online edition

The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • Students meet in Upper Heath for the tournament.

    • Evan Yan ’25 concentrates on a move.

Checkmate For Charity: Maroon Key Board Hosts Tournament

Sarvin Bhagwagar ’24 Features Editor, Rania Das ’25 Assistant Features Editor
A recent Washington Post article proclaimed that “Teachers nationwide are flummoxed by students’ new chess obsession.”
A recent Washington Post article proclaimed that “Teachers nationwide are flummoxed by students’ new chess obsession.” On April 5, during the activities period, Hopkins Chess Club, in collaborationwith Maroon Key Board, capitalized on the surge of student interest in the game with a tournament and bake sale as part of Spring Service Week.

Chess Club Co-Heads Nao Tomita ’25, Sarvin Bhagwagar ’24, and Nate Huang ’25, assisted by Krish Agarwal ’25, hoped the combination of a tournament, with an entry fee of $10, and bake sale, with goods provided by Hop Bakes, would encourage students not only to compete for a prize, but to support a good cause. Proceeds went
to New Haven Reads, a local organization that provides under-resourced families with access to academic support. Alissa Davis, one of the Maroon Key Board’s faculty advisors, said, “Hopkins has a long history with New Haven Reads. We think it’s really important to partner with local organizations whose mission aligns so well with ours.”

To maximize excitement and community involvement, the tournament included several wrinkles. Organizers told the Razor that each of the 18 participants played three games, with an eight-minute starting time and no delay or increment. Members of the Junior School Chess Club, for whom the tournament served as a club meeting, were also invited to attend. “It was great to see matchups between seniors and junior schoolers,” Huang said.

The speed-of-game, unique matchups, and the public nature of the tournament resulted in gripping action, according to tournament organizers and participants. Said Evan Yan ’25, “Playing in an over the board tournament as opposed to online made it more difficult but also memorable.” Yan noted that “Most people, including myself, play chess online, so playing in person required a surprising level of adjustment and focus.“ As a memorable moment, Huang cited a matchup between Logan Matthews’25 and Henry Foushee ’25, who “decided to play their game standing up, using the piano as a table.” Huang also recalled that, “in a nail-biting finish,” Lucas Llovera ’25 “checkmated his opponent with less  than two seconds on the clock.” The clock was not everyone’s friend, however. Junior schooler Toby Huang ’28 said that he “lost a game [he] shouldn’t have” when he “ran out of time.”

Though a champion was meant to be decided on April 5, multiple tiebreakers were needed before a winner could be crowned. In the end, Yan took home the prize— a Hopkins-themed chessboard.

The real winners, of course, were New Haven Reads and the Hopkins community. Said Nate Huang, “The proceeds from the tournament, donations, and the bake sale helped us surpass our goal by a large amount: we were able to raise $368.50 for New Haven Reads. Noted Huang, “It was clear from the tournament that chess brings together the Hopkins community. Hopefully, we can host more tournaments like this in the future.”
Editor in Chief 
Asher Joseph

Managing Editor 
Margaret Russell

Claire Billings
Jo Reymond
Rose Porosoff
Eric Roberts
Abby Rakotomavo
Elona Spiewak
Veena Scholand
Miriam Levin
Liliana Dumas
Saisha Ghai
Olivia Yu
Anya Mahajan
Rain Zeng
Winter Szarabajka
Aerin O'Brien

Karun Srihari
Samantha Bernstein
Hana Beauregard
Micah Betts
Elaina Paktuka
Edel Lee
Anjali van Bladel
Nate Gerber
Rebecca Li

Hailey Willey
Web Editors
Amelia Hudonogov-Foster
Anvi Pathak
Chloe Wang

Faculty Advisers
Stephen May
Elizabeth Gleason
Shanti Madison
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

Phone: 203.397.1001 x628