In January 2020, Kasim Liburd received the opportunity to reform Fort Lauderdale High School’s Chess Club. The club was originally formed in the 2016-2017 school year and experienced a slow yet steady intake of students until the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.
For the remainder of the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years, FLHS continued without its chess club. Even when in-person schooling came back, the Chess Club was not brought back.
Finding an advisor was the first step to reviving the club.
“Because of the number of requests that were made for a chess club [the school] felt that we needed [the club],” Liburd said. “There was both a need and a want.”
The club’s stated mission is to give its attendees the opportunity to challenge others in games of chess, and more importantly to hone their skills in the game. The club allows more experienced players to help the less experienced or beginners to improve.
“I want to join the FLHS Chess Club [this year] because I’ve been playing chess for the majority of my life,” said Atharian King (10), “and an opportunity to play and practice chess on top of connecting with more people who like chess like I do is an amazing opportunity and it would be a shame for me to miss it.”
Liburd hopes that the members of the club will become skilled enough to eventually compete in chess tournaments.
“So far the amount of people who [attend] the club has been very inconsistent, so our chances of competing nationally for right now look grim,” said club member, Ty Gabriel (12).
“I am very new to the club,” said Marlo Toomer (11). “I’m a big fan of chess. I’ve never competed in anything like this before, but I find the opportunity very exciting.”
Liburd informed The Navigator that the club started up again when activity buses started last week, holding its first meeting on September 8. The Chess Club meets Thursdays in the Media Center sidelab.