You may want to keep your king in the back row if you’re brave enough to challenge Jared Groder in a game of chess. Groder, a Yardley PA resident and a junior at Y.A.L.E. School’s Cherry Hill campus, has been playing chess since he was 11 years old. When asked about his inspiration for getting into the game of chess, he explains: “I started all because I saw my dad playing one day.” With his father as motivation, a game he knew nothing about became an activity he now calls his favorite hobby.
Before attending Y.A.L.E., Jared was called a “freshman sensation,” at his public school where he competed in the Lower Bucks County Scholastic Chess League — the largest and arguably the toughest league in Pennsylvania. Now just a few years later after enrolling at Y.A.L.E., Jared is a nationally-ranked chess player.
To achieve nationally-ranked status, one cannot rely on luck. Jared has had to study hard. In particular, he studies grandmaster Bobby Fisher and reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlson. Learning from the best, he has earned a competitive Junior Ranking of 1573 in Pennsylvania at the 93.8 percentile. In April Jared took his talents to Ohio, where he competed in the U.S. Chess Federation High School Championship.
Recently the Y.A.L.E. School Chess Club hosted a mini-tournament where Jared played members of the Cherry Hill High School West public high school chess team. On June 10th he “squared off” against Cherry Hill HS West students Brandon Kueny and Ardit Pranvoku. It was a clean sweep: he won six out of six games! Not only has Jared learned to crush the competition, but he has also learned to increase his critical thinking skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship, which are the main learning goals of the Chess Club.
Looking to the future, Jared hopes to continue to take his favorite hobby to the next level when he eventually graduates from Y.A.L.E.. He explains, “I plan to keep playing in tournaments as much as possible, continue studying tactics, and playing games.” This summer, Jared looks forward to competing at the World Open in Virginia in July. Good luck Jared!