International Guide to Public Chess Spots part I:
Public Places, Parks and Spaces (compilation subject to editing and expansion)
Can you mention any parks or public place to play chess? email [email protected]
This work as can be seen is sparse and constantly in the process of being edited, expanded, and worked on. For the most part as the majority of internet users can be gleaned from a few hand fulls of nations the majority of people and nations don't have as ready access to the internet as somel; and, there for contribution often must be personally written and considered.
First thing any one should be aware of when frequenting a public park to play chess, cards, backgammon, or even Scrabble and Go Fish. Public Parks are frequented by any one who so choses to do so.
Those there may be police officers, drug addicts, white collars professionals, criminals, hustlers, or whomever just like else where else in society.Second I draw to your attention the special breed of person commonly refered to as a chess hustler. Chess Hustlers exist for one reason and one reason only: to part you from your money just like any other hustler. Now not to get you paranoid as I have been inclined towards private stakes on a chess game myslef butjust because some fools will stand on street corners advertising their wares doesn't mean thateveryone and allhustlers will act or do the same.
I once heard someone glowingly write: 
"Try thinking of them as 'street artists' and you may get a clearer idea of the range of people involved. Some are homeless. Some are homeless by choice. Some are people who show up to play in the parks two or three days a week, and may have other jobs (other lives) on other days. A fair number are students. Some are indeed very good. Certainly expert strength at blitz, some better. You do get an occasional grandmaster, although that's rare, and they're not usually fulltime participants. Some hustle other things as well, and chess fills the time while they're waiting for the cell phone to ring."
On the other hand, Matt Gaffney (a master) offers a more cynical lookofchess hustlers (in a view closer to my own) who are the equivalent of 3 card Monty players--proving that it's possible to rig even a chess game: 

But in the "gypsies, tramps, and thieves" mix, it may be the "tramps" that predominate in most cities.


(editors note)Astute to the existence of any chess game in my vicinity I noticed some white chess hustler in Washington   Square   Park who made the error of reneging on a mere $1 wager he made on a chess game with someone that he lost to. I imagine that is someone were to renege their $1 wager I can ony imagine what might happen in a game for $20 (the standard for a standard game of chess) with a chess hustler (many of which are ex-cons [not to besmirch ex-cons some are very honorable and will insist on paying off a bet as well as collect for one]. 

NOTE: Do not try to claim gambling is illegal to get out of paying a wager for a game of street chess as if it were illegal:

For chess in many jurisdictions (e.g. New York City ) it is not considered a game of chance (and albeit illegal) but of skill and lawful so do not try to claim it is illegal after you made the bet just to get out of paying. For one thing even if your opponent might not beat the crap out of you one of his friends might (if not worse) second it is morally and ethical reprehensible.

First: Prisons are full of storiesthatpeople getkilledreneging on such small bets as a cigarette. Second:Fromquiet Cambodia it was reportedwhen the winner was not paid his winnings ($5) by his undoubtedly macho police officer opponent that he killed him. Three: It is best not to bet what you do not have (betting what you do not have to pay know as ass betting as in you bet your ass you don't get your ass beat if you don't pay up). Fourth: Even if you win there is no guarantee you will get paid and may get cheated (stiffed) for even a dollar.
I've seen it happen in well populated public places like Washington Square Park in broad daylight with plenty of witnesses.
 SO BEWARE: Caveat emptor Latin for "let the buyer beware". Before statutory law, the buyer had no warranty of the quality of goods. In many jurisdictions, the law now requires that goods must be of "merchantable quality". However, this implied warranty can be difficult to enforce, and may not apply to all products. Hence, buyers are still advised to be cautious. 
In addition to the quality of the merchandise, this phrase also applies to the return policy. In most jurisdictions there is no legal requirement for the vendor to provide a refund or exchange. In many cases the vendor will not provide a refund but will provide a credit. In the case of software, movies and other copyrighted material many vendors will only do a direct exchange for another copy of the exact same title. Most stores require proof of purchase and impose time limits on exchanges or refunds; however, some larger chain stores will do exchanges or refunds at any time with or without proof of purchase.
This phrase has given rise to many informal variations, such as caveat reader (properly, caveat lector). 
The opposite of Caveat emptor is Caveat venditor or Caveat vendor, meaning "let the seller beware."


