by Robert Vunabandi
After seniors Denny Truong and Robert Vunabandi put an old chess set on the table in the dorm lobby, those who knew how to play were eager to have a game with their friends. However, most of the dorm students were not familiar with the rules of the game, but as time passed, many of them grew eager to learn.
The rules are simple, but it’s mind-boggling to think that every time one sees a board of chess in play, a new combination is formed. Chess-poster.com, a chess facts websites, phrases it this way: “There are 400 different possible positions after one move each. There are 72,084 different possible positions after two moves each. There are over 9 million different possible positions after three moves each. There are over 288 billion different possible positions after four moves each. The number of distinct 40-move games is far greater than the number of electrons in the observable universe.” This means that every time one plays chess, he or she is probably creating a combination of pieces that has never been made in history.
Maybe that’s why the dorm students have been enjoying it so much. For instance, junior Daichi Nakao lost his first chess game in three moves. Nevertheless, Daichi was determined to become a master in the game, and after multiple games, he finally won his first game in the ongoing Dorm Chess Competition. He stated with proud enthusiasm, “I find it fun to think about what my opponent will do next and how I can make my best next move.”
Another junior, Dillon Riggs, has risen from being a novice to being one of the most feared players in the dorm. In simple words, he says that “chess works your mind.”
Despite the dull beginning, those who play always experience a different challenge during each of their games. Now at Cantwell Hall, people are almost always playing chess, especially at night. Chess is a strategy game meant to work one’s mind, but at the same time, many of its proponents assert that it is an efficient de-stresser. In the dorm at least, chess may become a long-lasting tradition.