Joel Jaffe, a fourth-year in accounting, is president of the Chess Club. Credit: Steve Alostaz | Lantern Reporter

Check your calendar. A student organization is working day and knight to prepare an event fit for a king.

“Challenge a Champion,” hosted by the Chess Club at Ohio State, is bringing International Master Levy Rozman to the Ohio Union Sunday. Rozman will face off against 15 lucky attendees simultaneously in a competition called a “simul.” Rozman will also give a lecture, Kalen Sutandar, a third-year in mechanical engineering and the club’s treasurer, said. 

Rozman, now 25 years old, started playing chess in 2000 and learned to play the game professionally while growing up back and forth between New Jersey and New York, he said.

“I was a very hyper-active kid, and my parents didn’t know what to do with me,” Rozman said. “They decided to enroll me in chess, and I just fell in love with it.”

Chess players are ranked using the International Chess Federation’s scoring system. Rozman said the score is a quantifier of a player’s skill that ranges from 100 to the score of the current highest rated player in the world. Currently, the top spot is held by Magnus Carlsen, a Grand Master with a rating of 2872. 

Rozman said he has played in more than 340 tournaments and achieved the rank of International Master in 2018. In order to become an International Master, a player must have a rating of at least 2400, according to the federation’s website. The only rank higher than International Master is Grand Master.

“2016 was definitely my year of dominance,” Rozman said. “I had played my biggest tournament in Atlantic City called the Millionaire Chess Open, and I had beaten three Grand Masters. It was surreal.”

Aside from competing in professional tournaments, Rozman said he also streams his online games on his Twitch account — TTVGothamChess — teaches courses, runs a scholastic program in New York and makes instructional videos for Chess.com.

“I’m thrilled because everything I’ve been doing for the past couple of years with the online content side of things is working,” Rozman said. “My goal is always to make chess more accessible and to get people interested in chess.”

Sutandar said those interested in attending the event or taking part in the simul should RSVP ahead of time by emailing sutandar.3@osu.edu. Sutandar said there will be a random drawing of those who RSVP to decide who will get to compete in the simul, and casual play will be available for those not participating. 

Challenge a Champion will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Ohio Union’s Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room. Admission is free for Ohio State students and $10 for nonstudents.