United States
  • Anchorage: Dave McGraw writes "Borders Books & Music on Dimond Boulevard contact: Rick (907) 222-1370"
  • Wasilla: Dave McGraw writes "The Digital Cup internet cafe, 1451 E. Parks Highway. contact: Dave (907) 376-2727 Cafe specific blitz chessrating ladder."


  • La Quinta: (Palm Spings area) I8theCat writes "At Swiss Donut, Washington and Highway 111, Every Saturday :)"
  • Morro Bay: Scott Mason writes "Large outdoor set down at waterfront in park. People play there on Sat from noon-5pm."
  • Mill Valley: Scott writes "Add the old train Depot Plaza in Mill Valley as an everyday hangout for chess."
  • Palo Alto: Pete Polash writes: "Cafe La Dolce Vita (on California and Birch) may be the best place in the bay area. There are always numerous master and expert games,as wellas the full range of levels down to beginner. Its friendly, newcomers are welcome and there are always spectators. Things tend to get started after 7:00 PM, every day except Sunday, when its closed."
  • Riverside: Sommiel writes "Back to the Grind Coffee House on Thursday night., until 11:00 pm, on University Ave. Downtown, after 11:00 they move to the lobby of the Mission Inn, bring a set"
  • Sacramento: MrKrawly writes "Weatherstone's Coffee Shop, (around 21st & J ) Sacramento CA."
  • Sacramento: Ash writes "Thought I'd give you a correction on the address for Weatherstone Coffee Shop. It is on 21stStreet between H and I Streets. Always quite a group with Masters, Experts and amateurs playing 1 to 5 minute games on the weekends. Late afternoon to evening on weekdays."
  • San Bernardino: Sommiel writes "Denny's on 2nd St, Friday night, back room. Bring a set. :) Thanks Qualo!"
  • San Diego: War writes "There a coffee shop in San Diego on Garnett and Cass Street in Pacific Beach that guys goto to play 1 min chess"
  • San Diego: octopovich writes " the entry is outdated Zanzibar that is mentioned doesn't welcome chess players.. Pannikin on Girard & Pearl is the hangout.
  • Santa Cruz: Eric Fingal writes "there is quite a thriving Chess "Scene" at the" Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company" in the Palomar Hotel in downtown Santa Cruz. Virtually every evening and most weekend afternoons, there are several 5 min games in progress with players in some cases of master strength participating. A local tabloid newspaper's "Best of Santa Cruz" issue awarded it as "The Best Place to Get Your Butt Kicked at Chess"!
  • Santa Cruz: Ash writes "The chess has moved from Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co. to Border's Bookstore, just a block away on Pacific Ave."
  • San Jose: Justin Lessler writes "Cafe Matisse on South 1st Street. Activity varies, a game can usually be had in the evenings, especially Friday and Saturday nights. Some 5 min games, some untimed games.
  • Thousand Oaks: Bug writes "Monday nights at Border's Books next to US 101. Last I knew of they had free lessons by a local A player and casual play that includes occasional masters and experts."
Los Angeles Area:
  • "Plummer park: Lots and lots of Russians, yes they do play chess there, cards etc. Some strong players to be found there. Location.... Hollywood" L.A.: Gome writes:
  • Glendale: R Myers writes"One place you can find some chess games is the library in Glendale. Usually someone will be there in the evenings playing, with some real strong competition."
  • Leimert park around Babe and Rickey's Inn, 4339 Leimert Blvd. Very friendly players but not the safest neighborhood. Be courteous and you'll stay out of trouble.
  • Santa Monica Beach: on the beach front. 300 feet south of the Santa Monica Pier.
  • Doesn't start until after 12 noon. Popular on any uncold day.
  • Bixby park
  • Lulu's on Santa Monica Blvd and Sawtelle where strong players play blitz nightly." L.A.: Jonathan Corbblah writes

