Bucks’ Chess Club Returns To Unexpected Popularity


Photo courtesy of Colt Gunn

Colt Gunn, Centurion staff

The Chess Club at Bucks County Community college returns triumphantly after a long leave of absence since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic with Club President Donish Kendaev hoping to expand the club.

One of the oldest games in human civilization, chess is a game of masterful skill between two individuals competing to best the other and outsmart the opponent.

A game of intelligence, beauty, and class. A game where the pen is mightier than the sword.

At its basis, chess is a strategy board game made up of 64 squares with pieces of varying abilities. The objective is to use these pieces to capture the enemy king.

There are millions and millions of variations on a chess board, picking the right move requires intellect and a plan. Chess is one of the hardest games practiced by millions but mastered by few.

Of those masters you may have heard names like Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov or Bobby Fischer.

But what about Donish Kendaev? Hailing all the way from Uzbekistan to right here in our very own Newtown, PA. Boosting a 1400 chess Elo rating and participating in various tournaments in his home country, Donish is an expert chess player.

With power comes great responsibility and so Donish has been named the chess club president.

Donish is a psychology major, age 18. He’s been playing chess for 7 years now and loves the game.

When asked about the club’s plans, the soft-spoken president said “develop chess tactics, get new members, and make tournaments.”

Lately we have seen an uproar in the popularity of chess, but why?

Covid opened a door for online chess to surge. With the pandemic keeping everyone at home, chess became something people turned to for a source of entertainment.

With the Netflix show “Queen’s Gambit” adding to the newfound hype. Chess hasn’t been this popular since the match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972.

This hype has certainly found its way into Bucks Community College with 23 members signing up for the club in just the first week alone.

One of those members is Lucas Platero, computer engineering major, residing in Washington’s Crossing. Lucas is 20 years old and this is his first time joining a chess club even though he has been playing for years.

Lucas was never one for clubs or extracurricular activities until he joined which he says “changed his view and showed how fun clubs can be.”

He also remarks, “how the club has pushed him to practice and get better at the game, his goal now is to just improve by playing members of the club every week.”

Lucas’s one word of advice is “Join chess club if you want to get better.”

The Chess Club is off to a boom with new members joining every-day. It seems they are still developing the club but progress is quick and interest is high.

The clubs’ meetings are located at the Links Pavilion at 12:00 p.m. every Tuesday.

If you are interested in joining the club, you can contact Donish Kendaev, chess club president, @[email protected]