The Honolulu Chess Club meets Mondays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
and anybody can play without paying any fee or dues. Moreover,
the Club provides chess sets, including chess clocks. On the
stage, life-sized chess pieces are set up, and these, according
to Dunworth, are very popular among the young players. “It’s
a casual club we have. Everyone is welcome,” said Dunworth.
“More kids, the better. More women, the better.”
The Club also provides a weekly chess lesson. From 6:30 to
7:30 p.m., Dunworth teaches chess, from the basic rules to
strategic tips. He is an experienced B-plus player, meaning
he holds a U.S. Chess Federation rating around 1750 – 1799.
At the Honolulu Chess Club, beginners can enjoy chess without
being intimated by the competitive nature of the game. Nobody
records wins and losses, and most players allow their opponents
to take back moves. “You come here and play a little, play
for friendship. It’s a great way to meet people, as far as
I am concerned,” said Dunworth.
Sometimes, the Club hosts a simultaneous tournament, in which
one Master plays chess with 20 people at the same time.
The Honolulu Chess Club was established by the Hawai‘i Chess
Federation, the official local branch of the USCF. It is funded
by contributions from many companies, organizations, and individuals.
Thinker Toys donated the life-sized chess set, which was made
in Germany, Ala Moana Shopping Center helped to ship it here,
as well as provides the space for the Club. Helping Hands
of Hawai‘i donated the first six chess sets.
The main purposes of the Club include building the network
of chess players as well as promoting chess in Hawai‘i. The
Club especially encourages people to start playing chess at
a young age.
Lynn Sato brings her 8-year-old daughter, Nicole, to the
Honolulu Chess Club every week. Nicole learned chess a year
and a half ago, and she enjoys playing the game with variety
of people. “I’d rather she was doing this than watching TV,”
“Playing chess helps kids academically,” Dunworth said.
“There is a correlation between playing chess and math and
science scores.” In fact, many studies claim that playing
chess can improve brain power. For example, according to an
article in Chess Life, nonhonors elementary students who joined
a school chess club improved their math and reading scores
twice as much as non-chess player students during the third
to fifth grades.
“We encourage young kids. More kids and more students. We’d
love to get kids from HPU to come down. That would be fun,”
said Dunworth. For more information, contact Randy L. Prothero,
the HCF president at (808) 384-5645, or firstname.lastname@example.org.