Helias Chess Club Checkmates Fellow CrusadersBy Kaden Quinn

It’s official. It’s the start of a new school year for Helias Catholic High and with that comes new students, classes and a whole bunch of other school-related activities. These activities can range from clubs to charity work to sports. What captures the interest of many students is clubs. Over the years, Helias has established various options of clubs for kids to join. One in particular is the Chess Club headed by Helias alumni, Larry Fedorchalk. The Chess club offers students a way to both challenge their minds and expand their social skills.

Through the club, kids can learn the strategic values of one of the world’s oldest and most dignified board games as well as socialize with other kids in different grades.

“I like Chess Club because of the community and mix of people who are there,” said Louie Delk, “most clubs don’t have that. And it’s just fun to test my skills.”

Along with building a better social foundation comes building a stronger intellect. Some chess club members believe, to play chess and to play it well, one’s mind must be immersed in the game.

“Think before you act,” said member Ben Niekamp. To be successful one needs to be to be able to predict their opponent’s moves with multiple moves of their own. This is how the game is able to establish and continue to grow a keen mind.

But what is education without the students? The Chess Club has a number of kids ranging from seniors to freshmen. The club has taken many kids under its wing and all are ready to learn and have fun.

“At our first meetings we had around twelve to twenty [members] but we’re probably going to gain twenty to thirty people…” said Delk. “Chess club is open to all kids from whatever grade and is typically held on Wednesdays in the Helias conference room.”

Many Chess club members reported that they believed that other students not involved in a club would enjoy this club.

“It’s a place to get to know people. I’ve met like fifty different kinds of people,” said Delk. “We have foreign exchange students, kids from different backgrounds and ethnicities.”

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