Make Some Rookus 

OHS Chess Club meets Fridays after school

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“I started playing when I was probably 5 or 6 years old,” Jared Hasty (12) said. “My dad introduced me, and I’ve been playing chess for all my life.”

Hasty started the Chess Club at the beginning of this school year alongside administrator Jenny Bess.

“We did it through the Mehlville Community Enrichment program and is sponsored by Jenny Bess, who is part of Mehlville’s administration team,” Hasty said. “So yeah, that’s how it got started.” 

Chess Club meets every Friday after school in the OHS library.

“Anyone’s able to come. They can sign up online and we just play chess the whole meeting. You can play chess with friends, another person, anybody really,” Hasty said.

Students can sign up to attend a Chess Club meeting under the Community Enrichment tab on the Mehlville School District website.

“We’re open to all levels of chess players: if you’ve never played, we’ll teach you and make you feel welcomed,” Hasty said.

More advanced players like Hasty, along with students such as Sydney Essner (9), who started playing chess only a few years ago, are able to learn from each other’s specific skills.

“It takes a lot of strategy and you really have to think about what your next move’s going to be and what the other players’ moves are going to be,” Essner said.

Chess is seen by most as an intellectual exercise for your brain, but also, according to a psychiatric study by Kazem Barzegar, chess has been used as a new tactic for preventing panic attacks.

“I think it relieves stress,” Hasty said. “It helps improve your mental focus and your strategic thinking.”