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Chess club at Mohawk has players battling for checkmates

Chess relies on calculation, planning and analysis and is considered a great exercise for the mind. Mohawk College recently opened up the Mohawk Chess Club in 2022, one of many clubs on the college’s growing list of offerings. Olaseni Muyideen Bello founded the club in 2022. 

“I had attended a club and community event and asked to join the chess club,” Bello said. “To my surprise there was none. I then decided to create the Mohawk Chess Club.” 

Over 25 members get together when there’s an event to duke it out in a battle of wits. For those who have never played chess before and want to give it a shot, the Mohawk Chess Club can teach you the skills needed to secure a win. 

The club holds exhibition matches and friendly competitions. Competition winners won’t always leave empty-handed, as there are prizes to be won. Beginners can rest assured that they won’t be matched against chess experts. The Mohawk Chess Club has players who can match different skill levels.

The Mohawk Chess Club doesn’t meet together on set days. Instead, the club members get together based on their availability. When semesters begin, the workload for many courses is lighter, allowing more people to take part in the club events. As mid-term exams start to creep up, fewer members are available. 

Chess club members competing with each other.
The Mohawk Chess Club meets at various locations on campus.

“We currently have over 25 players,” Bello said. “But we are looking for more people to join.”

More players joining the club could result in more competitions and exhibition matches. But the club is about more than just winning.

“The chess club at Mohawk is a great way to meet new people,” club member Cassi Yarrow said. “It’s nice to have a group of people who all share a common interest in a friendly environment where they can learn from one another.”

Clubs have always been a great way to meet new people who share similar interests. Starting fresh at a new school can be a great experience, but sometimes making new friends can be challenging. Students who share an interest in chess could have an easier time making friends by joining the club. 

When Bello founded the club, the Covid-19 pandemic was still in effect. Students’ access to campus was restricted, which meant in-person clubs had to stop temporarily. The Mohawk Chess Club went virtual and held its competitions and exhibition matches online. It was harder for students to befriend one another over the internet, but now that Covid-19 restrictions have eased, members are able to sit down with each other and face off in a friendly match.

A picture of a projector screen with the text "Mohawk Chess Tournament (Bello Open).
The names of the tournaments can get creatives. Bello named this tournament /after himself.

“One thing that lots of members appreciate is the ability to have live games instead of just online, as that was greatly missed over the past couple of years,” Yarrow said. 

The MSA website offers additional information regarding the Mohawk Chess Club on its Clubs Directory page. The website also has a calendar feature, which lets students keep track of when club events are taking place.

For those who are interested in joining the club, email Bello at his school email account at olaseni-muyideen.bello@mohawkcollege.ca. For more information on clubs at Mohawk College, please visit the MSA website at www.mohawkstudents.ca.

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