Chess Club encourages community to play the game of kings



At the corner of CR 200 and SH 29 is a building that has been home to a church, a nonprofit organization, and most recently a barber shop. But Larry Diffey is using the space chess enthusiasts.

In his younger days, the IT specialist wasn’t the most adept chess player, struggling in matchups. It was these early failures that motivated Diffey to become a student of the game.

“I was playing with a friend when I was about 15 or 16, and I was getting slaughtered,” Diffey said. “I was so frustrated. After that, I took the time to learn about the game and the strategies involved.”

Diffey recently began playing quite a bit of the game online. It’s the craving for face-to-face competition and the feeling of moving pieces on a physical board that inspired Diffey to start a chess club for the community.

“I like playing on the board, but I don’t get the opportunity to sit down with people,” he said. “The strategies and tactics are the same, but there’s just something better about playing on the board.”

Beyond his desire for a physical feel and an opponent across the board, Diffey learned that the lessons chess provides can help players in different aspects of their lives.

“Chess, in general, is an excellent brain stimulator,” he said. “The tactics and strategy in chess apply to a lot of different areas of life, how you think through problems, and trying to see ahead to the consequences of particular problems.”

Diffey encourages all members of the community to take part in the club’s meetings, regardless of skill level.

“Anybody can come in here and play chess. I don’t care if you’ve never played chess, if you don’t understand the rules yet,” he said. “It’s a great game, and just about anybody can benefit from playing it.”

Diffey believes that getting children in the community involved with the group can benefit them by expanding their minds and ways of approaching situations.

“I would have liked to have gotten involved in chess as a kid now that I understand the game better,” he said. “Just because of what it can do for your thinking process, your logical thinking. It’s valuable for all the areas of your life.”

The ideal outcome Diffey hopes for is to reach a point where members of the community, both adults and adolescents, can come together to create stronger ties with each other.

“I’d like to see a good community group of kids and adults that can get together, play chess, meet each other and form some cohesion in the community,” he said.

To become a member of the chess club, join the group Liberty Hill Chess club on Facebook. The first meeting for the group is Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m.