On Friday Feb. 17, the school's chess team placed seventh at the state tournament, with a 6-1 record losing only to Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA).
"We did roughly how we expected to do," said Zhen Mo, senior and first board*. "We lost against a tough team, but we managed to win against all of the other teams. I personally won three matches, lost two, and drew two."
Mo uses the Sicilian Defense often in many of his matches.
Although the team had gone undefeated at conference, the state competition had additional schools that proved to be a valid challenge. The top placing schools included Whitney Young, New Trier, Glenbrook North and IMSA.
"Even though we were undefeated at conference, we did roughly how we expected at the state tournament," said Maxiwell Luo, senior and eighth board. "We expected to take a loss, especially due to the strength of some of the teams there."
Despite getting seventh as a team, Nathan Saltzman, junior, went undefeated at fourth board, allowing him to get an award on the state level. However, the chess team is not all about competing. It's also about having fun and gaining creative thinking skills.
"I didn't play at conference or at the state tournament, but I still gained a lot by being on the chess team," said Arjun Nair, junior. "Discovering different ways to checkmate triggers a type of thinking that can be really fun at times. It's a great activity, and I'm glad I played on the team this year."
*Board indicates what rank a person plays for the team against other schools.