Santa Monica

Ocean Front Walk

Santa Monica, 90402

Cross Street: Just south of the Pier

Neighborhood: Santa Monica

Type: Parks

Hours: Daily dawn to dusk

International Chess Park Santa Monica California

More photos wanted of the Santa Monica International Chess Park

There's more than body worship happening at the beach in Santa Monica. The International ChessPark hums from sunup to sundown with contenders playing chess at 140 tables set up free for the public. It's not only Bobby Fisher types: Novices need not fear. There's a large demonstration board and pick-up games on all skill levels. And nobody will throw a rook at your head if you're just there to observe.

Atmosphere: Family-friendly

Features: 140 chess tables

(AZ editorial note if I see it I'll believe it get your digital camera and send me the pics I have been there yet and until we do we would believe we died and went to heaven) described as 140 chess tables and players of master strength by the sun surf and beach where Bobby Fischer walked

(1) Santa Monica Beach: About a city block or two south of the famous Santa Monica Pier on the beach in Santa Monica, there is an area designed for chess players. Best times to play are on the weekends during daylight hours, although you can often find players on week days as well. It is free to play, and there are usually some strong players (from NMs to Senior Masters and even the occasional IM) who show up to play on the weekends. Some money changes hands here but I wouldn't call it a serious gambling spot and you can easily find no-money games. Best of all, it is on the beach! The scenery is excellent, and if you aren't having a good day at the chess board you can always try your hand at beach volleyball.




Plummer Park: Right off Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, 5 or 6 blocks west of La Brea Avenue, this park is smack in the middle of Los Angeles' answer to Moscow on the Hudson and is a big hangout for former Russians/Soviets. In good weather and during daylight hours, you will find many former citizens of the Soviet Union playing various games (backgammon, chess, and some card games) in the back section of the park (right next to the tennis courts). Be forewarned that: (i) this is a serious gambling place despite the "no gambling" warning signs, and you might have problems getting a friendly game here; and (ii) you don't want to bother the old Russian men playing backgammon for large stakes who are accompanied by 300-pound guys talking constantly on cell phones (or even look at them funny). Strength of opponents varies widely, but there are usually at least a couple of players of expert to master strength there during peak hours (mid to late afternoon 7 days a week), and there are a few guys approaching IM strength (at least at blitz) who sometimes show up and hustle a bit.
Tang's Donut Shop:At the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenuein Hollywood, a couple of miles west of downtown Los Angelesalong Sunset. A donut shop that is a hangout for chess and backgammon players (they also play cards there), this is chiefly a place for gambling (for small to medium stakes unless you are lucky enough to gain entre into the perennial "high roller" game, which has been going on for sporadically for at least 15 years to my knowledge) but it is still possible to get free games here. There are normally a few players there at any time after dark 7 days a week, but the peak hours are between 9 p.m.and dawn the next day. Somewhat of a hangout for local Filipino players, there are usually one or two masters there in the evenings willing and able to take your money. (This used to be a much better place to play and spectate, with the likes of Cris Ramyrat and other extremely strong blitz players showing up on a semi-regular basis, but seems to have gone into a bit of a decline in recent years.
  • L.A.: Gome writes: "Tangs Donuts is at intersection of Sunset and Fountain streets between Hollywood and Downtown LA. They play there everynight until wee hours. (for at least ten years) Neighborhood a little rough for some. Occasional strong players."
  • Macarthur Park: Yes, there is a real park named "Macarthur Park" in Los Angeles, a 32-acre park in the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles(from downtown Los Angeles, take Wilshire Boulevard westfor a couple of miles and you can't miss it, although that's not necessarily a good thing), and yes it has an area for chess players. In the old days this was a popular chess spot frequented at one time or the other by most of the strong players in Southern California. These days, Macarthur Park falls smack in the middle of the 18th StreetGang's territory (the 18th StreetGang being the largest gang in LA) and is, to put in mildly, in a high crime area. It's still possible to play chess there during the day if you are brave of heart (or foolish of mind) and don't mind witnessing the occasional drug deal or knifing, and being propositioned by prostitutes of various persuasions and levels of aggression. But please don't go looking for a chess game there at any time approaching dusk because, despite recent police efforts to "clean up" the park, it is not a place you want to be in after dark. In fact, it is one of the places you least want to be in except in the clear, bright light of day and preferably with a noticeable police presence (think of an area a small fraction of the size of Central Park in New York City but with more total crime). If you are particularly bold you can certainly find a game for money there (you can find almost anything you can imagination in Macarthur Park for enough money), but don't necessarily plan to get paid if you win or even to leave the park with your wallet if you show any green. Chiefly of historical interest these days, or a place to visit with a large group of friends (or perhaps a small group of large friends). I don't know of any strong players who frequent MacarthurPark anymore, although admittedly it's been a couple of years since I went there looking.

