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The Chieftain

The Student News Site of Piscataway High School

The Chieftain

The Student News Site of Piscataway High School

The Chieftain

The ‘Game Of Kings’ Grows in Popularity at Piscataway High School

Photo by Jani Kaasinen on Unsplash

Do you like to play chess and have fun with friends, but don’t know how to play? This club would be perfect for you!

Students playing chess can improve academic skills such as concentration, reasoning, creativity, and problem solving. Now there is an opportunity to join the Chess Club at PHS. The PHS Chess Club is advised by PHS English teacher Mrs.Yeselson, and the club meets every other Monday, in room D242.

Before diving into the mission of Chess Club, it is important to understand how it came to existence in our school.

“I started it long ago when we had a different bell schedule,” Mrs.Yeselson said. “We had a long homeroom for half an hour with nothing really to do. So, I started a ‘Homeroom Chess Club’ because it was more fun than just sitting around.”

Numerous studies have confirmed that chess improves academic performance. Children can also enhance life skills through chess, such as learning from mistakes, considering consequences, thinking ahead, and building confidence.

“It is that the more you play, the more your brain improves and the strategic tactics of your brain,” club member Alperen Akardere(in grade 10) said. “So in case yeah I would definitely prefer it.”

Club’s president, Anuj Shirodkar(a senior), stated that his dad inspired him in Chess, and it led him to start the Chess club with Mrs.Yeselson. Chess clubs can also contribute to a school’s sense of community as students can play and become friends with students from every grade and class in their school.

“Mostly my dad,” Anuj Shirodkar said. “My dad introduced me to chess when I was really young and then that kind of accelerated my interest as I grew up and that resulted in me starting the Chess club.”

A chess club is a social, informational, instructional, or competitive meeting place where people come together through chess. Students learn new things about Chess after joining the club.

“After joining this club, I learnt new openings,” Alperen Akardere said. “For example, there is a Spanish opening and an Italian opening. These are examples. There are many examples that I have learned in Chess club and I have to learn.”

Compared with other sports or academic competitions, chess is a great equalizer.

“Mostly when I am playing Chess I try to make sure I’m calm and I am trying to play the best game with my opponent,” Anuj Shirodkar said. “Not to just beat my opponent but to play the best game that I can play.”

PHS is fortunate to have a teacher who learned Chess when she was young to lead the club. School can often be stressful, so making club fun and informative was an important reason for all members.

“I learned when I was a kid and I played with my dad,” Mrs.Yeselson said. “I was never very good and I am not a specially good chess player. It really is not because I am a good chess player that I am the advisor. It is just because I enjoy and having these nice social interactions with students where everyone is enjoying playing a game using our minds. So it is mostly for students.”

Chess players do not have an advantage based on their age, gender, physical size, race, or religion. In fact, young children who practice can routinely beat older opponents.

“Probably the best advice I was received when playing Chess was my opponents and they always taught me like when I played them and lost,” Anuj Shirodkar said. “They would teach me like important aspects of the game and also how to improve and make sure that I stayed calm while I was playing.”

Chess is not a game that plays the same way, the way it is played may vary from person to person.

“Well, it depends,” Alperen Akardere said. “There are many types of moves, many types of openings and middle games. There are many options you can choose from.”

Playing chess develops patience and the ability to win and lose graciously. In addition, it encourages participants to empathize with their opponents and to take responsibility for their own actions.

“I think the most important principle of playing any game is to be a good sportsman/sportsperson is to win graciously, lose graciously and play again another day,” Mrs.Yeselson said.

The club is open to all PHS students, even those who might not have knowledge to play Chess.

“Mostly I sometimes teach the beginners but mostly the Chess club members are always having fun with each other and behaving very well and enjoying learning to play and being challenged.,” Mrs.Yeselson said. “I don’t really need to do very much as an advisor because they are so wonderful.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Chess Club, please message club advisor, Mrs.Yeselson through Schoology or stop by an upcoming meeting!

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About the Contributor
Onari Kahandawa
Onari Kahandawa, Chieftain Reporter
Hi, I’m Onari! I am a senior at Piscataway High School and this is my first year in Chieftain. Taking journalism class encourages me to join to Chieftain. In my free time I like to play badminton, running, learning new languages, playing guitar and drawing.

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