The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Clubs on Campus: The Chess Club

Dang Nguyen (right) as he plays chess against all of the club members during Dec.12 meeting. (Ivan Gonzalez | The Union)

One versus six. It was a mismatch.

One fell, and another and another. Until only one was left standing.

Dang Nguyen, 23, played all six chess club members at the same time and beat them all simultaneously, showing off his skills.

Nguyen, a nutrition and kinesiology major, started the chess club.

“I saw that there was a lot of interest in chess, but there was no club,” he said.

Chess Club is hosted in Room 313 of the Math Business Allied Health Building every Tuesday during this semester The club gives students a space where they can come to play and learn more about chess in a relaxed environment.

Nguyen has an extensive chess background; he has been playing chess for 17 years now and is ranked among the top 10,000 players in the world, according to the International Chess Federation.

Nguyen said he used to play in chess competitions internationally when he was younger, but he doesn’t have as much time to play chess now because of his double major.

“I mostly use it to destress now, and I am trying to create a good environment in this club,” Nguyen said.

Math professor Jose Martinez said he has a passion for chess. When the coronavirus hit, he started playing chess online. He became addicted to the game.

“It takes a lot of thought and is a very precise game,” he said.

Martinez endorses the chess club.

“[The Chess Club] allows students to learn more about chess and learn from Dang Nguyen, who is an Olympic-level chess player,” ] Martinez said.

Chemistry major Christopher Pizarro, 20, has been recently attending the Chess Club and said he has been enjoying it.

“I have only been coming to the chess club for a couple of weeks now, but I enjoy it since I have been playing chess since I was 12 years old,” Pizarro said.

Dang hosts an occasional workshop to teach students about chess during the club meetings, but he will look to host more and maybe even enter the club into some chess competitions next semester.

“I am just trying to teach anyone interested in chess and during club meetings, I will try and teach everyone the basics,” he said. “Hopefully everyone can get better at chess and hopefully we can compete in some competitions.”

Chess Club will be adding a second weekly meeting in the spring, from 1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays in the Social Justice Center and Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in MBA 313.

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