Just a few of the places to play in Los Angeles( editors note don't believe him). Of the four, I would say that Tang's Donut Shop (almost any night, but best on Friday and Saturday nights rather late in the evening and through the night)and Santa Monica Beach (mostly on the weekends during the day) are the best places to find a game against strong players in a safe environment, although you might end up paying a modest fee for the privilege. Posted by: Geof Strayer 

  • Java Citycoffee house located in the city of Glendale, which is north east of Los Angeles, is a great place to play casual chess. There is always some people playing chess in there during weeknights, but the strong players (expert level) show up during Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm. Occasionally an IM/GM may show up. Very clean environment for playing chess, no gambling is permitted, even though you might see occasional games for a dollar, but mainly people play for fun. Next time you are in Los Angelespay them a visit. There is also a chess park in Glendale where AAA chess club holds unrated blitz tournaments about every Friday night. The chess park is only a block away from Java City. So if you are in Los Angeles and if you looking for a friendly game of chess, try Java City. LAT
  • R Myers writes"One place you can find some chess games is the library in Glendale. Usually someone will be there in the evenings playing, with some real strong competition."
  • ZonJan writes " Glendale Friday night OTB chess/bughouse. Nice and friendly atomospheres. :) Friday nights starting around 7:00 p.m. Saturday nights starting around 7:00 p.m. also, but Saturday is not regular. The cafe closes at 1:00 a.m., though the bughouse action often continues on the tables outside the cafe. Java City Bug,134 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203,(818) 956-3925"
San Francisco Area:
  • Freemont: Dipak Patel writes "Chess players bring your own board on Every Sunday from 1pm - 5pm at Suju's Coffee & Tea, 3602 Thornton Avenue.
  • Market Street around 5th Street, mostly west of 5th but some east. Big turnout. Guys bring chess boards and tables and rent them per game. Could be nice to bring your own foldup table and set. LeighH adds "Market and Powell Streets".
  • Golden Gate Park CAD-Migo writes "Outdoor chess tables in golden near the arboretum just like the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer".
  • Market Street and Powell. Said to have almost always half a dozen tables with blitz chess going on. Probably the most interesting place in the world to sit and lose a few bucks, (But why gamble if you have that attitude?). The cable-car turn-around is right there, hippie vendors selling nose jewelry and ear cuffs, etc.
  • Mechanics Institute Chess Club 57 Post StreetÂ� 4th Floor (Downtown San Francisco) I have only been to this club on one occasion, but it was well worth the visit. A schedule of club events and activities can be found at GMs Alex Yermolinsky and John Donaldson are active in running the club. Below is an excerpt describing the club from the summer of 2004. During our family's recent vacation to Northern California, we had the distinct pleasure of visiting the MechanicsÂ� Institute Chess Club located in downtown San Franciscoon 57 Post Street. The MechanicsÂ� Institute is one of the oldest chess clubs in the US having been established in the 1850Â�s. The Club itself is physically located on the 4th floor of the vintage MechanicsÂ� Institute Building. The space is dedicated to chess and exudes class and tradition. When entering you see the built-in wooden chess tables accommodating about 50 games and a few computer terminals to the side for online play. Old time photographs of players and matches line the walls reminding of the ClubÂ�s rich history and tradition. posted by Chessdad64



