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Tinh Nguyen thinks over his next move before winning the match at Weber State University's Chess Club. (Rachel Storm / The Signpost)

Nationally-ranked chess player, 13- year-old Tinh Nguyen, traveled to WSU from Kerns, Utah to attend WSU’s first official Chess Knight. The event took place in the Wildcat Lair at 4:30 p.m. and was co-hosted by Weber’s Happening and the chess club. The chess club provided eight chess boards and three tournament clocks, and Weber’s Happening provided light refreshments for the event.

Nguyen, who commutes all over the state to attend chess related events, said, “I’m impressed. There’s a lot of people here. I really like Weber and want to come here when I graduate.”

Jarrod Mau, president of WSU’s chess club was pleased that over 20 new chess players came to the event. He hopes to grow the club large enough to register with FIDE, the world chess federation.

“As we get more and higher-rated players, we could get a chess team together and compete against other schools, like the University of Utah,” Mau said.

“Our biggest challenge to achieve that goal”, Mau said, “is raising awareness that there is a chess club.” Chikere (Chuck) Chibuike, of the Activities Team, didn’t know WSU had a chess club when he began organizing the event.

“I just love playing chess and wanted to play with other people,” Chibuike said. “When I found out we had a club, I was excited to collaborate with them.”

Events like Chess Knight bring the chess club closer to Mau’s goals. “Every event we get more and more chess players, and we get better” Mau said, “but right now the chess club is just to socialize and learn and improve.”

Players of all skill levels attended the event. WSU student, Shelby Coltrin, considers herself a novice at chess. “If I had to rank myself on a scale of 1-10, I’m a 1,” Coltrin said. “It was exciting to come and socialize, though. I felt really welcomed.”

Other members were more experienced. “I just started playing three months ago. I’m not quite a newbie,” Chibuike said. “I know a lot but I learn something every time I play.”

Nguyen, who is ranked 42 in Utah and in the top 1,000 nationally, said, “I like to play here at Weber. Even though I win a lot, they don’t make it easy.”

Mau invites all students, novice or expert, to join the chess club. “Lots of people know how the pieces move but don’t know the strategies,” Mau said. “That’s where me and some of the other players come in. Chess is fun, and we can teach it to you.”

The chess club meets every Tues. at 1:30-3:00 p.m. in the Shepherd Union. Students interested in joining the chess club should contact Mau at jarrodjmau@gmail.com to get on the email list and receive more information.

For more information about future events hosted by Weber’s Happening, students can visit the SIL office in the Shepherd Union, room 326 or visit the WSUSA’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/WeberStateSA.

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