The game of kings is open to all, commoners included, according to two Beatrice community members who are starting a local chess club.
Crystal Bartels and Dylan Dell-Haro said they’re hoping to bring a new way to interact and meet with people in the form of a chess club. It’s set to meet in the Beatrice Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15
“It’s really open to anyone who wants to learn the game,” Bartels said. “Or if they’re interested in going on to tournaments, that’s great too. Any level, any skill, any age… I think chess is unlike any other sport in the world because it kind of encompasses everybody. There is no exclusivity in chess.”
Agreeing, Dylan Dell-Haro said chess transcends age divides.
“It’s really intergenerational,” he said. “The folks that do the club in [Marysville] range from 80 to middle school kids.”
Bartels and Dell-Haro first met at a tournament in the Beatrice Public Library, arranged in memory of Mike Cole. Dell-Haro said he thought the two of them were the only ones from Beatrice at the tournament. The other attendees of the tournament, put on by the Marysville club, came from Marysville and Lincoln, Dell-Haro said.
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Bartels and Dell-Haro said, above the game, they’re in it for making connections and building friendships. Bartels said she liked interacting with people at the tournament she attended.
“When we went to the tournament, I had a blast playing against real people,” she said. “It’s great to be able to play on the computer, but to be able to interact with your opponent even silently, see their thought process, is amazing. I read something that said that the way a person plays chess reflects on their personality… You get to know people.”
Bartels said she picked up chess at an early age but didn’t dust it off and try again until about a year ago.
“I come from a family of chess players,” she said. “My grandfather was a chess player, and he was a champion in I believe Massachusetts. And then my uncle went to a state tournament for chess and fell asleep, so he got second place... I played with my grandpa since I was a kid.”
Dell-Haro said he played some chess when he was a kid. Four years ago, he picked it up again and said he’s played consistently since. Playing chess, with its incompressible number of variations, is a way to help learn and problem-solve, Dell-Haro said.
“It’s about not making the same mistake twice and always learning from what you’ve done,” he said. “For me, it’s also about making connections and having fun. “