Wolf Pack chess club holds first tournament


Abigail Schmidt

Members of Loyola’s chess club play a game at their first tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abigail Schmidt, Life and Times Editor

The Wolf Pack chess team is back and just completed its first tournament since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament began on May 2 and ended on May 5. There were eight competitors, according to marketing and accounting junior Ki Huynh. There was also a grand prize of $40 for the winner.

“We tried to encourage beginners to compete, although most of the people that showed interest at our tabling event said that they don’t think they are up for competition yet,” Huynh said.

Huynh has been playing chess for almost a year and already has the vice president and event coordinator title for the Loyola chess team.

The team has been preparing for this tournament since the beginning of March, with the help of club sports advisor Kyleah Bell, according to Huynh.

“Planning the tournament felt like it took a village,” said English senior and club president Blair Anderson.

They said there were issues with sign-ups, tabling, and finding a location. But with the support from their team, they were able to set up the tournament.

Anderson boasts a chess background going back to second grade. They competed through middle school and picked it up again in the fall of 2022.

The team spent the last two weeks tabling outside in the Peace Quad, equipped with a full board ready to show off their skills.

“Tabling for the event helped more people become aware of us, so however this goes, I’ll consider it a success,” Anderson said. “Playing in a tournament is a fun bonus that I’m glad our members will get to experience.”

Huynh said the team is eager to compete and hopes to broaden its players and make it feel open to everyone.

“It is supposed to be a fun experience for those who have never competed before,” Huynh said. “The goal of our team is to spread the enjoyment of playing chess to female students, students of the LGBTQ+ community, and to people out there who want to play chess, but were discouraged because of the stereotype of chess players being white males.”