TISA Talks

An A Team player brings his A chess game


Looking out the window on his way to school, Taos Academy student Orion Forest Joseph is always thinking of his next move.

Quiet moments throughout his day are spent thinking of strategies to defeat his opponents in the next chess match. This 14 year old has been on the A Team of the Taos KnightHawks since sixth grade, and has garnered more than 10 trophies and honorable mentions combined.

When asked if he ever has, or ever will, take a break from chess, Orion responded, "Although I've taken multiple small breaks from playing chess in tournaments, I have never and will never take a break from playing chess as a hobby."

Fellow classmates think it is an achievement to be on the A Team, but Orion does it for the joy of it.

Athletes often have a lucky charm, and we wondered if Orion did as well. "Chess doesn't depend on luck," he said. "I look three or four moves ahead to determine what my response will be to each possible move my opponent can make. It all depends on strategy, memory and calculations," he replied while focusing on his chess board.

Chess is known as a game of strategy. We asked Orion how his chess games compare to maneuvering through his daily life at school.

"This is by far the hardest question you've asked me," he replied. "I play chess in a very strategic way, plan out movements ahead of time and everything else that an advanced chess player would do. But sometimes when I use certain strategies, I envision some of the things that happen in reality, like armies clashing."

Orion is a determined chess player, and won't stop at defeating a handful of opponents. He has goals: "I consider myself to be an advanced chess player, but I am no grandmaster, yet."