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We caught up with Samson Allen, senior acting major, and McKenna Reiser, sophomore acting majorto learn about Chess Club, one of the newest student organizations on campus. Started last year by Samson, who serves as president, the club provides opportunities for both beginner and experienced players alike. The club meets every Monday from 1–5 p.m. in Point Perk or Village Park. 

Check out the Q&A below and visit a typical meeting in the TikTok video!

L: Samson Allen, president; R: McKenna Reiser, vice president

How did the Chess Club get started? 

Samson: Chess Club started as an obsession. Marc Palombo and I would battle it out in Market Square and eventually joined a community where chess was king. It was astounding to see a game make an amazing community. We soon started a club here at Point Park to spread the love of chess. 

Why should students join the Chess Club?

Samson: Community. You can play chess anywhere. Most people around the world know how to play chess. Want to make friends? Invite them to a coffee shop to play chess. I have done it. It is a really cool game. 

How have you personally benefitted from participating in Chess Club?

McKenna: I have been so fortunate to have met some great individuals through chess! I always look forward to spending my Mondays chatting and playing. It is like a little reset for the beginning of my week and is something I always look forward to, no matter how busy the rest of my days are. 


@pointparku Come with us to Point Park's Chess Club and see what an average Monday afternoon at Point Perk is like! Hear why you should join Chess Club yourself! 👏 #PointParkU #PointParkUniversity #ChessClub #ChessTikTok #StudentOrgSpotlight ♬ original sound - Point Park Univ.

Are beginners welcome? 

McKenna: Beginners are encouraged to join! We have players in the club of all skill levels, and many of us love to teach new players. I did not know how to play before stopping by last year and developed my technique by learning how to play from the different people here at chess! 

Are there opportunities for more experienced players to compete?

McKenna: This semester and next year, we plan on hosting in-house tournaments and events with other schools for players seeking more friendly competition and opportunities to learn tournament etiquette. We try to cater to everybody’s needs based on what they are looking for — whether that be something more competitive or casually playing over coffee!

View more stories from the Student Organization Spotlight Series.

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