Chess season is in, stay rooked

Chess+season+is+in%2C+stay+rooked

Hailey Pohl

Ready? Set. Go! Huntley High School students immediately prepare to attack their opponents with every tool they have, and that first move may just be the deciding factor in either student’s fate. What’s the game? Chess.

Tuesday, Nov 12, the Chess Team has been practicing for their first meet of the year and it’s to be held right here at home. Students from all over the area flock to HHS to begin their trials for state. While chess might be the very first thing to put anyone to sleep, it’s nothing but a call to challenge for sophomore Jon Garcia. 

“I joined [chess] last year. I like to compete and I like to go to other schools. It’s just a lot of fun to meet new people, especially the other schools and team captains,” Garcia said. 

As the evening progressed, everyone was busily engaged with the opposing side, at times it even got a little intimidating from the apparent skills and grasp of the game by other students. While on the outside every school represented themselves quite well, across the board every team lacked the same thing: female players.

“Chess is a competition for both genders and both can compete equally. There’s professional women chess players everywhere and I think that I would be very happy to get more of an equal representation,” Chess coach Nicholas Glowaty said.

Why is there such a huge gender divide in a game like chess? It’s not a physical contact sport nor is it something stereotypically girly. The fact that each school averaged about one to two female players per team was odd. Could it be that girls might not typically know how to play or get the chance to learn? Perhaps the numbers are completely coincidental.

Otherwise, HHS is off to a great start this season, losing the first round by only one point and winning the next by 68-0. If the team keeps up the good numbers, they would be participating for state alongside 128 other schools across the state. One student in particular hopes for a good season: Tristan Heikes. 

“I’ve never gotten a medal during a chess tournament, so my goal would be to get one, but if I’m able to bring us to state one more time, I’d be fine to finish off that way,” Heikes said.