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Revitalized chess team narrowly misses state qualifiers

Photo by Alec Vick ’15 | Two freshman students play chess during their lunch break in Mr. Mar’s room as a part of the chess club.

By Joseph Valencia ’17

One of Brophy’s new teachers, Mr. Thomas Mar, has returned the sport of chess to the school after a decade hiatus.

The chess team resurfaced during September, with the members of the Chess Club as well as the chess team meeting in Mr. Mar’s room every Wednesday and Thursday during lunch.

Mr. Mar said the last time the school had a competitive team was about 10 years ago.

The chess club currently has 35 members, while the chess team has nine.

The chess club consists of students who are interested in playing and improving their chess skills among other Brophy’s students. The chess team consists of students who wish to compete against players from other schools.

“Well, for varsity, there’s five members,” said Rahul Reddy ’18. “And we have four varsity alternates.”

“The goal this year was to get back out there, get our feet wet again, put our name back out there, and scope out some of the other teams,” Mr. Mar said. “This year was fantastic because even though we only played six rounds, we won five of them.”

The season is now over, with only individual playoffs and state competition remaining. The chess team didn’t qualify for state.

There are 18 teams in the southwest region, but only the top seven teams are able to qualify for state. Brophy scored five points from the five rounds they had competed in, but needed 5.5 points to qualify for state.

“We were half of a point away from duking it out in a three way tie for seventh place. If we would have actually played out a full season, we would have gone to state for sure,” Mr. Mar said.

The chess team also competed against Alhambra, the second highest ranked team in the state.

Brophy won the round against Alhambra and became one of the few teams to beat them.

“Alhambra only lost two rounds the whole season, and one of those rounds was to Brophy. So, we are that good,” Mr. Mar said.

“If we had played out a whole season, we would have gone to state for sure,” Mr. Mar said. “So, the plan for next year is to go to state.”