Written by Bailey Ridenour and Emma Jones // Photo provided by Tate Allen
Harding’s new chess club sent students to a chess tournament this past weekend in Little Rock.
The chess club was founded at the beginning of the spring semester and has grown to approximately six members who return weekly to play. Meetings occur every Monday and Friday from 7-9 p.m. in the David B. Burks American Heritage building in room 209.
“Anyone can join,” freshman Tate Allen, president of the chess club, said. “We had people join who had never played chess before, and now they’re able to at least play the game. We teach everyone who comes by if they want.”
On Saturday, Allen and other members of the club left Searcy around 8 a.m. en route to Christ Episcopal, the church that hosted the tournament, which ended at 2 p.m. Each player had 30 minutes of play with a five second delay, meaning they only had five seconds to make their move or it would eat into their play time.
“Well, it was kinda exciting actually going to a tournament instead of playing on your computer,” sophomore Steven Whitwell said. “It was a lot more stressful. I felt like I couldn’t mess up … It was stressful, but it was a lot more rewarding.”
Whitwell and Allen both played against the person who won the tournament overall, which resulted in their tie for second place. They won $25, which they split.
Brackett Library director Jean Waldrop became a sponsor for the chess club after Allen asked about reserving a room in the library to play chess in and told her that the group wanted to form an official club. The other club sponsors are special accounts manager Angie Shafer and health science librarian John Boone.
“I think they would like to participate more in doing some official tournaments,” Waldrop said. “I would just encourage students [to come] if they’re interested, even if they don’t know how to play chess but are interested in learning. It’s a great place to come. They’re all very welcoming.”