ALISO VIEJO: The Fighting Knights Chess Club meets 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays (call the club for exact dates) in the Aliso Viejo Library at the corner of Pacific Park and Journey Ave. Rated tournaments, instruction available, all ages and levels welcome. Dues: $25/year, includes a T-shirt and discount on tournament entry fees. Contact Rusty Myers at (949) 425-1667 or [email protected] mailto:[email protected].
ARCADIA: The Arcadia Chess Club meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays in the Senior Citizens building, 405 S. Santa Anita Ave. Continuous rated tournaments, casual play. Dues: $10/year, $7.50/year for juniors and seniors. Call Fred Brock at (626) 331-1638 or Mel Clark at (626) 447-9355.

BISHOP: Kava Coffee House, 206 N. Main St., welcomes chessplayers. A regular group assembles after 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays, but chessboards are available at all hours. Call (760) 872-1010.


BURBANK: A group meets Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Joslyn Center, 1301 W. Olive St. (at Griffith Park Drive). Casual play, ages 55 and up only. No dues. Call (818) 238-5353.


CARLSBAD: A group meets 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave. Casual play. Most attendees are over age 55, but younger adults are welcome. No dues. Call (760) 602-4650.

COSTA MESA: The Chess Center, 2651 Irvine Ave., Suite #122, offers chess instruction for children Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. Adult class at 2:00 p.m. Sundays. Tournaments on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings and at 4:00 p.m. Sundays. Closed Saturdays. Casual play, lectures, lending library of chess videos, chess supplies for sale. For prices and exact times, call Al Massip at (949) 646-6696.


ENCINITAS: A group meets 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays in the Senior Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive. Casual play, ages 55 and up only. No dues. Call (760) 943-2250.


ESCONDIDO: A group meets noon to 4 p.m. weekdays in the Senior Center, 210 Park Ave. Casual play, ages 50 and up. No dues. Call (760) 837-4688. test


FRESNO: The Fresno Chess Club meets 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Mondays in Carl's Jr. restaurant, 3820 N. Cedar. Rated tournaments, Action chess, casual play, chess library. Dues: $15/year, $8/year for students, women, and those who live outside Fresno County. Contact [email protected]


GLENDALE: Chessplayers are welcome at Java City Café, 134 N. Brand Ave. Casual play, speed chess, Siamese chess. Bring your own equipment. Call the restaurant at (818) 956-3925.


HEMET: The Hemet Chess Club meets noon to 6:00 p.m. Sundays in Olivera's Coffee Shop, NE corner of State and Stetson. Casual play, tournaments. Dues: $15/year. Call Craig Greisen at (909) 925-8483.


IRVINE: The Orange County Chess League meets 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Wednesdays in the Lakeview Senior Center, 20 Lake Rd. Casual chess, blitz chess, free instruction from expert Takashi Iwamoto. No dues. Contact Mike Carr at (949) 768-3538 or at [email protected]


JOSHUA TREE: The Joshua Tree Chess Club meets 5:30 p.m. to midnight Fridays at Faith Lutheran Church, 6336 Hallee Rd. in Joshua Tree. Casual play, occasional tournaments, some instruction, junior chess program. Dues: $10/year, free to juniors. Contact Mark Muller at (760) 367-2311 or at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> or call Henry Schmit at (760) 367-7173.


LA HABRA: The La Habra Chess Club meets at 6:00 p.m. Fridays in the Community Center, 101 W. La Habra Blvd. Continuous rated tournaments, casual play, instruction for beginners, USCF membership required, all visitors welcome. Dues: $3/year, $1.50/year for juniors under 18. Call Jerry Schain at (562) 691-2393.


