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A closer look at Jack Deye’s love for chess

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Jack Deye is an active member of the chess club. Photo by JH / Photo II

Senior Jack Deye, a member of the Gonzaga Chess club, won a championship match while on a zoom call and in the stands of a Gonzaga basketball game.  Playing the number three ranked chess player, Deye had no formal intention of winning and thought nothing of the game.  He surprised himself when he came out victorious.

Deye originally was introduced to chess in elementary school but started to play seriously in high school.  During COVID, one of Deye’s friends was consistently playing and got him hooked back on chess.  During COVID, Deye played a lot of chess and now has over 4900 games played.  He kept improving by analyzing his own games and watching YouTube lessons.  His determination and love for chess brought him to be one of the best chess players in the Gonzaga club.  In college, Deye would love to continue playing and would most definitely join his college’s chess club.

“Going into the match, I thought the whole situation of playing a chess game and being on a Zoom call in person at a basketball game was pretty funny, and I had a fairly carefree attitude,” Deye said. 

Deye believes that in any event or sport, especially in chess, the more a player stresses about a game the worse his outcome will be. He was expecting to lose as he was playing the number two player at the school that swept the entire league last year. 

“The only way I can really describe the win was a swindle; somehow my playing style encouraged him to blunder,” Deye said. 

This put Deye in a position for him to win or at least in an easily drawn position.  He particularly felt good about the win because, in the organizers’ mandatory Zoom call, the opponent was trying to say that he should have won off a technicality because of the fact that Jack didn’t join the call at exactly 7:30 p.m. He was trying to get Deye on a technicality saying that he forfeited, so to win this game for Deye and Gonzaga felt amazing.  Although Jack had a surprising win and possesses a lot of talent surrounding his chess play, Mr. Beaulieu, one of the co-moderators of the Chess Club, believes that Jack “is not the best player in the club.”  Deye still has room for improvement, which is why he typically plays “second board.”  Rhett Barand, a junior in the chess club, holds that number one spot, ensuring Gonzaga can stay competitive in chess in the future.   

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