Go from bored to board with Melbourne University Chess Club

It can be pretty intimidating walking into a silent room filled with people in deep contemplation over their chess game. In fact, it’s downright frightening. But at Melbourne University Chess Club, we love bringing people together from all over the university and at all skill levels to chat, play a friendly game of chess and meet new people!

Our club usually meets up every week during the semester, and it’s quite relaxed. Our members are always keen to play people they’ve never met before, so you’ll never be alone. During our club meetings we also coach beginner chess players, and even have a professional chess player come in and give some masterclasses!

We hold two chess tournaments every semester: one in-person, and one online. And if you’re looking to expand your horizons, you can also become a chess coach through our outreach program into schools. Not only that,  every week we have free pizza for our club members – so come hungry!

Since transitioning online, our committee has been determined to provide our members with as many chess experiences as possible. We still hold our regular club meetings every week where we run chess tournaments between our club members on lichess and chess.com.

We have also continued providing coaching for beginners over Zoom, as well as masterclasses from IM Kanan Izzat for all members. Through our discord server, we challenge members with daily puzzles to solve. We also have had the pleasure of playing tournaments with other universities across Australia, such as the University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, Adelaide University, and the University of Western Australia. But it doesn’t stop there.

Perhaps our most exciting events are taking part in international chess tournaments with universities from across the world, including Oxford, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). You might think that playing some of the strongest international chess players would have us shaking in our boots, but no. We have dominated with two teams currently placed within the top four in the world, and to top it off, we also won the previous cycle of tournaments. Not to flex or anything.

Whether we’re running chess club on campus or online, we’re always welcoming new members. We love having people who are passionate about chess or just want to give it a go. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced chess player – there’s definitely something for you! Our committee is super friendly, so feel free to approach any one of us about joining. You can reach us by email at unimelb.chessclub@gmail.com, through Facebook and even on Discord.

This year has proven to be a whirlwind of activity, and we’re excited to see what’s in store for us next. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some familiar and some new faces in person soon, but until then, stay safe!

Guide to chess terms

Thinking of trying your hand at chess but a bit intimidated by all these strange terms you hear thrown around? This handy guide will have you talking chess like a grandmaster in no time.

Beginner’s guide to chess notation

Did you know that chess players can write their moves down? If you’ve ever seen this before, I’m sure you’ll agree that it can be pretty intimidating.

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