While some people might think of chess as something that takes years to learn, the chess club at Minnesota State would say otherwise.
The chess club threw an event Wednesday with chess master John Bartholomew. Secretary of the club, Sean Nolan, said he hoped students got a lot out of the event.
“There are life skills that you can learn from chess, especially when you’re down pieces and being able to fight back and learn how to make plans with what you have,” said Nelson. “At the end of the day, it is to play chess and get better at chess and just get better at a really fun game.”
Jacob Baker was one of the 16 people who played against Bartholomew. He has been playing since 2019 and picked it up because he was bored and needed something to do. He said playing against Bartholomew was fun.
“I mean, I messed up really early on, and I felt like a doofus, and then everything went downhill from there. It’s a ton of fun seeing the moves he makes because he’s not going to make a mistake,” said Baker. “Everybody knew they were gonna lose coming into this, but they had fun with it.”
Bartholomew said that playing against 16 people was less intense than when he played against 35 people during a tournament.
“Challenging because there were some good players here. When you don’t know the level of the person you’re facing, you’re figuring that out as the game progresses,” said Bartholomew. “There’s always games that are a little more straightforward than others, but when you have these strong players interspersed, it can be mentally taxing.”
Bartholomew said he hoped people took some new skills home.
“I hope they learned something about their own game and maybe some possible areas for improvements,” said Bartholomew. “Also, with the Q&A, hopefully, I inspired a couple of people to approach their chess improvement differently or look deeper into the game.”
While first learning chess can be intimidating, Bartholomew said not to overthink it.
“Get online, find a friend that plays, or go to a club and jump in. A lot of people overthink what chess is; it is a game. It’s a social game, after all,” said Bartholomew. “There’s a lot of intimidating information about chess, but no one expects you to be a grandmaster or even a rated player when you first get into the game. It’s OK to make mistakes; you’re gonna have to make a lot of mistakes and chests to make progress.”
Header Photo: The chess club threw an event Wednesday with chess master John Bartholomew. Secretary of the club, Sean Nolan, said he hoped students got a lot out of the event. (Lauren Viska/The Reporter)
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