Chess alive and well on campus

In March, the University of Manitoba Chess Club hosted the U of M vs. U of W chess match. Each institution sent a team of four players composed of students, professors and alumni. The last match of this type occurred over 30 years ago, well outside the lifetime of most of the players in the match. The U of M team emerged victorious with a 6-2 score.

For those wondering how chess can be played as a team event, the strongest players from each team play each other, the second strongest from each team play each other, and so on down the line. One point is awarded for a win, a half point for a draw and none for a loss. The team with the most points is declared the winner. With this setup, the game between the worst players becomes just as important as the game between the best.

The strong ties between chess and academia were very evident, as the players in this tournament represented a large chunk of the very best in Manitoba. U of M’s top player, economics professor Fletcher Baragar, was instrumental in securing victory for our team with two important wins over U of W mathematics professor Jeff Babb.

Kane Anderson, the U of M Chess Club’s president, started the club five years ago. As a result, the U of M has had a thriving chess scene ever since. The club meets often in the UC cafeteria and holds tournaments regularly. “The club will continue to meet over the summer session” said Kane in regards to the club’s future plans. “We’ll also hold one or two more free tournaments and hold a lecture for those interested in learning the deeper strategical [sic] aspects of the game.”

If you are interested in learning or playing chess, and to learn about the club’s events, you can contact Kane at