SHS Chess Club Stepping Up Their Game

Searcy, Ark., (LP) —  Many students in Searcy High School are so caught up in football and basketball games that they don’t have any time to go to any chess matches. The game of chess is played by millions worldwide and is a game that requires one to know different techniques and tactics. The Searcy high school chess club accepts any students, whether they know how to play chess or not. Once the chess member learns and is fond with the strategies and the game itself, the members play against each other. During their after school practice they don’t have a specific schedule, they make up their own games and come up with their own tricks. Mrs. Haynes is the head of the chess club.

SHS chess club members at the WIlbur D. Mills Coop Fall Tournament.

She has been part of the chess club “for about three years.” Because of being the head for less time she’s not quite an expert at chess. She lets the kids do their own thing because “some of them have been playing chess for years now, so they teach the new members how to play.”

Most of the matches are held in Beebe, SHS hasn’t held a match at the school yet but Mrs. Haynes says, “we definitely will soon.” The chess club had 20 members last year and 10 this year. Mrs. Haynes said, “We had a lot of seniors in the chess club last year and they all left so we have 10 members left and only two of them are seniors.”  Even though all the seniors left, the freshman are still on their game. Most freshman and sophomore are familiar with the game so they fill in for the seniors that left.

Chess Board Courtesy of Google Images

The chess club was a part of SHS for only about 14 years. Before that it was affiliated with Ahlf Junior High for about seven years before having an individual club at the school. According to Mrs. Haynes, “The chess club won nine or 10 championships since the mid-2000’s.” The chess club meets at Mrs. Haynes room every Wednesday after school to practice for chess matches and tournaments including the fall and spring tournaments held in Beebe. The regional matches take place in Benton and the state tournament is in Fayetteville this year. Mrs. Haynes says, “Since so many students from different schools come and compete, each school is limited only a certain amount of students that can go to the tournaments and championship.” There are many students from all around Arkansas that compete in matches and many more people from those schools that go support their team. Searcy needs to level up and show love to their fellow chess club students.


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