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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

GALLERY: Prom 2024
GALLERY: Prom 2024
April 7, 2024

Virtual chess? virtual checkmate!

By Krysthel Cisneros
Staff Writer

To the untrained onlooker, the intricate world and culture that is the game of chess can be diluted to sixty-four checkered squares and sixteen small figurines. Unknown to the common man, chess has an extensive rulebook that creates a certain methodology to the game for those who want to master it. This social game played amongst two players brings like-minded people together that both would like to play its long game.

Like most social activities, playing a match with strangers at the moment is not the most viable option when following CDC guidelines accordingly. However, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has come between a range of possible social events, chess players can still enjoy a match. 

The students at MAST Academy have managed to salvage and create a space in their local community for chess players by using online platforms such as Microsoft Teams Meetings. Senior Trevor Burniske said he chose to organize these virtual chess matches to “help build a strong sense of community amongst the students … during the quarantine.”

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This simple need has allowed for a niche community to feel connected once again. Members of the team have voiced similar opinions that having such a specific space to enjoy their favorite hobby, brought them a new sense of enthusiasm. When asked about the team’s interesting way of connecting online, Senior Jayson Herrera said he was “… so excited to see there was a chess club at MAST, where I could meet new people and have people to practice with.”

Having an accessible social group for these students helps spread both school spirit and general productivity. Like many others, Herrera said the game gave him “… the ability to use my problem solving skills and exercise my brain in a competitive platform.”. Burniske also agreed with this opinion when he said that when he first learned how to play chess it allowed him “to look at things from a whole new perspective.”

Regardless of the debate there is around the MSO vs. the in-person schoolhouse model, it can be for certain the MAST Academy chess club team will continue to hold these virtual matches. Their selling pitch to MAST students who would like to join is that their monthly meetings on teams give them the opportunity to get together and learn from one another as well as complete in fun tournaments for years to come.

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Virtual chess? virtual checkmate!