DCTC Student Finds Chess Has Many Roles & Rewards

Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) student Tetteh Totimeh has made some pretty big moves in his lifetime. In particular, some recent strategic moves earned him first place in the novice section of the 113th Annual Minnesota Open/Warren Sternberg Memorial Chess Tournament.

Totimeh, nicknamed Blue, is a first-year nursing student at DCTC involved with Student Senate and is vice president of the DCTC Chess Club. Born in Liberia and growing up in Africa’s Ivory Coast, Totimeh began learning to play chess at age 12 from an instructor at his school. He appreciated the strategy and creativity involved in the game and stuck with it.

“Chess is like a society to me. Each piece has a different role, just as we all have different roles, and any one can make a difference,” said Totimeh.

The role of chess in Totimeh’s life has been a helpful icebreaker since moving to the United States with his family three years ago, as he finds it an excellent way to meet new people and make friends.

“One thing that keeps me playing the game is getting to meet people, making friends and the creativity and challenges it brings,” said Totimeh.

As he has studied chess, Totimeh has looked to the strategies of Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. He also spends a lot of time playing with family, friends and online, and is very thankful to all those who have given him guidance.

“I would like to thank Dr. Thomas, the DCTC faculty and staff and TRIO for making my college experience at DCTC a great and unique one. Special thanks to our chess club advisor Larry Stone, club president David Waylik, the Student Senate and for all the members of the DCTC Chess Club for taking time to come and play. I hope that our club will continue to grow,” said Totimeh.

Also competing in the novice level of the tournament was Jason Wunder, a TESA student and DCTC Chess Club member. Math instructor and DCTC Chess Club advisor Larry Stone and DCTC staff member Steve Helmueller both competed in the sophomore section (USCF rating 1400 or below).

The DCTC Chess Club began fall 2004 and meets every other Wednesday in DCTC’s central commons area from 2:30-6 p.m. All DCTC faculty, staff and students are welcome to participate.