LA PALMA: The La Palma Chess Club meets 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Fridays in Central Park, 7821 Walker St. Rated tournaments, Action chess, casual play. Dues: $10/year. Call Brian Scanlon at (714) 523-2550.

LA PALMA: The La Palma Junior Chess Club meets 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fridays in Central Park, 7821 Walker St. For young players and adults. Monthly fee of $50 pays for instruction, tournaments, trophies, pizza, and soda. Contact Joe Hanley at (714) 925-3195 or at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>. Website: <>.


LAGUNA WOODS: The Leisure World Chess Club meets 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursdays in the Community Center building in Leisure World. Guests are welcome. Casual play, ladder competition, occasional simul. Call Alan Brown at (949) 206-1039.


LAWNDALE: The Alondra Park Chess Club meets 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tuesdays in the club house at 3850 W. Manhattan Beach Blvd. Convenient to Hawthorne and Gardena. Rated six-round tournaments, speed chess on seventh Tuesday, no smoking. Dues: $5/year plus $5/tournament. Call Hank Shipin at (323) 938-0707.


LONG BEACH: The chess room in Bixby Park, 130 Cherry Ave., is open for casual play from noon to 8:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, noon to 5:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 4:00 p.m. Sundays. Free. Tournaments possible if someone volunteers as organizer and director. Contact Eric Sakurai at (562) 989-1323 or [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>.

LONG BEACH: Players gather for casual play at Golden Burger, 2301 E. 4th St., after the chess room in Bixby Park closes. Call the restaurant at (562) 434-2625.


LOS ALAMITOS: Chess Palace, 4336 Katella Ave., is open Monday- Thursday 7 PM; Fridays 11AM to 11:PM; Surdays 11AM to 10PM; Sundays 11AM to 7 PM. Rated tournaments, Action chess, youth tournaments, chess lessons, blitz, occasional lectures and simuls, large selection of chess books, computers, and equipment for sale, lending library of chess videos, excellent website. Dues: $3/day or $99/year. Call Austin at (562) 598-5099.


LOS ANGELES: The Exposition Park Chess Club meets 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sundays in the Exposition Park branch of the public library, 3665 S. Vermont Ave. Casual play, lectures, simuls, instruction, free tournament on the first Sunday of every month. No dues. Call the library at (323) 732-0169 or send a message to the club secretary at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>.



LOS ANGELES: The Wilshire Chess Society meets on the fourth Sunday of every month in the Westside Pavilion, Westwood Blvd. at Pico Blvd. Rated Game/45 quads at 10:30 a.m. in Community Room Â�CÂ� on the third floor, west of Barnes & Noble. Monthly club newsletter. Dues: $15/year. Contact Michael Jeffreys at (310) 473-6291 or at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>.



LOS ANGELES: A group of seniors meets Monday and Friday mornings at 8:00 a.m. in the Freda Mohr Community Building, 330 N. Fairfax Ave. Casual play, no smoking. Call Hank Shipin at (323) 938-0707.


LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Chess Club meets 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays on the fourth floor of 11514 Santa Monica Blvd., above Javan restaurant. Instruction for beginners at 10 a.m., advanced class at 11 a.m., tournament at 12:30 p.m, casual play. Dues: $200/year or $10/visit for non-members, first visit free. Call Mick Bighamian at (310) 559-5551.



LOS ANGELES: The California Chess Club at 11610 W. Olympic Blvd. offers a variety of tournaments and instruction for children and adults. For times and prices, contact Oscar Maldonado at (310) 473-2435 or at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>. Website:


LOS ANGELES: Lulu's Alibi, 1640 Sawtelle Blvd., welcomes chessplayers in the evening. Call (310) 479-6007.


LOS ANGELES: Tang�s Donuts, 4341 W. Sunset Blvd., welcomes chessplayers for casual play and speed chess, especially late at night.


