With a calm environment and hours of games planned each week, the Queens College (QC) Board Games (BG) and Chess club provides QC students with a way to stay in touch with each other while having fun.
“The actual answer is we wanted something to put on our resumes!” said President Zach Farrell about the formation of the BG and Chess club. Initially, Farrell and his friend Rani Milberg, the vice president of the club, formed the club in March of 2020 to have an extracurricular activity that reflected their interests in board games and chess. What started as the two getting ten signatures in the library has grown into an active online club, with the two regularly hosting party games and chess meets each week.
As the semester stays online, the BG and Chess club stays connected through Discord, a messaging platform where users form communities based on shared interests. The BG and Chess club’s Discord server is used to announce what games are scheduled for weekly meetings, as well as to plan events. Currently, the club meets three times a week through Discord, with Thursday night being dedicated for party games.
Farrell hosts meetings for party games such as the Jackbox games collection, Among Us, and Skribbl.io, while Rani holds meetings for chess and puzzles. “We play each other, and then I’ll analyze the games after,” Milberg said. “Sometimes I do lessons, and try to teach people the fundamentals of chess.You don’t have to go to the chess part if you don’t want to.”
“It’s important to note, by the way, that these aren’t mutually exclusive, you can do one or the other, you don’t have to do both.” Farrell adds.
Alongside regular meetings, the two have also hosted special events, including a chess tournament and a movie night over Thanksgiving break. There are also plans in the future to host another chess tournament, as well as a charity event. However, Farrell hasn’t decided if the club should wait another semester before hosting a charity event, or if the club will host it during the spring semester.
Farrell is also passionate about hosting Tabletop Simulator games during the spring semester after the game goes on sale for the holidays. “It really should be the ‘Party Games and Chess club right now, but ‘Board Games’ sounds better,” Farrell said. “I want to play actual board games soon.”
Despite the limitations placed on clubs in light of the pandemic, QC students find a way to stay connected through the BG and Chess club. “I knew that all of my classes were going to be online, so I decided I wanted to find a club that would allow me to make friends,” says Nerissa Martinez, a freshman.
“I chose the Board Games and Chess club because they advertised that they play games such as Jackbox, which drew me in because I wanted a club where I could relax and be myself.” Saira Ahmed, a first year graduate student, joined the club as a way to meet other QC students. “The only real place to interact with students is online,” she said.
Since there wasn’t a chess team on campus prior to the formation of the BG and Chess club, the club attracted chess players of various skill levels. “I’m not really much of a chess player,” says Steven Maltz, a junior. “It’s something that I’m trying to learn and people in the club are friendly to beginners.” he added.
If any QC students are interested in joining the club, the Discord server link can be found on the BG and Chess club’s Instagram account: @qcbgc.