Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Town

August 30, 2010

Chess group open to all

Players promise to go easy on newcomers

TRAVERSE CITY — Chris Remsperger likes the friendly atmosphere during his afternoon chess games at the Traverse City Senior Center.

A chess player since he was a kid, the 47-year-old "aspiring senior" said playing his favorite game at the senior center is a lot more relaxed than in most chess groups.

"I love the personalities here; this is a fabulous place to play with an intimate atmosphere," said Remsperger as he challenged a relative newcomer to the game, Alma Vorhauer, to a match.

Vorhauer, 76, started playing chess four years ago when she joined the Friday afternoon group.

"I like the chance to play other people. There are people who are much better than me and people who are learning," said Vorhauer, of Traverse City.

The Traverse City Senior Center Chess Group was organized about 10 years ago by Dick Wetters, an informal chess instructor and organizer. Sam Vorhauer, the current instructor, joined the group as a player four years ago when he moved to Traverse City from Lansing.

"We play a very informal game but I think everyone enjoys it," said Sam Vorhauer, 65, who considers himself an average player.

"We are fortunate enough to have some excellent players; Chris is an above-average player," said Vorhauer, noting that playing with opponents of varying skill levels helps improve his game.

"Chris is very advanced in his play. We are honored to have him come and play against us," Vorhauer said.

Everyone looking for a game, from beginners to experienced players, is welcome to meet from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday afternoons at the Traverse City Senior Center. No reservations are necessary.

"We try to be as gentle as possible for newcomers," Vorhauer said.

For more information, call the Senior Center at 922-4911 or e-mail

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