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The Emmanuel Library and Harry Potter Club Hold The First Annual Human Chess Match

Human Chess Match in the Cardinal Cushing Library

Photo by Gina Gallagher ’17

If you’re still salty about your Hogwarts acceptance letter getting lost in the mail, the Cardinal Cushing Library’s human chess match almost makes up for it.

On the night of Thursday, March 16, the Cardinal Cushing Library staff in tandem with the Harry Potter Club put on a life size chess match inspired by Wizard Chess, a mythical game played in J.K. Rowling’s celebrated book series.

The game took place on a giant chessboard set up in the middle of the main library floor, with real people in the place of chess pieces. The participants included both students and staff. Father John and Sister Karen were bishops. Dr. Claire Mehta of the Psychology Department and Dr. Ana Otero the Biology Department were queens. Jeff Smith, Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Multicultural Programs and Vice President of Academic Affairs William Leonard were the kings.

The game took place between Professor Benjamin Allen of the Math Department representing the red team and Niko Townsend ’17 representing the white team. Ron Weasley and the giant enchanted chessboard were unavailable. Townsend’s white team won the match.

Spectators were able to see Allen and Townsend’s moves on a large flat screen, which projected a live feed of the normal sized chess board.

Student Lindsey Taylor ’19 announced the game. Taylor included interesting chess and Harry Potter trivia during the lulls between moves. Acapocalypse opened the match was with a performance of the Emmanuel Alma Mater.

Keeping with the Harry Potter theme, many of the snacks were from the wizarding world. Spectators indulged in butter beer, chocolate frogs, gummy slugs, and Bertie Bot’s Every Flavored Beans. Fortunately, there were no puking pestles.

An atmosphere of excitement among participants continued throughout the match, including many memorable, funny moments.

The game lasted two hours,  causing some players to loose steam. Fortunately snacks, high spirits, and trivia kept the game alive.

Gina Gallagher is a staff writer for The Hub, and can be reached at

Posted by on March 20, 2017. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.