Checkmate It Out

San Marcos Library Offers New Chess Club for All Ages

Strategy masters and curious novices of all ages have a great new opportunity to play, improve, and learn at the San Marcos Library Chess Club. John Barnes, a library volunteer, shared that he had been volunteering as a shelver at the library for about six months when a couple of staff members asked if he knew how to play chess. “So I agreed to run the club, then immediately checked out a couple of books to get an understanding beyond how the pieces move, which I learned as a kid,” said John. “There had been a chess club at the branch previously which ended due to the person running it no longer being able to do so. They’ve had the boards and pieces sitting in the staff room since.”

He intends to run the meetings casually, with an emphasis on the social value of playing chess beyond just the exercise in strategy and competition. “The main thing is to get people playing together,” explained John. “It’s easy these days to play chess with people online or against a computer program, but it’s a very different experience than playing on a physical board with a human being sitting across from you.” Once a number of players are beyond the beginner stage, he plans on ordering a few chess clocks and a demonstration board. He’s also looking forward to hosting a small club tournament, as well as a match against the Vista Library’s club.

The club meets every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. To learn more about San Marcos Library programs call 760-891-3000.