MALIBU: A small group meets Tuesdays and hopes to have a larger playing site in March. Call Bill Pennucci at (310) 457-7803.


MORRO BAY: A group meets 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays at the big chess board on Embarcadero at Morro Bay Blvd. Chess pieces may be checked out weekdays from the Parks and Recreation Dept. Call Eugene Arcamonte at (805) 528-4079 or Bruce Risley at (805) 772-4114.


NORTH HOLLYWOOD: The North Hollywood Library Chess Club meets at 1 p.m. Sundays in the public library, 5211 Tujunga Ave. Mainly for students in grades K-12, but all ages welcome. Casual play, bring chess equipment. Dan Wong provides free instruction to kids on the first Sunday of each month. Call him at (818) 990-4748 or the library at (818) 766-7185.


OCEANSIDE: The Oceanside Chess Club meets 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays in the North River Road Neighborhood Center, 5306 N. River Rd. Casual play, occasional rated tournaments. No dues required. Call James Fritz at (760) 967-0717.


ORANGE: The Orange Senior Club meets from noon to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays in the Orange Senior Citizens Community Center, 170 S. Olive St. in Orange. Casual play, all ages welcome. Call (714) 538-9633.


PASADENA: The Pasadena Chess Club meets 7:30 p.m. to midnight Fridays in the Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St. Rated tournaments, Action chess, quick chess, occasional exhibitions. Dues: $15/year. Call Neil Hultgren at (818) 243-3809 or Tim Thompson at (818) 354-8698.



PASO ROBLES: The Paso Robles Chess Club meets 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays in the Senior Center, 270 Scott St. Casual play. No dues. Call Dennis Steele at (805) 227-4444.


POWAY: The North County Chess Club meets 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Fridays in the Poway Senior Center, 13094 Bowron Rd. Continuous rated tournaments, casual play. Dues: $15/year, $10/year for juniors. Call Alina Markowski at (858) 792-2016 or Mike Nagaran at (858) 485-0241.


RIDGECREST: The Ridgecrest Chess Club meets 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturdays in the Kern County Library (west entrance), 131 E. Las Flores Ave. Casual play, occasional scholastic and club tournaments. No dues. Contact Dwight Morgan at (760) 377-0034 or [email protected]


SAN DIEGO: The San Diego Chess Club meets daily in the Balboa Club, 2225 6th Ave. (at Ivy) in Balboa Park. Club opens for casual play at 2:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00 a.m. Saturdays, and noon Sundays. Rated tournaments at 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. Saturdays, Action chess, speed chess, instruction by master Bruce Baker at 7:00 p.m. Thursdays, Jedi Knights children�s club from 6:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays. Dues: $36/year. Call the club at (619) 239-7166 or David Saponara at (619) 420-7436.



SAN DIMAS: Coffee Bazaar, 661 W. Arrow Highway, welcomes chessplayers, especially from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays. Call (909) 394-1964.


SAN LUIS OBISPO: The San Luis Obispo Chess Club meets 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Thursdays in the Church of the Nazarene, 3396 Johnson Ave. Casual play, lectures, occasional tournaments. Dues: $10/year. Contact Barbara McCaleb at (805) 544-0717 or at [email protected].

SAN LUIS OBISPO: The Hawthorne Royal Knights Chess Club meets 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fridays in Hawthorne Elementary School, 2125 Story St. Casual play, instruction, occasional tournaments. Open to any student in grades K-6. Dues: $20, some chess knowledge required. Contact Dennis Steele at (805) 227-4444 or at [email protected]



SANTA CLARITA: The California Youth Chess League offices at 25864 Tournament Rd., Suite G, are open for casual play and blitz Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. All ages welcome. Kids usually leave by 8:00 p.m. No dues. Contact Jay Stallings at (661) 288-1705 or at [email protected].

