By: Gage Vandiver

Laramie High School now has a chess club that is starting up, held by school
faculty member Lawrence Struempf.

The chess club meets every Monday, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at LHS in room
2193.

The club’s main focus as of right now is accumulating attention, members,
as well as interest.

“Right now, we are just trying to get interest so that we can start having the
club. So, we’re really focused on getting interest, people involved and building the
membership,” Struempf said.

Struempf started the club due to a deep passion for the sport, and the desire
to ensure others are aware of how to play the game of chess.

“I’ve always been an avid chess player and have always really enjoyed
chess. I feel as though it is important for everyone to know how to play…so I
thought it would be a good club to have here at the high school,” Struempf said.

It has also been mentioned by Struempf that the desire to create the club in
the high school is also because of his desire to help his students learn to enjoy
things.

“My main thing when I am teaching in general, is to help people learn to
enjoy things and learn about things. My main effort is to give them the opportunity
to learn,” Struempf said.

In terms of achieving the goals, Struempf has positive things to say so far in
regard to how achieving them is going.

“It’s actually going fairly well. We have quite a few students interested in it,
and so that helps a lot,” Struempf said.

Struempf plans to host a tournament at some point before the end of the
year, once the club gains more attraction and members. The tournament
participants will consist of members of the club, and those that are interested. For
more information regarding the tournament, contact Struempf.

Chess has been shown to benefit those that play it in a variety of ways.

The University of Minnesota conducted a study, which found that those that
play chess can improve their higher order thinking skills (i.e., problem solving,
critical thinking, decision making, etc.) and betters one’s patience, perseverance
and judgement. It was stated that chess can better one’s vigilance and awareness.

The chess club at LHS is open to anyone who is interested.

Those who wish to join will be taught the rules, techniques, and to learn how
to enjoy the game.

There will also be a newfound gain in one’s problem solving, critical
thinking, and decision-making skills, as well as their patience, vigilance, and
perseverance.