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  • James Clarke

Once when chess club was almost cool…

In High School, my friends and I played Chess and joined the Chess Club. Wednesday after school and Saturday tournaments were an extension of our normal gaming life. We didn’t care about any stigmas or stereotypes that club membership included, and we were definitely not the popular kids in our school. But something interesting was happening in the halls of OHS.

The calculus teacher, Mr. Duncan, was our Chess Club advisor, and his dedication to helping students see Math as a useful life skill was astonishing. He also, through his energy and making chess a subtle part of his classes, made Chess at our school something verging on somewhat cool-ish. I’m not suggesting we were actually cool for playing chess, but we weren’t ridiculed. If you were in Mr. Duncan’s calculus class you were basically in the chess club, whether you knew it or not. I even had a cheerleader portray me in a skit during an assembly, in between portraying basketball and tennis players.


Our names in lights.


My senior year, I became the Chess Club President and even won a chess tournament. Heck, I even passed the AP Calculus test.

Chess taught me a lot about gaming, but Chess also taught me a few things about life:

  1. You get more out of things the more time and effort you put into them.

  2. You can play against your opponent and not just his pieces.

  3. Games, just like life, are not always fair.

  4. Winning is awesome, but having fun even if you lose is better than being miserable.

I don’t play chess much anymore, but I will always look back fondly on my days in the Chess Club.

Meeple Nation is about community and belonging to something bigger. That is why we love this hobby and why we made this site and podcast. We want to contribute to the world-wide boardgaming community!

Meeple Nation unite!

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