By Kaitlyn Fowler, staff writer/photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Kings and queens have descended on the Campbellsville University campus this semester.
And, it’s all thanks to Dr. Josiah Marineau, associate professor of political science at Campbellsville University, who started a chess club at Campbellsville University.
“The way it got started was I had a chess set in my office,” Marineau said. “Someone came by one day and I lost. I don’t like losing. I’m a very sore loser. And I was like, ‘That isn’t happening again.’”
Marineau said he initially started a small club that met at the Taylor County Public Library. The club mostly consisted of elementary school children who were showing up at the meetings.
Marineau, however, was looking for something a bit different. He was wanting to do more than teach basic moves.
That’s when Marineau started a chess club at Campbellsville University. The club first met at Sweetwater Books in downtown Campbellsville before moving to Books n Beans in Montgomery Library because it was closer for the players.
Dr. Ryan Gipson, assistant professor of mathematics, who is taking graduate classes, learned to play chess by watching YouTube videos of someone who wanted to see how much they could improve at chess in 30 days.
“I was fascinated by the idea,” Gipson said. “How good could I get if I allowed myself the opportunity? I had the insane assumption I could do anything I put my mind to.”
Gipson said chess always teaches players something new.
“It humbly reminds us that there are still things we know nothing about,” Gipson said.
Wesley Miller, a senior history major from Mount Washington, Ky., said he saw the club one day and how much fun people were having with it.
“So, I was like, ‘That seems cool. How do you play it?’” he said.
Chess helps develop focus, according to Marineau.
“Chess is a game that doesn’t tolerate bluffing,” he said. “It doesn’t reward bluffing. It is a game you have to think through what you’re doing. It’s combat. There’s a rush of winning. The more you improve, the more you have to improve on.”
Marineau has a big dream for the chess club: to someday have a university chess team and compete in tournaments.
“We have a great solid group of about a half a dozen people,” Marineau said. “I’d like to see people be aware of the club and aware of the opportunity to play.”
The public is invited to join the chess group. For more information, contact Marineau at (270) 789-5283 or email@example.com.
The club meets at Books n Beans in Montgomery Library at 3:30 p.m., every Friday, but does not meet during holidays or breaks.