Checkmate: Freshman brings chess prowess to DPMHS campus


Angela Ledesma

Avid chess player Daryon Bush plays against paraprofessional Humberto Renderos in a friendly game of chess on Nov. 18 during Fiesta Friday. Bush who is a freshman, hopes to make chess more than a hobby in the future.

Grant Asner and Angela Ledesma

Freshman Daryon Bush took an interest in chess a few years ago because of its many different strategies that made the millennium-old puzzle game so entertaining.

“It was about four years ago he (Bush’s dad) showed me how to play,” Bush said. “At first, I was really confused but once you get the hang of it, it becomes fun.” 

Thanks to Bush, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) has become a hotspot for chess. Bush plays against anyone willing to compete with him and recently that has been against Humberto Renderos, a paraprofessional at the school. 

“He’s actually really one of the best chess players,” Renderos said. “If I don’t think things through, then his experience will easily beat me every time, 100 times in a row. But when I sit there and think for a lot longer than him, I think that’s where my lack of experience can be overcome.” 

Bush doesn’t just play in the DPMHS school cafeteria. He plays all around the United States. He usually attends competitions once every six months, including his most recent tournament in Texas. The Texas tournament he attended was a 7-round competition with 1,400 other people including professionals which Bush placed third in. 

“I have competed in many tournaments around the country,” Bush said. “My most recent one I went to Texas where I did about average in the open tournament.” 

When Bush can’t play chess with his friends or family in person, he participates in tournaments against random chess players on the Chess website to increase his skill and rank to become a better player. He tries to play regularly, ranging from one to two games or a couple of hours.

“I do play mostly online. I have a tournament online every Saturday that I compete in, which I usually do well in,” said Bush, who always places in these weekly tournaments. 

As for Bush’s future, he hopes to make a living out of chess because it’s been the only challenging hobby he’s picked up. He hopes that in the future he will either have a YouTube channel and make content to teach others how to play chess or play tournaments professionally. 

I hope to make chess a serious career but for now it’s just a hobby,” Bush said.