Skilled on the board

Josh Thorstenson leads a group of kids who take strategy to the next level

By Savanna Reynolds

Many people in society tend to overlook chess, saying that it is too hard or that it is a boring game. But the Chess Team shows that this game is anything but that with enough patience.

Josh Thorstenson, a junior, leads this group of skilled chess players who like to play friendly man-to-man games with each other with the help of the sponsor of the team, Nicholas Glowaty.

The Chess Team is a calm and chill environment that can be chaotic at times, but they do get serious for competitions. One of the members, junior Jaymes Barker, is known as the atmosphere in the club.

“It’s pretty casual, pretty much anyone can go if you want to, you can just hang out and play chess games,” Barker said.

If you struggle with doubt over your ability to play, there is nothing to worry about since the team is here to lend you a hand. Not only do they provide hands-on help but also provide you with knowledge of resources, one of them being, the most used site out of the two that they provide.

Along with knowledge of resources like books and YouTube videos; the ease of gaining these resources is thanks to our technology, and science teacher Nicholas Glowaty agrees.

“Nowadays, especially with the internet, there are so many resources out there; like,, YouTube and there are tons of books, and again these videos,” Glowaty said. “All these resources combined just to really advance chess knowledge so quickly compared to what used to be.”

This technology helped as well when they were hit by the pandemic and were forced to go virtual. Now that they are back and out of virtual learning; more kids will be able to learn this game through physical means, not just virtually.

With these resources, members will quickly be able to get better to the point where they could start being competitive and compete. Glowaty has noticed how fast newcomers grow in this strategy-based game

“We see it a lot, where very beginner level players, when they come and join us, improve drastically over the first couple of months. And then, again, they kinda plateau. They kind of hit a certain skill level which is pretty good compared to the average person,” Glowaty said. “By playing more, and coming to our team practices, they improve very quickly.”

The Chess Team works its hardest to improve itself, compete in competitions and teach new members how to play. Josh Thorstenson, who has been playing chess for two and a half years, is a junior and the leader of the Chess Team.

“Study the endgames first, when there aren’t a lot of pieces on the board, and that knowledge will translate to the other areas of the game,” Thorstenson said.

This team has been taking members, beginners and pros alike, from all forms of skill levels for seven years; and the sponsor Glowaty has been keeping track of the age of this club he holds dear.

“So, [we started] my first year here, so that was seven years ago, it started off as just a club,” Glowaty said. “After that, it evolved into a competitive team the following year, so we’ve been competing now for six years, and have been doing pretty well.”

If you are one to love strategy or are willing to exercise your logic and mind, then the Chess Team will be a good place to explore that; after all, you have many outlets of help if you ever need it.

The members will always be there for you; one square at a time; and one game at a time.