The Chess Club has sold more than 250 shirts in the past two months, although it has not officially met as a club yet.
While the front of the shirts says “HW Chess,” the backs of the shirts display a variety of puns about chess, including “What are you rooking at?,” “Queen up your act” and “Your worst knightmare.” The most popular phrase is “Wanna rook up?”
“[The club has not met] mostly because we have been really busy with the shirts, which take up a lot of time,” Kumar said. “I think once we finish selling the shirts and spreading awareness for the club we will have more time to start actually meeting and playing chess.”
The four club presidents, Dharan Kumar ’16, Troy Loizzo ‘16, Cole Hattler ’16 and Lucas Perez ’16, established the club in early November when they decided to make chess shirts.
“We were eating lunch and making jokes about chess, and then we came across some really funny puns that would be hilarious on shirts,” Kumar said.
Even though the four presidents of the club at first wanted to make personalized shirts for themselves, they later asked people to buy the shirts also. In their first order, the club presidents bought 44 shirts. Later, people began to come to them to request orders. When the shirts became more popular the week before finals, they ordered about 200 more the second time.
“One day, I saw my friends brainstorming a list of ‘puns’ that would go at the back of the club shirts,” club member Jaebok Lee ’16 said. “They were fun. They were captivating. I wanted one on my back. I even got one for my reluctant friend Siddharth Kucheria ’16, and I can say it is probably the best decision I have made in my life.”
In total, 226 shirts have been sold and 30 more have been ordered as of press time.
The club presidents charge students through their Didax accounts as to not require students to bring cash, and do not make a profit from the shirts.
“First of all, they look really good, and second of all, they’re really funny, and I think people just want to be a part of a community on campus,” Kumar said. “We’re making the shirts more to build a community of people.”