Check Mate: Gables’ Chess Club Takes Off

The+Chess+Club+board+members%2C+Adrian+Gonzalez%2C+Maria+Montelongo%2C+Diego+Gomez%2C+Massimo+Aguila%2C+Ruben+Cruz+and+Edghlys+Lopez+%28left+to+right%29+pose+alongside+Mr.+Sanchez+for+their+first+yearbook+picture.

Maria Fernandez

The Chess Club board members, Adrian Gonzalez, Maria Montelongo, Diego Gomez, Massimo Aguila, Ruben Cruz and Edghlys Lopez (left to right) pose alongside Mr. Sanchez for their first yearbook picture.

Danny Cen, Staff Writer

Although Coral Gables Senior High hosts over 30 different clubs ranging from Wizard’s Club to National Honors Society, there is always room for students to spark original ideas and create a group of their own. What started with a group of students gathering together in room 9213 to play chess during lunch and after school, blossomed into an idea. After a group of juniors realized that students throughout the school shared their same passion for the intricate game, they decided to take initiative and the Gables Chess Club was born.

Because the 2021-2022 school year will be the first full year that the club will run, its board members’ main goal is to spread the love for the game throughout the school. The club’s purpose is to teach students how to play and help novel players learn the essentials of the classic board game.

“Last year it became very popular among us until one of us took the initiative and made it happen. I’m super excited to be able to play after school and possibly teach others how to play as well. The most fun part about playing chess is that most moves are unexpected and you don’t know the outcome till the end. It has been a part of my life since I was little since my dad plays chess almost every day so he made me play with him from a young age,” junior Maria Montelongo said.

Giving students the opportunity to make connections with people who are also passionate about pawns and a checkered board, the club hopes to unite both the untrained and skilled chess players.

“I’m very excited to join the chess club because I’ve been wanting to learn how to play chess for a few months now, and I think this club will be a great place to start,” junior Francesca Rico said.

The sponsor, Mr. Sanchez, agreed to oversee the club once he realized how enthusiastic students were to meet in his classroom and play. Initially providing students with the chess boards in his class, Sanchez understood that the strategic sport could be spread throughout Gables under the guidance of the right students.

“Sapere aude,” Mr. Sanchez said.

His favorite Latin phrase means to dare to learn and gain knowledge. Sanchez hopes that both incoming students and chess masters will all show an inclination to learn and thrive in the club.

Although not set in stone, general meetings are likely to take place every Monday after school. Online meetings will also take place every Tuesday and Friday through chess.com. Through this platform, club members will be able to send each other invitations and practice their skills virtually.

Scheduled to begin after the club fair, the Chess Club is all set to welcome incoming students. Bonding over small black and white pieces and calculated plays, fellow Cavaliers with a niche for the game can be found competing inside of Gables’ diverse halls.

To find information on upcoming meetings and events, follow the club’s Instagram.