Checkmate! A GVHS Chess Club Spotlight

Christopher Ong (Left) and Sarah Zahid (Right) enjoying a game of chess during a club meeting, photo taken on February 2nd, 2024 at Golden Valley High School. (Dylan Vo)
Christopher Ong (Left) and Sarah Zahid (Right) enjoying a game of chess during a club meeting, photo taken on February 2nd, 2024 at Golden Valley High School. (Dylan Vo)
Dylan Vo

Golden Valley High School’s Chess Club is one of the school’s most recent additions to the CLORG roster. Founded by Jasmine Kao in 2021, the club seeks to expand itself by welcoming additional members, hosting more tournaments, and hiring new officers for upcoming years.

The chess club’s roots can be traced back to 2021, a year when the COVID-19 pandemic was still a worldwide conflict. When students and staff returned to education within classrooms, President and Founder of the Chess Club Jasmine Kao envisioned a club where students could relax and enjoy a game of chess with friends. This vision led to her creation of the club and the election of its leaders, including Vice President Jacob Lokitis Jr. and Treasurer Jimi Olotu.

Despite being his first time having a leadership role in a club, Olotu expresses his positive experiences with it, saying “This is the first time I’ve had an officer position in a club. It’s been a real learning experience for me. It’s a very special club and leading all our members has been really fun for me.”

A GV Chess Club meeting usually consists of not only games of chess, but also students hanging out and having fun. Here is what that would like: Photo taken on February 2nd, 2024 at Golden Valley High School. (Dylan Vo) (Dylan Vo)

While the primary activity in Chess Club is chess, it isn’t just limited to that. Students also have the options of spectating other people’s chess games, hanging out with friends, or getting caught up on assignments and homework.

If you’re interested in joining the club but don’t know how to play chess, don’t worry. Every officer along with many of its members are more than happy to show you the ropes of how the game works and how each piece moves.

While every officer desires more members, they also have their own set of goals in mind as well. Since the club’s first ever chess tournament was a huge success, Lokitis Jr. and Olotu’s primary goal is to host a second one, as well as “keeping the club running forever!” Kao on the other hand, has a more long-term goal in mind: “In 2025 after me and the other officers graduate, I would like to have a great group of officers who can take on the legacy we started, and maybe even have the club grow into something bigger than what it is now.” expressed Kao.

If you’re an underclassman seeking a leadership role or are interested in chess, consider running for an officer position in GV’s chess club as there will be many vacant positions starting in 2025. If you’re not seeking a leadership role and are just seeking a club where you can turn your brain off until your next period, Chess Club holds their meetings on Fridays at lunch in Room 409. As a final word from Lokitis Jr, he openly states that “We’re open arms. Come in, have some fun and play chess with us!”

About the Contributor
Dylan Vo, Photographer
Dylan Vo is the photographer for the Campus News Team of the Grizzly Gazette. He is currently a senior at Golden Valley High School and has been attending it since his freshman year. On top of his position in the Grizzly Gazette, he is also the Treasurer of both SkillsUSA and DFY in SCV, participates in clubs like Asian Student Union, CSF, and DEI, is a CTE Pathway Completer, and has plenty of hours and experience in community service. He also possesses a Youtube channel with over 1,000 subscribers that documents various topics within video game communities. Some of his interests include editing and posting videos, using Photoshop to create new images and designs, and watching TV shows on platforms like Disney Plus and Netflix. The main reason he joined the Grizzly Gazette was to enhance his journalism skills not only for his channel, but also for the greater good of the school through its newspaper. A couple of topics he covers here at the Grizzly Gazette are campus and online news since he believes students and staff should learn more about the activity occurring on both school grounds and the internet. To him, being a student journalist means not only being a part of something that can make a positive impact on the school, but also exposing writers to both new and old skills that can assist them throughout their lives.