South Orangetown Central School District

TZHS Chess Club officers and members

Heard of “The Immortal Game”?

Tappan Zee High School seniors and Chess Club Co-Presidents Joe B. and Nicholas B. were so inspired by their discovery of this historical 1851 match between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky that they presented it to team members earlier this month.

“White sacrificed its queen, a bishop and two rooks and won–even though Black only lost three pawns,” Joe explained. “Bold sacrifices made the game famous.”

“I made Joe show me the simulation because I didn’t believe it,” admitted Nicholas. “It really reiterated the goal of the game: To focus on checkmate rather than power pieces.”

Joe agreed, “Chess isn’t about who has what; it’s about checkmating the king.”

The discovery inspired the two to create a slideshow and a simulation to share with club members, who were similarly impressed. “They recreated the game and had the members try to predict which moves were made,” reported Chess Club Advisor and Math teacher Seth Resnikoff. “Their explanations of strategy were wonderful and really engaged the members of the club.”

The brothers trace the ignition of their passion back 10 years to the Tappan Zee Elementary School Chess Club. Since then, they’ve been active in clubs at school and in the community, seeking out opportunities to learn, develop and connect socially with other players.

“I’ve made several friends playing at two different chess clubs, including TZ alumni. We got involved with Chess Club to create more opportunities for students who are interested to get practice and get better,” said Joe, who mentioned a potential future presentation on an opening (the first steps of a chess game).

“Everyone starts somewhere. Practice builds confidence. You don’t have to start off smacking a clock every time you move,” Nicholas noted. “We want to be an inclusive place where people can also come to up their game.”

The TZHS Chess Club meets after school on Thursdays. All students and staff are welcome at all levels of play.

Joseph and Nicholas also shared additional community-based chess opportunities: The Rockland County Chess Club meets on Thursdays, 7-9PM, at the Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack and the Piermont Chess Club meets at the Piermont Community Center on Fridays, 1-5PM, and Saturdays, 10AM-1PM.