Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Roster depth propels chess team to big wins

Central+senior+Braeden+Rodemeyer+ponders+his+next+move+at+a+chess+team+practice+on+Jan.+18.
Jay Deegan
Central senior Braeden Rodemeyer ponders his next move at a chess team practice on Jan. 18.

After winning their IHSA sectional, Central’s chess team has outperformed expectations after losing four seniors from last year, three of whom played in the top four boards.

The team has had several big wins: a West Chicago tournament; a win over Whitney Young, a chess “Powerhouse”; and victories against Hinsdale Central, Naperville North, Evanston Township and Walter Payton College Prep.

“We anticipated that [the seniors] were going to be very hard to replace,” head coach Mike Steger said. “They were, but [current senior] Jonathan Chang at board two and [junior] Charles Desmond-Ogugua have filled in quite nicely and won a lot of clutch matches.”

Desmond-Ogugua beat Whitney Young’s board two player at the West Chicago tournament, which allowed the team to bring home a victory.

“[Desmond-Ogugua] surprised everybody and it’s nice to know we have that capacity at boards two or three,” Steger said. “This gives us a shot at beating some of the higher level teams and could hopefully put us within the top 10 this year.”

Junior Arthur Xu plays at board one for the team. A FIDE Master, the third-highest title awarded by the international chess governing body FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs), he’s played national tournaments, world tournaments and led the team at board one for the last three years.

“We’ve been doing better than I expected,” Xu said. “I’m pretty happy about that. We’ve seen a lot of improvement.”

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About the Contributor
Jay Deegan, Print Managing Editor
Jay Deegan is a Junior at Central and happy to start his third year of journalistic adventures at the Central Times. Jay loves writing features and diving in-depth into issues that plague our community. In his free time Jay runs a freelance videography and photography business and loves to creatively express his interests in sports and filmmaking. If you’d like to join CT or have a tip, reach out!
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