Chess Club provides space to bond over shared interest


Jadyn Jacobs

Senior Liam Shields started the Chess Club for anyone interested in the game no matter the skill level.

Zach Ely, Staff Writer

Senior Liam Shields started the Chess Club as a way for players of various skill levels to meet others with a common interest.

Club President, Liam Shields, started the group last year during the pandemic. The difficulty of creating a club when students were only in school two days a week was a huge roadblock. Despite the challenges, the club continued to spread and grow into what it is today: a group of about 20-25 students that meets every Thursday to play a game they love together. 

“My favorite moment would have to be the first day [of Chess Club] and seeing everyone come in for the club,” Shields said.

The idea of starting a Chess Club struck on the ride back from a basketball game. Shields said the whole team had a chess app on their phones, and they were able to find a common ground through it. After the team’s bonding experience, he realized that a real-life Chess Club could be a fun way to bring people together.

“My favorite part of it [Chess Club] is just coming together with a group of friends and having fun,” Shields said.

According to Shields, the Chess Club is a fairly relaxed, low-key group, where students can have fun and hangout. The club acts as a platform for students to meet new people, while getting out of their comfort zone.

“I feel like a lot of people are scared to join because they think it’s some huge club, but you can really just show up and have fun,” Shields said.

Shields hopes even more students join the club, no matter their level of play.

“I feel like if more people realized that [it’s a low-stress group] and they weren’t worried that maybe they weren’t good enough, they would show up more,” Shields said.

Club adviser and Social Studies teacher Alisen Laferriere was happy to supervise the club when asked by a few of her students.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch them play and get very into it and excited,” Laferriere said.

Laferriere said that being able to watch the club pick up and evolve has been an exciting experience.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what it would look like,” Laferriere said. “But then we started getting chess boards, and we borrowed them from other teachers and some kids even got them donated.”

Laferriere is happy to see that the work Shields, among others, put into the club has paid off. The club has become a welcoming environment that people are excited to join.

“After a couple days there were two, three kids around a desk, all helping each other,” Laferriere said.