Chess for All! 


Nicholas Rengifo, Writer

The Cranford High School chess club, run by Dr. Wegner, visited Brookside elementary school on December 8, 2022. 5th grade students learned from high school students the basics of the classic board game. Chess can be a way to improve critical thinking skills while also  having fun. Last year, the chess team won a 3rd place trophy in the NJ High School State Chess Championships. This strong performance may lead to a promising future for the team.


Dr. Wegner practices alongside the chess club in the Library for the purpose of creating a strong team. The students compete with each other to improve their individual ranking within the club. This ranking is then used for events where different schools place the ranks against each other. Students talk to each other to learn different perspectives on how to play. 


The Dialogue staff met with Dr. Wegner about why he chose to teach chess to the students of Brookside. 


Dialogue Staff:


Dr. Wegner, why did you decide to teach the 5th grade students at Brookside elementary the game of chess?


Dr. Wegner: 

To build community of chess players all across Cranford [and] develop chess skills at an earlier grade level [which] sets up a steady flow of talent into the high school


Dialogue Staff: 


What inspired you to start the Cranford chess club? Was chess just a game you enjoyed, or is there an event or opportunity that gave you the idea?


Dr. Wegner

We started in 2019 because I’m a huge fan of chess. Chess can strengthen the mind with problem solving skills, and is a fun social experience.


Dialogue Staff: 


Is there anything you want to do with the chess club in the future, like future events or future goals?


Dr. Wegner


We’re planning to form a high school chess league with all the schools in the area and possibly become a varsity sport. We have a five year plan for State championship, and a ten year plan to compete at the national level.


If you’re interested in joining the club or just want to see the players in action, the chess team meets every Thursday. The CHS chess club meets to practice chess skills and improve their play. The club can be found at the CHS library and learning commons from 3:00 pm to  4:00 pm.