News

Checkmates take over elevator

Courtney Maragh takes one of Ryne Gottlieb pieces, setting up a check mate. The pair play chess in the elevator most Sunday nights in Pearson elevator #3. As they finished their game, the elevator stopped in the basement for the first time. Lindsay Brown//News Editor

A bishop, a knight and a queen walk into a Pearson elevator.

No, it’s not the beginning of a bad bar joke. On Sundays, the Pearson Residential College elevator is used for more than just moving people.

Sophomores Courtney Maragh and Ryne Gottlieb play chess every week in the elevator. Last semester, Maragh and Gottlieb, who are roommates in Pearson, were playing in their room and thought it would be funny to play in the elevator as a joke.

“At first, people thought we were crazy,” Maragh said. “But now people have gotten accustomed to us and some stay and watch for a little while. Eventually we want people to see us and say, ‘Oh, it must be Sunday.’”

Sophomore Saramati Narasimhan, a friend of the chess-playing pair, isn’t surprised by their elevator antics and occasionally joins in the games.

“They love playing chess,” Narasimhan said. “They play everywhere- their room, the dining hall and in the elevator.”

Gottlieb and Maragh’s unusual ideas don’t stop at chess. Gottlieb has passed out slices of pizza in the elevator while they play and on Halloween they decorated the whole elevator, dressed up in costume and had a bowl of candy for elevator riders with a sweet tooth.

“Maragh dressed up as the Old Spice man with the sweater and body wash and everything,” Gottlieb said. “He even recited the entire commercial each time somebody new came on the elevator for them.”

Gottlieb and Maragh bring two small chairs, a small table and a small chess set that they set up in the back of the elevator next to the door in the rear. They have had to move when the door opens only a few times, but they said they haven’t had any issues getting out of the way of incoming riders.

The two students have been questioned a few times, but they have never gotten in trouble.

“People have asked us plenty of times, ‘Why are you playing chess in the elevator?’” Gottlieb said. “Where do you play chess?”

Maragh credits the idea completely to Gottlieb, but that doesn’t mean he gives him the match. Maragh has a slight edge over Gottlieb in play, but the matches are always close.

“Courtney has the more abstract strategies,” Gottlieb said. “Last time, he had just a knight, pawn and king and was able to keep them together, get a queen and come back to beat me.”

Trevor Scales may be contacted at tscales@themiamihurricane.com.

February 6, 2011

Reporters

Trevor Scales


Around the Web

Instead of in-person celebrations at Hard Rock Stadium, President Julio Frenk announced that the University of Miami will hold its four observances online because of updated COVID-19 data. ...

The newly chartered Peruvian Students Association seeks to expand its impact and influence beyond campus, supporting protests against education cutbacks in the South American country and connecting students across the United States to their Andean roots. ...

Leyna Stemle found that by attaching green LED lights to fishing nets in Ghana, the illumination was able to divert most of the reptiles from becoming entangled and hurt. ...

As the world observes the 32nd annual World AIDS Day, a University of Miami team is shining a bright light on a neighborhood initiative to curtail the epidemic. ...

With the acquisition of the new instrument and an accompanying nanoindenter, studies at the College of Engineering are entering a new and advanced era of materials characterization. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.