Chess Club Revived

Kate Krantz

The new Chess Club has kings, queens, pawns and rooks. Now all it needs is more members.
When Ricardo Barragan began school in spring 2007, the chessboard was like a dead battlefield, without players or a club. It wasn’t until last semester that more and more students began using the chessboard for daily noon matches.

Since it was first painted in 2003, interest has revived in the life size black and white chessboard.

Barragan, now the club president, formed the club at the beginning of this semester along with Vice President Michael Gurule, Treasurer Dietrich Diller, Secretary Steve Zadoorian and Inter-Organization Council (IOC) representative Chris Simpson. The club’s Web site moderator is Adam Kharatian, and the adviser is Geography professor Betty Lenninger.

“The Chess Club is a club to teach patience, critical and analytical thinking, and inspire passion,” said Barragan.
According to Barragan, the intended atmosphere of the club is to accept and welcome everyone, not just those interested in chess. It is an opportunity to meet new peers as well as to network and create friendships with students who could benefit each another in the future.

“You don’t have to be a straight-A student to play chess. It’s anyone’s game,” said Diller.

In order to establish the club, students held tournaments last semester to select the cabinet members. After each position was determined, the club registration and constitution was sent to the Student Center Office (ASGCC), and thus the club was formed.

“At the beginning, we all met because of chess and now we’re good friends and growing as a group every day,” said Gurule, referring to the formation of the club.

By the first day of rush week, 55 students had signed up and the list continued to grow from then on. Rush week (Feb. 21 to Mar. 5) is a two-week event on campus when all of the clubs set up booths lavished with flyers and posters to promote their clubs and recruit members.

For future activities, Simpson said the club plans to arrange pizza sales, human chess and four-sided chess matches on campus, as well as tournaments with other community college chess clubs.

With a lending hand of the club’s sponsor, Micha Greasby, the marketing director of, former GCC student, and original painter of the chessboard in 2003, a new white knight and black king will be donated this semester. The new chess pieces will replace the worn out trash bags the club has been using as substitutes.

According to Barragan, chess matches will be scheduled depending on skill level. “We classify people as beginner, intermediate, amateur and advanced. We will pair them up until people feel comfortable enough to go up to the next level,” said Barragan.
Anyone interested in joining The GCC Chess Club, can contact Barragan at [email protected] or Gurule at [email protected]

The chess matches take place on the chessboard, located in a “No Smoking” zone, on the Sierra Madre Patio. The club will meet every Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. in AD 205, though meetings are subject to change.
For more information on the Chess Club, visit