No plans on Thursday night? A group of four Gonzaga students have gotten together to create a judgement-free, social and competitive club for all students to be a part of.
GU’s first official chess club made its debut last Thursday with a turn out of over 50 students at all different chess-playing levels.
GU freshman Andre Villalobos, the vice president of the chess club, said the main initiative for this club was to get people together to have a good time, make friends and even teach people with no knowledge of the board game.
“There was never a chess club at Gonzaga as far as we could find,” Villalobos said. “We’d love to have people at this club that we can befriend.”
Villalobos said he picked up chess a couple of months ago and at his arrival at GU for the spring semester and found himself to be playing with the other executive board members frequently.
“What led to the founding of the chess club was that we thought it’d be a great way to meet new people and allow people to create a community to develop and promote chess players regardless of their skill levels,” Villalobos said.
Villalobos and Christopher Wu, treasurer of the club, didn’t return to campus during the fall semester and felt like they needed to create an opportunity for themselves to make friends and branch out in a time where students' social lives are so limited.
While still managing to follow all COVID-19 guidelines, the chess club meeting was laid back and casual with music playing in the background and small conversations floating throughout the room.
GU sophomore Connor Campbell was one of many students who went to the first meeting.
“I came to the first meeting a little bit late, so I didn't get the full first meeting experience, but I had a lot of fun playing with people and everyone was friendly,” Campbell said. “It's super fun to play in person especially because I usually play online.”
Campbell said he was impressed by the turn out that he saw at the first meeting and is looking forward to this new opportunity of playing chess and meeting new people.
If you find yourself bored on Thursday night with a craving for competition, go hang out in Jepson 122 from 7-8 p.m. with your new friends in the chess club.
Follow the GU chess club on Instagram @guchessclub.