Washburn Welcomes The Chess Club

A Timeless Game: Gus Ramirez is the founder of the new chess club at Washburn. New members are welcomed to compete in the game of intellect and strategy.

Matthew L. Self

Students on campus have come together to create a chess club under the leadership of a fellow student. The aim of the group is to promote socializing with friends while playing a classical game that pits the skills and intelligence of two opponents against each other.

Chess can be a relaxing way to pass the time and play with like-minded friends who enjoy it as well. The game has been around for many centuries and has a long history of being used as a way to display one’s intelligence. Chess tournaments can be traced back to London, England as intellectuals competed with each other, using their own unique strategies and tactics to show their mastery of the game.

The legacy of playing chess can now be found at Washburn. The founder, Gus Ramirez, a junior business major, got involved in the game through his family.

“I started playing chess about a year ago,” Gus Ramirez said. “I actually started because my older brother would come back from college on break and play chess with my dad or he’d come home for the holidays and I wanted to get involved in that completion that they had. So I started studying and I really enjoyed it.”

These fond memories are what motived Gus Ramirez to start up a club on campus.

“The big reason was, when I started playing chess a year ago I was having trouble finding places to play it. There was only one place I could find to play chess and that was the Topeka Chess Club, which consisted of eight to ten older gentlemen who gather in a coffee shop once a week to play chess for about four hours,” Gus Ramirez said. “But I wanted that personal chess experience to be available to a lot more people.”

Gus Ramirez’s younger brother, Joseph Ramirez, is also a member of the new club and a believer in the benefits of playing the game.

“The chess club is a way to help you create relationships with people you didn’t know before on campus and it’s a way to play chess in an organized manner. It’s a way to express yourself and distinguish yourself from the crowd,” Joseph Ramirez said.

At the moment, there are three meetings a week at the library on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Members are not required to come to every meeting during the week but are encouraged to at least attend once. Students are welcome to join the chess club for one of their meetings as well to socialize and enjoy the game with others.

For more information, interested students can contact Gus Ramirez at [email protected].