Whether it’s a classical or blitz game, Owen knows a thing or two about bringing people together.
‘Whenever I ask people, “How long have you been playing chess?” they often say “I’m a beginner. I’ve only got into it since watching The Queen’s Gambit”, or they might have watched a game on Twitch. It’s great that there’s been an explosion in the popularity of chess but new students are surprised to find that there’s a great social scene around the sport too; it’s such an easy way to meet new people.
Part of my role as Vice-President is to play against new players and introduce them to the game. I don’t leave anyone on their own! I try to match beginners who are equal in skill set, but I’ll sometimes pair them with a more experienced player to help improve their game. We only provide friendly and constructive criticism!
Our casual meet-ups are a great laugh too. Our three and four-player boards are great for building close friendships and our six-minute blitz games are helpful for developing quick-fire tactics. As expected though, there’s more silence and seriousness during our classical game tournaments; they require a different level of concentration to avoid any blunders.
Our Chess Society is particularly great if you’re nervous about talking to new people. Not only are the pieces a great distraction and fun to fidget with, but if you’re in the middle of a conversation and you don’t know what to say next, you can focus on the game and then go back to talking when you feel comfortable.
You don’t have to be good at maths or computing to get involved with chess; everyone has different skills and enjoys different things in our Society. Some people love our socials while others prefer to play and then go home.'