By Pablo Sanchez
Hutchinson Community College students can have a hard time finding a club to join, but various campus clubs do exist.
The chess club has been a part HutchCC for years, and has often had solid numbers.
Kody Herrman is the president of the chess club, as “each club needs a president, sponsor, and two or three active members to be consider an actual club at campus,” Herrman said.
“Two years ago, I actually wanted to get better at chess, so it was a personal goal, and I saw fliers around campus, so I had to look for it, but once I saw it, I was like ‘Yeah, that’s me, I got to check that out.’”
Meetings take place in the Walnut Room inside Parker Student Union. They take place Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“ … Three hours and you can come, and go as you please,” Herrman said. “You can show up for 10 minutes. You don’t even have to play chess if you don’t want to, just hang out. You can play two games and leave, or there are a few of us that stay the entire three hours and sometimes we even go past 8.”
Herrman as been part of chess club for the past four semesters. Before, the club’s sponsor was Duane Schmidt, a long-time HutchCC instructor who moved to Oregon.
“The club hasn’t been quite the same without him honestly,” Herrman said. “He was very organized. He pretty much ran the entire thing by himself. He went out to neighboring areas in Hutchinson, found schools that would accept our club, we started teaching students how to play chess and he had organized it all. So it’s been pretty difficult without him. He was very sociable, more than putting it together. He was the heart of the club. He made everyone welcomed. We a lot of fun with him.”
The chess club isn’t just for experts and intellectuals. The club often recruits and accepts novices and newbies.
Christopher Henning is a club member and says chess isn’t as intimidating as you might think.
“I have been doing chess for since I joined this club last year,” Henning said. “Chess is not as difficult as people think it is. It’s a matter of finding what you enjoy in the game and playing to whatever style you like. You don’t have to take the game super seriously, you don’t need to be a grand master to enjoy the game, you can just play with your friends and just see who wins. It is not a complicated game where everyone sits down all boringly and thinks for 10 minutes on a move you don’t have to play like that.
Planning tournaments in advanced is something Herrman is still working on.
“We usually plan it on in advanced,” Herrman said. “We need to order chess sets, and we do give out prizes and we order pizza because if you show up.”
Justin Riggs, the HutchCC cross country coach, is the current club sponsor.