At the end of the spring semester of 2022, Cadet Weber challenged CPT Perkins to a chess match. With the same confidence that he plays goalie for the HMA soccer team, he dominated the board, putting together traps the experienced faculty member had never encountered. Upon his victory, he mentioned that he had been a part of a club in Germany and we should start one at Hargrave. At that moment, the HMA chess club was born, or perhaps, reborn.
Aided by the competitiveness of the cadets and the rising popularity of YouTube chess streamers, participation in the club increased rapidly. By the end of 2023, HMA had at least 25 cadets regularly competing in the Chess Club. Intense games in the military lounge after Mess II became the norm. Everyone wanted to be number one.
Chess is a fantastic mental exercise for our boys and a source of wholesome, in-person entertainment. According to our IT Specialist, Jeremiah Bunker, Chess.com was the number one visited website of the year at Hargrave. By the end of the year, one cadet emerged at the top of the rankings. Congratulations, Cadet Steely, for winning the 2022-2023 Chess Award.