6 on a Wednesday at the Arts Centre Bar, people can come and go as they please.

What can a newcomer expect when joining?

Fierce competition and kibitzing! We are a very easy going club, eager to teach others and for others to teach us. We usually play Blitz Chess or Short time controls, but often we play without the clock. Sometimes we split the club into two teams, and they use their collective nous to battle each other. That said – we welcome anyone who has no experience playing, it only takes five minutes to learn the rules and newcomers learn the ropes fast.

Do you host socials?

We sort of incorporate socials into the club, we’ll have a few drinks (although this is not obligatory) whilst playing. Afterwards, a few of us will go into town to carry on, but hopefully we’ll get a bit more professional at it as the club grows.

What plans are ahead for the Chess Club?

We will definitely be taking part in Varsity this year, possibly even fielding two teams. Last year, the Bangor team took part in Varsity unofficially and we comprehensively beat them 12-4, so it would be great if we could do the same again on their turf. We are also currently looking into playing at the British University Chess Tournament in February.

How might someone join the Chess Club?

The best way would be to go along on Wednesday and sign up there; play a few games first to see if you enjoy it. No pressure to pay up straight away. It’s only £2.

Finally, favourite chess piece?

Tough question. It would have to be the Knight, as it is the perfect attacking piece that can really punch above its weight. No other piece can attack so many other pieces at the same time so well.