BY TED ORBACH
In the fall 2015 semester, Brett Friedensohn, now acting president of the Chess Club at CCM, looked to resurrect the then-defunct club. Now, three semesters later, the club has seen enrollment rise, and under Friedensohn’s leadership, looks to grow even more from this year onwards.
“When I started here in the fall of 2015 I was hoping to join a chess club because I was the president of the chess club in my high school, and I love chess,” Friedensohn said. “I find it a bit addictive. I wanted to have a place where I can develop my ideas for chess with other students and play with them, discuss chess with them and hang out with like-minded people.”
Friedensohn’s love of chess began from an early age, when he and his fellow first grade students were taught the game during lunch times.
“I developed a love for it, I guess because it’s intellectual stimulation,” Friedensohn said. “I was never really a bulky athletic kid, so I didn’t get my competitive spirit out that way, I got it out more through chess.”
Fellow chess club member Marco Dellamonica mentioned a love for the intellectual nature of the game, as well as the players’ ability to improve themselves.
“I’m one of the people that, even though I get my butt kicked, I will beat my head into a wall until I figure it out,” Dellamonica said. “Chess is one of those games for me where I may not be good now, but after getting my head beat in maybe 1700 times I’ll get there.”
Victory is not the only factor driving members’ interest in the club.
“When I play the game I don’t really care whether I win or lose,” said Adam Novak, another member of the Chess Club. “I enjoy the strategy aspect, I enjoy that you have to think about the moves ahead.”
Friedensohn echoed this sentiment.
“I’ve always tried to expand my intellect, and think in problematic ways,” Friedensohn said. “To me fun is being as smart as I can and having intellectual stimulation.”
As far as future plans go, an open tournament for CCM students is in the works.
“I’ve wanted to have a tournament, an open tournament for CCM students,” Friedensohn said. This plus high growth can see the club gathering evermore steam heading into the end of this semester and beyond.
While the club looks ahead to bigger projects, it maintains a welcoming and consistent atmosphere for its members.
“I don’t have to worry about there not being somebody there,” Novak said. “Any day I could go to the library and sit by the chess boards but that doesn’t mean that people want to play. It gives me one day where I know I can go and play chess with people. The people are friendly and willing to learn at different levels. It’s a great place to go to if you’re just curious about chess.”