The club has a roster of close to 20 players, but with a recent schedule change, they are now averaging four or five players at club meetings.
“We just changed days and we need to get folks out here again,” says club advisor Grant Hodson. “We’re getting really, really bored.”
The club meets twice a week at the Markosian Library. On Thursdays, it sponsors casual play in room 146, and rated matches on Saturdays in the upstairs area.
The club welcomes players of all skill levels from seasoned players to those who just want to learn the game.
“I love to teach chess,” says Hodson who has been teaching chess for over 15 years. “I’m also the president of the Utah Chess Association.”
SLCC student David Vasquez is the president of the Chess Club. He shares the title of Co-State Champion in Utah.
“He’s the reason we’ve been winning the last couple of years,” says Hodson.
The SLCC Chess Club was created seven years ago by Hodson, and the club has been winning tournaments since then
The club’s latest big victory was in April when they hosted the Salt Lake Community College Intercollegiate Tournament, defeating players from The University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Utah State University.
Members of the SLCC Chess Club contribute their time to after school programs in Grantsville and West Valley City, and host tournaments for the schools. The club also participates annually in a charity chess tournament for the Red Cross.
“Outside of the United States, chess is considered a sport,” Hodson says. “Internationally, it comes second to soccer for the most played sport in the world.”
The international appeal of chess helps to draw in international students who come to SLCC through various study abroad programs. In recent years Chess Club membership has included students and players from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Iran and Mexico.
“It simply reaches out to all nationalities,” says Hodson.
Those interested in playing or joining can simply show up for a club meeting
Thursday meetings are held in room 146 on the main floor of the Taylorsville Redwood Markosian Library from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., as well as Saturdays on the upper floor of the library from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
People who are interested in participating in the Saturday rated matches are recommended to join the United States Chess Federation.
Players have to pay a fee and receive a monthly magazine, but more importantly they receive a rating score that tracks the wins and losses from matches played.
Players that have signed up need only bring their membership card to the Saturday meetings in order to start being rated. If you don’t have you card the club advisor is more than willing to help by looking you up in the system.
Membership to the United States Chess Federation isn’t required in order to attend, but it is for those who want to be rated.
For those interested in ratings and membership there is more information available online at USChess.org.