SMC's Chess Club Making Moves, Holding Tournament

 Enkhtuvshin Doyodkhuu, the president of the Chess Club, plays a game with a passerby on the quad at Santa Monica College during Club Row on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. With over 60 clubs in attendance, the day is meant to encourage clubs to showcase what they’ve been doing over the semester for students. (Ethan Lauren/Corsair Photo)

Enkhtuvshin Doyodkhuu, the president of the Chess Club, plays a game with a passerby on the quad at Santa Monica College during Club Row on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. With over 60 clubs in attendance, the day is meant to encourage clubs to showcase what they’ve been doing over the semester for students. (Ethan Lauren/Corsair Photo)

With his passion for chess and his desire to gather people with different techniques and approaches around the same game, Enkhtuvshin Doyodkhuu, president of the Santa Monica College (SMC) Chess Club, is organizing the first chess tournament at the Cayton Center this Friday, April 27 with 20 participants.

“The tournament is open to all the students and people working at SMC, from every level," Doyodkhuu said. "Two math professors and one tutor are also participating." The tournament's rules are simple: each game lasts ten minutes with five seconds increment, which means that no time is lost if the player moves a piece before the end of the first five seconds. If your king is checkmated or if you run out of time, you’re eliminated.

Originally from Mongolia, Doyodkhuu, who also goes by “Dave” in the United States, is a computer science student at SMC who joined the Chess Club a semester ago when the club was formed. Doyodkhuu brought his passion for this game from Ulaanbaatar, his home city in Mongolia. “When I arrived at SMC two years ago, there was no chess club. I was looking for one,” Doyodkhuu said.

Doyodkhuu plays with the Los Angeles Chess Club, as well as with people outside of those clubs. “It is really interesting to see and learn from players with different kind of styles in their opening, mid-game, and end-game. Everything is different, and when you bring these people together, it is passionately competitive”.

Doyodkhuu plays every Sunday in open tournaments, and has had the chance to compete against chess grandmasters from California, saying, “It is fun to see an eleven-year-old master boy beat the old master lady”. These moments inspired him to organize a tournament to grow the chess club and reach out to more people in the SMC community. The fifty-two Chess Club members try to come as much as possible to the Cayton Center lounge, where they usually play and spend time together.

This “friendly and stress-free club”, as Doyodkhuu described it, is slowly but surely growing every week and he has some plans for next semester. He and his advisors are looking forward to strengthening the club by encouraging students interested in joining the club to come to meetings and become official members.

Playing chess is Doyodkhuu's way to “go out there” and connect with people sharing the same interests. He loves sharing his passion with others and wants to show new students that joining a club is a great opportunity to meet people and socialize. ”Chess also improves your cognitive functions and you become a better decision maker. This game is useful for everything you do”.

Doyodkhuu encourages students to come and play chess at Cayton Center. According to him, most of the members are still learning the game and can learn from students with a professional level.