Chess team begins competitive season

The+Chess+club%27s+new+line+up+for+the+season+this+year.+This+group+is+is+hoping+to+prove+unstoppable+this+season.

All Pro

The Chess club’s new line up for the season this year. This group is is hoping to prove unstoppable this season.

The 1500-year-old sport is back again with another competitive season this year. The season will put each school’s top five players against each other, with each win giving one point and draws will receive half a point to each side, the team with the most cumulative points across all boards takes home victory at the end of a meet. After the season being heavily delayed due to COVID concerns, it is back on but with the stipulation that the matches must be played online to ensure player safety. 

Being online comes with some major drawbacks: namely huge risks to the integrity of the competition. Ever since the first computer beat the chess world champion in 1997 it has been a concern by the wider chess community that humans simply can’t match computers at chess. Modern chess computers are incredibly hard to beat and widely available online, and could potentially be used by players to cheat during online matches. This is done by copying the chess engine’s moves, essentially forcing the cheater’s opponent to play a match that is impossible to win. 

Among those concerned about the prospect of cheating is Senior Aidan Feldman, who said “We played a practice tournament and there was nothing done to ensure the security of our games.”  The players will be using Chess.com, a well-known chess site that frequently hosts major professional tournaments with money on the line. Chess.com fairness and anti-cheat measures have been looked at by multiple grandmaster chess players who claim it is much more advanced than anything else in the industry.

Last year, Perry’s chess team qualified for state for the first time in school history, taking 5th in their region. The team is looking to repeat its success this year and according to Coach Darrel Hammond is looking “stronger than ever” because strong players who were unable to play last year have returned to the team. The club is quickly moving up the rankings, being only established at the school four years ago.

The East Valley region has some of the fiercest competitors in the state, including Hamilton who has won the region two of the last three years. Despite these intimidating odds, Junior Nicholas Abate remains hopeful for the season saying that while he thinks the other schools have a chance, Perry is “simply better” and might just take home the title. 

The chess club is more than just a team for the players, and its become a close knit group over the year, even despite COVID. Senior Adithya Sivakamur believes the chess team’s potential claiming that “knowing each other on a personal level and having our collaborative nature” is where their competitive edge lies.

The Perry chess team is looking to take the top spot this season, and this year their chances are looking better than ever.