Checkmate: Tuscarora’s Fastest Growing Club


Every Wednesday morning at 8:30 sharp, a group of Tuscarora students gather around tables and play a 1,000 year old game: chess.

Tuscarora’s Chess Club was established this year and is going strong with over 40 members. Sponsored by DE History teacher and chess enthusiast Mr. Rogers, the idea to start the Chess Club was thought of in his study hall last year.

“I had kids that were playing chess in my study hall and… it was a way that I thought to promote them being involved in something positive, using their brains for critical thinking,” recalled Rogers, “and so we turned it into a club!”

One of the aforementioned students was Dilson Madrid Rivas, now the vice president of Chess Club. Madrid remembers the story the same way, and is glad their idea turned out to be so impactful.

As vice president, Madrid works alongside president Viktor Boçi to send out reminders for meetings, teach new players, and “…[create] an environment where people can play chess for fun.”

Rogers says he takes a step back and tries to “just facilitate [the meetings] and …let the kids teach each other.” By creating a student-led space where anyone can come learn chess, Rogers has helped to make a club that’s fun for everyone, no matter their skill level.

Chess Club member Stephany Montoya experiences this first hand. After wanting to learn chess for a while, Montoya heard about Chess Club at the beginning of the year and decided to get involved. “Every Wednesday, [my friends and I] go into Mr. Rogers’ room and we just hang out and play chess.”

Montoya enjoys both the social and intellectual facets of chess, stating that she likes “…being able to think ahead and think of what my next move would be,” while also “seeing a lot of [her] friends and hanging out and having fun.”

Rogers and Madrid have also noticed the community aspect of chess. “I have a lot of teachers telling me now that people are playing chess all the time,” said Rogers, “I’m glad we [could] foster a place for people to come and learn.”

Chess Club is open to people who love to play single games, play in tournaments, or who just come to watch and learn. As Madrid said, “If you wanna play chess, go to Mr. Rogers room. You’re always welcome.”