On Saturday, April 8, 2017, Union College’s Chess Club defeated Siena College’s Chess Club and placed second in the unofficially named Northeastern Intercollegiate Chess League (NEICL). Union won with a score of three and a half to Siena’s two and a half.
Previously in the tournament, Skidmore College’s Chess Club defeated both Sienna and Union last trimester with a score of five to three, securing their position of first place. This tournament marks Union’s first intercollegiate chess competition in over 100 years. Members of Union’s Chess Club have stated that they play in this informal tournament purely for fun and that the winner of the tournament earns bragging rights.
Each game a player wins corresponds to a point and the same opponents play each other twice. Players have 15 minutes each to make all of their moves. Clocks are used so that if a player uses more than 15 minutes, then that player loses.
The NEICL currently consists of these three colleges but all clubs hope and plan to expand the league to include schools in the area such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Albany, Williams College and possibly the University of Vermont within the next year. One tournament lasts several months with clubs taking turns driving to other campuses to compete. Currently, tournaments are planned to take place every year.
The Chess Club is run completely by students and each player helps teach the other how to improve their games. Union College’s Chess Club is open to players of all levels and meets weekly on Fridays from four to five p.m. at Dutch Hollow in the Reamer Campus Center.