Check it Out: Chess Club

Are you a potential chess Grandmaster? Do you simply want to learn the game? Chess Club might be the place for you. Chess Club takes all types of players for some fun and fellowship all while working on your moves, from openings to check mates. Joining a club or organization is a great way to make new friends, improve a skill or simply just relax. And as everyone knows, as the end of the semester grows near, everyone could use a little time to relax. Even if chess seems overly complex or mentally challenging, a new or different challenge can actually help your mind take on other problems like that big exam you have or finishing up you enormous final paper. Chess Club meets very Wednesday from 4 to 6 on the third floor of the Student Center.

Chess is often cited by psychologists as an effective way to improve memory function.  Also allowing the mind to solve complex problems and work through ideas, it is no wonder that chess is recommended in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  The effects of chess on young individuals had led to chess being introduced in school districts and various countries.  It has been shown to improve children’s grades and other positive effects as well.

Here are some cool chess facts you can bring up at your first meeting.

The longest chess game theoretically possible is 5,949 moves. Hopefully you aren’t there quite that long.

The longest officially recorded chess game lasted 269 moves (I. Nikolic – Arsovic, Belgrade 1989) and ended in a draw. That really puts it in perspective.

The word “checkmate” in chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the King is dead.”

Police raided a chess tournament in Cleveland in 1973, arrested the tournament director and confiscated the chess sets on charges of allowing gambling (cash prizes to winners) and possession of gambling devices (the Chess sets).

The new Pawn move, advancing two squares on its first move instead of one, was first introduced in Spain in 1280.

In 1985, the Soviet player Garry Kasparov became the youngest ever World Chess Champion  at the age of 22 years and 210 days.

The first chessboard with alternating light and dark squares appears in Europe in 1090.

In 1985, Eric Knoppert played 500 games of 10-minute chess in 68 hours.

Rookies, players in their first year, are named after the Rook in Chess.  Rooks generally are the last pieces to be moved into action, and the same goes for Rookies.

A computer program named Deep Thought beat an International Grandmaster for the first time in November 1988 in Long Beach, California.

Blindfold chess is an impressive skill that many stronger chess players possess.  It certainly requires a keen ability to mentally  see the board clearly, which can get difficult after many moves.  The record was set in 1960 in Budapest by Hungarian Janos Flesch, who played 52 opponents simultaneously while blindfolded – he won 31 of those games.

The second book ever printed in the English language was about chess!

The first computer program for playing chess was developed in 1951, by Alan Turing.  However, no computer was powerful enough to process it, so Turing tested it by doing the calculations himself and playing according to the results, taking several minutes per move.




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