By Marwarida Chowdhury
On Sunday afternoon NJIT hosted the 3rd annual Newark City Chess Tournament in the Atrium of the Campus Center.
The event had two highlights: the pre-college tournament and an open tournament. In the pre-college tournament, young players competed for scholarships up to $2000. In the open tournament, players competed for a small amount in cash and a trophy. Tournament registration started at 10am, but the actual tournament started in the afternoon. For two and a half hours the opponents faced off, with several games going on simultaneously. Both competitors and recreational players watched on as the games progressed. The tournament also attracted spectators, some of whom were friends and family members of the players. Some attendants were NJIT residents or students who had noticed the games and wanted a closer look. The atmosphere was very quiet, but not tense; people were genuinely happy just to be there. When asked why he and most of the other players were there, Sergio Flores, chess club member, said, “We’re here to raise awareness that NJIT has a chess club. Most people are here because they enjoy playing.”
Chess has a large following at NJIT for a multitude of reasons. Players enjoy it as a stress reliever or for the strategic aspect, and they also compete for a variety of prizes. Prizes were given out at the tournament on Sunday. First place winner in the pre-college tournament, Nikita Popov, 14, won a $2000 scholarship. Calibourne Countess, the second place pre-college winner won a $1000 scholarship. Of competitors who attend NJIT, first place went to Miguel Moledo, second place went to Punith Kashi, and third place went to Jeremy Hochheiser.