New chess table at McClurg

by Lam Ho

At the end of the balcony in McClurg, a newcomer awaits the company of chess enthusiasts. The appearance of the table may be mysterious to some.

That’s because it is!

Taylor Morris (C’16), the president of the Chess Club, explained how it came to be. “We wanted to put a chess table on the campus. Coincidentally, someone in McClurg found one in storage.” Wyatte Stuard is the finder of the hidden treasure. Since it patiently awaited the right time to make its return to Sewanee, the chess table is officially a new part of the McClurg family.

The happy fortuity has provided an opportunity for friendly, strategic competition between any two people looking for a challenge — or a solo round for those in training. While the Chess Club led the integration of the table, its use is open to all members of the community who want to grab a bite from McClurg and have a good time. Chess pieces can be checked out from McClurg staff at the front desk.

Around 5:00 p.m. on weekday evenings, representatives from the Chess Club will gather around, time permitting, to eat and be merry while participating in fierce battles on the brain-twisting table. The hope is that the Chess Club, which meets every other Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Spencer 151, will have a “presence on the campus.” Morris encourages anyone interested to join, as the group is made of community members of all ages and interests.

Even those who have no experience with chess are welcome to join in the festivities. In an e-mail from the club president, Taylor explained, “Lessons can be given to beginners, and tournament regulation equipment and strategy is available for more advanced players. If you have any questions, email”

Anyone who is interested in playing chess recreationally or as a more serious hobby are encouraged to join the club at Spencer. It is a way to relieve stress, meet other Sewanee residents, and create lasting bonds with other logic-lovers.

Not only does the balcony of McClurg provide a great view, but there is now a chess table where people are welcome to revisit the best scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Maybe there aren’t humongous pieces that endanger players’ lives, but there is joyous victory to be won and strategy to be learned at the mysterious new chess table.