College Essay: The Game of Chess

Alex Yupa Chimborazo
Alex Yupa Chimborazo

Chess has helped me become a better person by improving my knowledge and skills. The game is beneficial for me because it teaches me brainstorming, critical thinking skills, how to engage with people and how to share ideas.

When I was 10 years old, my grades were poor. It was upsetting to see how badly I was doing in school. It made me feel discouraged when my report card arrived. My family was not proud. That changed before my first day of middle school. I was introduced to the game of chess. It was a challenge for me at the beginning, but I loved it because I like developing strategies on my own. Later, I realized how entertaining and educational this game is. I learned how to become a skillful player in chess with the help of the computer.

During middle school, my grades were getting better because chess had educated me about critical thinking and planning, which helped me with my homework. It made me a successful student. I started feeling better about my future because I gained more self-confidence and intelligence.

When I was 13, I started struggling with problem-solving and harder classes in eighth grade. Then I discovered an online game called chess puzzle. The game is about figuring out the right chess move to keep a winning position alive. One wrong move and you are off track. I enjoyed the puzzles because they helped me practice problem-solving and become an even better chess player. I can identify the solution to a problem and support my critical thinking. I have learned to be persistent, even if it is difficult to complete a task. For example, in chess, sacrifices help me take advantage of something better. Challenges stimulate me.

When I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school, I moved to a new school: Great River School in St. Paul. I was nervous when the school year started because I had not gone to school for one year because of the pandemic. During lunch time, I decided to play chess on my own since no one recognized me yet. One day, I met a person who wanted to go against me in chess. I was hyped on the inside, but calm on the outside. My first opponent’s skills were fine, but I practiced more on the attacking strategies than him. I checkmated him with a surprise move. I was so good at chess that I gained my opponent’s respect, and we became friends.

I was delighted to see that I was making friends along the way throughout the school year and communicating with staff members more often. Then, I gained popularity for being the best chess player in my grade, and I was proud of it. I feel thankful for my favorite game because without it, I would be an average student.

Now I am 16, advancing to grade 12. I feel relaxed and happy. At the same time, there is a challenge I need to face. That challenge is college. I only have another year to prepare. When I first started playing chess, it had no relevance for my future. Now, I participate in chess tournaments to earn awards and recognition and will apply for chess scholarship programs to help me get into college.

My success as a chess player has given me the skills to succeed in school. Chess made me who I am.