Clark’s First Chess Tournament is a Success


Lily Tanossian

Junior Grigori Dabaghyan planning his next move against his opponent.

Since January 2020, more than 102 million users have signed up through, a 238% increase. In recent years, online chess has taken on a life of its own. According to The New York Times, the Covid pandemic helped boost the amount of players on the site and led to an increase in the interest in chess.

This trend has made its way into Clark as well. From the beginning of second semester, some Clark students have started playing online chess anytime they have free time at school. As the semester progressed, more and more students started to join in, playing against each other in friendly matches. Clark’s ASB team noticed this sudden interest in chess and decided to create a chess tournament for any students who were interested in competing with others during lunch.

Clark’s first ever chess tournament took place for nine days, starting on April 10 and ending on April 20. To prepare for the event, ASB had to first put in facility requests for each of the tables and had to buy the chess boards and timers. Once their set up was done, ASB members helped get students to sign up and told them what to do when it was their turn to play. 

By catering to students’ interests, it brought many students from their usual hangout areas at lunch to come watch or even participate in the tournaments. Thirty-two students took part in the tournament, creating a great bonding experience for the competitors. “I really enjoyed how Clark hosted these chess tournaments because it allowed students to participate and play against each other while also showing their chess skills,” junior Grigori Dabaghyan said.

The one aspect that Dabagyan thought could be improved was the amount of time that was given for each game. “We only got ten minutes for each game, which isn’t enough time for a full, serious game of chess. The game started with quality plays, but then it ended with us spamming moves to see whose clock would run out first,” Dabagyan said. After nine days of competition, Dabaghyan managed to be the winner of the entire tournament.

With so many students participating in the chess tournament, it has a chance to turn into a recurring event throughout the next school years. Clark’s ASB is planning on creating more new events to raise the spirit of students and allow them to participate in events related to their interests.