Chess Club begins season with win over Schaumburg

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Prospect's Chess Club practices in the staff cafe after school in preparation for their meet.

By Shreya Thakkar (@shreyathakkar)
Senior Billy Doherty joined chess club as a freshman year and remembers Prospect’s first and second board players placing high in the state tournament.

Prospect's Chess Club practices in the staff cafe after school in preparation for their meet.
Check Mate: Prospect’s Chess Club practices in the staff cafe after school in preparation for their matches.

After playing sixth board his sophomore year and third board his junior year, Doherty won the first match of this season against Schaumburg last Thursday playing at first board. As a team, seven out of eight Prospect players won against the Saxons contributing to the final score of 62 to 6.
“[It’s] pretty scary considering that the people who were in that position when I was a freshman were people who were getting first and second in state,” Doherty said. “So trying to live up to that is a bit impossible I’d say.” 
In a chess match there are eight boards, first board being the highest. A first board win earns 12 points, a second board win earns 11, and each position decreases a point until eighth board which earns five points. Although it takes 36 points to secure a win, the more a team outscores their opponent, the more tiebreaker points they get for conference ranking.
This year Doherty will play second board but is currently filling in for senior Elai Kobayashi-Solomon at first board until Kobayashi-Solomon finishes up soccer season.
The team plays a match a week until the conference tournament at the end of January. Doherty hopes that the team plays well and continues to place in the top 30 out of 150 teams in state as they have in past years. Prospect’s biggest opponents in the MSL conference this year are Fremd and Barrington.
While only eight players contribute towards the total points in a match, Chess Club Sponsor Nicholas Olson tries to give as many of the 45 kids in the club as possible a chance to play against other teams, even though it doesn’t count towards the total. According to Olson, winning is just an added bonus to the team’s main goal.
“To me the goal is that everyone gets to be involved that wants to and that everyone gets to enjoy the time versus the winning pieces,” Olson said.
 
Prospect Boards against Schaumburg:

1st Board: Billy Doherty
2nd Board: Eulises Campos-Quinones
3rd Board: Leo Garkisch
4th Board: Jason Gong
5th Board: Austin Sibu
6th Board: Zach Dohnal-Mingucci
7th Board: Johnny Rodriguez-Briones
8th Board: Killian Bach