Chess team advances to state with their goals in check


Autumn Zayas

Chess team members play a speed round to practice for their upcoming tournament.

Katrina Viloria, Online Editor-in-Chief

Metea Valley’s chess team has earned a high seat on their way to state. The Mustangs competed in past few tournaments in which they lost to Neuqua but bounced back by beating Naperville Central twice and Bolingbrook three times. Now, the team is in preparation for state with high hopes.

The team competed in their sectionals and finished second place at Glenbard East this past Saturday. Chess team captains senior Ayush Jain and senior Vaats Aiyer as well as coaches Tom Womack and Jason Haymond are guiding the Mustangs. With a strong season, they are aiming high for state.

“Trying to get to that top five [in state] would be a huge goal for us,” Jain said.

Chess is known for its use of strong strategy and timing. Players must understand the fundamentals before advancing their skills in a match. 

“Making sure you play the most accurate moves as possible is a huge part of chess,” Jain said.

Even though chess is a two-player match up, the team collectively has growth mindsets and improvements they strive to work towards. From practices to matches, they work on strategies to ensure a victory.

“As a whole, we just want to be able to have a consensus on whether we need to draw or win the game,” Jain said. 

The chess games operate on a point system base where the score is highly considered when making decisions like drawing, winning, or losing the game. It can be stressful in those situations but the captains and coaches try to overcome that with practice so they are on the same page.

The coaches have expectations for their players but overall, they are inclusive. They hope to bring in as many kids as possible into the chess team as well as making sure they enjoy what they are doing. 

“[Our goal] is to make sure that kids have fun and to get as many people involved as we can,”  Haymond said.

Overall, the chess team has their goals in check and are ready to take their skills to the next level: state. Their state tournament is going to be on Feb. 11 and 12.