Chess club revival
Getting involved on campus is a problem many freshmen face when starting out in college. That’s why sophomore Austin Mears decided to reestablish the Towson Chess Club last semester.
Having died out in previous years, Mears said he felt like it was time to bring it back and encouraged more students to get involved.
“Nathan [Shinholt] and my [resident assistant], Mike, encouraged me to start a chess club and so . . . I looked into it and got the process going,” Mears said.
Shinholt, an electronic media and film major, helped Mears start the club. Mears has been playing chess for quite some time. He played in tournaments until seventh grade, but then stopped during high school. He and Shinholt began playing chess again during his freshman year.
After rekindling his love for the game of chess last year, Mears actively searched for a chess club on campus but found only the previous one listed on the website, which disbanded. Thus, he decided to start his own club and became the president.
“We do three things in the Chess Club, we play, we learn and we have fun,” vice president of the Towson Chess Club, Shinholt, said.
The chess club welcomes all levels of experience and is both a playing and learning environment, Mears explained.
“My vision for the chess club is to just teach people to get better no matter what level they are,” Mears said.
The club, while small, having only been created at the end of last semester, is growing steadily with beginners and experienced players alike.
“It’s really whatever the people in the club want it to be… I would like for the chess club to grow to become maybe a chess team for Towson but at this point we’re not at that level,” Mears said.
Both Mears and Shinholt said that until the group is eligible for funding next semester, participants should bring their own chess boards, and any donations of unused chessboards are appreciated.
While the chess club is just getting started and does not yet play competitively, Mears said with diligence and hard work, the chess club will grow into a strong team that will represent Towson.
The chess club meets every Wednesday in the Psychology building, Room 312 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. For more information email Mears at email@example.com or check out their Facebook group Towson Chess Club.