More than just pawns: Chess team competes at state

March 28, 2016

Around the school, you have probably seen at least one student with a dark green bag in his or her hand, with a thin, rolled up, black and white paper attached. Within the three thriving lunch periods you may have seen a few students hunched down, engulfed in their game made just for two. These many students are part of the chess team.

The year is coming close to an end with flowers blooming, breaks beginning, and the seniors finishing up the last of what they called school for the past four years. The Chess Team has thrived greatly throughout the years here at Carl Sandburg High School. But where are they now?

“We won our division and became second in our conference this year… we were 39th in State this year, so we have gone up, just in one year, over 20 positions, and most of our team are freshmen and sophomores, so they will be with us for another two years. So, it’s very exciting because we can see them grow up as well as they continue on with their chess and tactics and everything so I can see us getting to 15th place by their senior year,” said Hayley Christianson, senior and President of the chess team.

Christianson, like many other leaders, has seen her team get better and excel at their skill within the years she’s been at Sandburg.

The Chess Team has worked hard this year and are determined to win and elevate as a team. They are planning on going to the Super Nationals and out of state to compete, so their future plans are to become more organized and efficient in order to do their best when they confirm their trip.

“These sophomores and freshmen are so dedicated this year, so it’s very exciting to see me, as a senior, that there are still people saying ‘Oh I want to do this, I want to do this full heartedly,’ and they will still continue on so that’s one thing: that I’ve seen them grow and they’re going to be awesome without me,” said Christianson.

The Chess Team seems to have an optimistic future.

“[The chess team is] a wild, exotic family from all places and sizes and everywhere combined with the humor and childishness of children, but they have grown up more than I have ever expected,” said Christianson.

While the team is composed of a variety of characters, when necessary they can be serious and work hard.

“We’re all a bunch of crazy lunatics, but there’s a side to us that’s serious as well. We can be fun at times, but when we have to and when we need to we can shift to that serious mode and focus on our one goal,” said Thea Barba, sophomore.

The chess team, overall, is a welcoming team that focuses on skill, teamwork, and determination.

They’ve moved up as a team, helping each other and playing chess almost every day after school. Now you may believe that you have no chance of belonging to this family, but anyone can. If you don’t know how to play chess, they’ll teach you. If you don’t think you’ll make friends or get along, you will.

Everyone on the team is different in their own ways, but are similar in their determination to become great players.

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