FIU Culture: University Chess Club Paces At Gaming Speed

Heather Wilkins |  Contributing Writer

It might seem unusual for some people to play on black and white checkerboard patterns with black and off-white pieces, but that is the chess group for you. Since beginning in August 2014, the chess group itself has been growing at constant speed, or chess speed as they call it.

“We have really grown since last year,” said Andrew Smith, coordinator for the Chess club. “We have chess clubs at the Engineering Campus and at Biscayne Bay.”

The club started a four-university chess collaboration known as the South Florida Collegiate Chess League which held three tournaments last year. According to Teshaun Francis, engineering center director for the club, FIU beat University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University and Miami Dade College at the tournaments.

For the coming year, the team hopes to secure travel funding for the 2015 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. They are also bidding to host the 2016 Pan-American Championships at the university.

Chess might seem boring to some – learning all the rules and all the pieces is a chore to some or can lead to a relaxing game for others. While some do not believe that chess holds the power to be a fun game, a 2012 study published in the Spanish Journal of Psychology found that chess improves cognitive abilities, coping and problem-solving capacity, and even socioaffective development of children and adolescents who practice it.

The chess club meets every Monday and Tuesday near Pollo Tropical at MMC, and on the Engineering and Biscayne Bay campuses every Wednesday and Thursday. For more information, visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.  

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