On October 31st, the Chess Club hosted a five-week long tournament in Mr. Kratz’s room. It was the club’s first tournament since their debut at September’s club fair, amassing a whopping 40 sign-ups. With the club now holding a consistent participation rate, a total of 16 people joined the tournament with players ranging from rookies to seasoned veterans. The final, between Christopher Kirch and Felipe Chertouh, was high-stakes, with moves being planned three, five, ten turns ahead. The turning point became Kirch’s (Rxa2) which captured Chertouh’s pawn. This then insinuated (Bxa2) though only for (Bxb1!), a discovered capture of Chertouh’s rook. Felipe down a pawn, Chris’s next move (Rg3+) was decisive. Forking both Felipe’s king and unprotected knight, Felipe realized imminent defeat, and soon forfeited. Ultimately, freshman Christopher Kirch won the tournament, with sophomore, Felipe Chertouh coming in second, and sophomore, Danila Leyko being awarded third. Through their efforts, Christopher Kirch was rewarded a bag of skittles, a box of cookies, and a thousand yen, Felipe Chertouh won a box of cookies, and Danila Leyko won a bag of chips.

The games were of classical variety, with each side having 15 minutes to play, no increment and a sudden-death mechanic were added. Moreover, the room was held in total silence, assuring the concentration of the players. However through these serious conditions, nevertheless, several jokes amerged. Notoriously of the captain’s alleged match fixing, insinuated by the ease of Felipe’s side of the bracket, Felipe smiling throughout. Moreover, the “chess formula,” Sho Makiyama’s equation of myth, which occasionally calculated the winning move. Using the formula took tens of minutes, though was (usually) a worthy investment. Also through this tournament, several of the chess club’s members developed styles distinctive to personality. Danila Leyko was ultra-aggressive, routinely sacrificing knight, rook, and pawn for a better position. Shun Takenaka utilized the pawns, making an inverse-pyramid that flanked with the sides. And Christopher Kirch’s, who traded pieces being a deterrent to any sort of structural integrity.

With an inter-school chess tournament in the works, captain Felipe Chertouh remarks, “I see the Chess Club growing to come. The level of talent and skill in this tournament was amazing. I definitely see the Chess Club eventually becoming an integral part of St. Mary’s club community.”


Article by Christopher Kirch