Undefeated in MSL, Fremd chess poised for state

Preeth Somanchi, Staff Writer

In recent years, the Fremd chess team has proven to be a competent team hovering near the fifth seed in the Mid Suburban League. However, the 2021-22 season has proven to be a standout, with the team going undefeated through 10 games and securing the second seed in the MSL conference.

Most recently, Fremd proved its dominance by winning the MSL conference tournament, cruising through notable teams such as Barrington High School. Barrington, who finished 2nd in State last year, fell to the hands of Fremd 47.5 to 20.5.

With the sectional and state competition around the corner, Fremd looks like a serious contender to win it all. When asked about what sets them apart from other schools going into the state tournament, Jerry Moon was optimistic.

“The team’s work ethic sets them apart,” Moon said. “Kids come in very motivated to practice well, and to play well”.

Most of all, the Fremd chess team is characterized by its community feel and its players’ desire to help others better their games. Moon also talks about how the team’s successes are brought on by the upperclassmen’s initiatives.

“Upperclassmen post resources to help others, leaders set the overall tone, and people know what they must do to become the best”, Moon said.

Intangibles like these help propel Fremd past their competition, as they are willing to go the extra mile to help contribute to the team’s success.

Moon also attributed the team’s prosperity to their new underclassmen talent. Junior co-captain Rohan Rao speaks on the importance of these players, and admires their ability to best their older opponents.

“The people who came to our team happened to be great talents. Sophomore Aditya [Gupta] and Freshman Ryan [Barretto] have been spectacular additions to the team”.

Gupta, who is ranked second in the state, proves to be one of the most talented and beneficial pieces in a winning environment.

However, being three weeks out from state, the Vikings still have room for improvement. When asked about what challenges the team faces, Junior co-captain Adu Batta expressed an important perspective.

“The overall age of our team and experience is our biggest hurdle as of now. Most of our top guys such as Gupta, are underclassmen, and don’t have the kind of exposure like some of our opponents may have” said the captain.

With the proper practice and preparation, this obstacle can prove to be only a small hindrance in a destined path to greatness. Once their loose ends have been tied, the Fremd chess team can prove to be the most dominant team, not only in the MSL, but in the state of Illinois.