Leah Reidenbach
[email protected]

Chess is sometimes stereotyped as“nerdy”, but not at the Valencia west campus.

“I had no idea chess was going to become the in thing at Valencia….I just love it,” said Karen Blandeau the director of the west campus library. Almost daily one can see chess players in the library lobby practicing their chess skills.

Chess has become so popular at the West campus that more than 44 people will be playing in the Valencia Open Chess Tournament on Feb. 28 at 10:30am-5:00pm in the Health Services Building room 220.

So far, most of the competitors are from Valencia, but a few members of the University of Florida Chess Club will be there and possibly some members from UCF.

The tournament costs $5 to enter and the winner of the tournament will receive 30% of the entry fees; that is about $70 with the number of people signed up right now.

The second place winner will receive 20% of the entry fees and third place gets 10%. The rest of the money will go towards the Chess Club budget to help cover the cost of the tournament which includes buying enough chess boards, pieces, and clocks for all the players.

The Valencia Open will be using the Swiss System for the competition; this means the competitors will only play competitors that are doing as well (or as poorly) as themselves, and each player gets 1 point for winning.

Once the top 4 players have been determined, the competition will use the single-elimination system to produce a winner.

When asked who was the best player in the chess club at Valencia, Andrew Neil the vice president of
the Chess Club said that no one is the best, “It comes down to style of play, there are some people that match up bad against me and I might match up bad against other players.”

If you are interested in watching the tournament it’s free and there will be pizza and sodas provided.

The Valencia Open Chess Tournament is just for fun and anybody can sign up. If you think you have what it takes to win, or you just enjoy a fun game of chess you can contact Ann Farrell, the Chess Club student adviser and professor at Valencia, at [email protected] for more information.