SANTA MONICA: The Santa Monica Bay Chess Club meets 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Mondays in Joslyn Park, 633 Kensington Road. Variety of rated tournaments, casual play, simuls, excellent playing conditions, over 50 years in business. Dues: $40/year, free to women and juniors. Call Pete Savino at (310) 827-2789.

SANTA MONICA: Chess tables are available from sunup to sundown daily at the Santa Monica International Chess Park, on the promenade just south of the Santa Monica pier. Casual chess, blitz, chess bulletin board, large demonstration board, occasional summer tournaments. No dues.

THOUSAND OAKS: The Conejo Chess Club has temporarily lost its site. Call David Howard at (805) 484-2354.
VAN NUYS: The Van Nuys Senior Citizen Chess Club meets 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays in the Bernardi Multipurpose Senior Center, 6514 Sylmar. Casual play. Dues: small donation (50 cents) per visit. Call the center at (818) 781-1101.
VENTURA: The Ventura County Chess Club meets on the second Monday of the month and on the later Tuesdays of the month in the Church of the Foothills, 6279 Foothill Rd. Rated tournaments, casual play. Dues: $35.00/year, $17.50/year for juniors and military, $2.00/night for non-members. Call Dan Nystrom at (805) 486-3842 or Chuck Smith at (805) 654-8472. Website:
VISTA: The Palomar Chess Club meets at 7 p.m. Mondays in the Vista Bridge Center, 1350 E. Vista Way. Continuous rated tournaments. Call John Goddard at (760) 591-0200. Website:


WEST COVINA: The West Covina Chess Club meets 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Senior Center, 2501 E. Cortez St. All ages welcome. Casual play, tournaments on Tuesdays. Bring chess equipment. No speed chess! Call Richard Williams at (626) 339-5188.

WEST HILLS: The West Valley Chess Club meets 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursdays in the West Valley Jewish Community Center, 22622 Vanowen St. Open to all, continuous rated tournaments, blitz, casual play. One of the largest local clubs. Call John Price at (818) 363-1379 or Duane Cooper at (818) 999-0837. 
  • Bolder: Rev. Gregory Arthur writes " I've never failed to find someone to play on the Pearl street mall"
  • Denver
  • 16th Street Mall, Denver CO, Near Arapahoe and 16th Street. Games outside in warm weather with clock for free against high average players, generally from about 11:00 amto 1:00 pmMonday - Friday. Very informal
  • ablivian writes "St. Marks Cafe 1416 Market St 80202-1707 Phone # 303-446-2925"
  • Golden: Oblivion writes "The Golden area chess club meets every Monday from 7-9pm at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers off of I-70 and West Colfax"
Boyton Beach: Richard Becker writes "On Monday nights, at Borders Books in Boynton Beach, on Congress Ave (don't have the exact address). Approximately 7 pm - close. On Tuesday nights, at Barnes & Noble in Boynton Beach, on Congress Ave. Approximately 7 pm - close."

 Delray Beach: Richard "The Fromper" Becker writes "While I was there tonight, someone told me that the Wed night hangout is Books-a-Million on the corner of Federal Highway and Linton Blvd in Delray Beach, FL. Again, people start showing up around 7-8 pm and stay until close."

 Melbourne: ScoobyDont writes "booksamillion on new haven rd. 7 pm- ?"

 Palm Beach: Richard "The Fromper" Becker writes "There are a couple of bookstores here where people get together to hang out and play Chess. Please add them to your Chess Hangouts list. On Monday nights, at Borders Books in Boynton Beach, on Congress Ave (don't have the exact address). Approximately 7 pm - close. On Tuesday nights, at Barnes & Noble in Boynton Beach, on Congress Ave. Approximately 7 pm - close.There are 2 other nights where they meet at 2 other bookstores, but I forget which is on Wed and which is on Thur, as I haven't been to those. I live in Boynton Beach, so the two above are right down the street from me, and those are where I normally play (other than on the internet). "

Orlando: Sanford: Dave Larsen writes "Books-A-Million, most Tuesday nights, 7:30 or 8:00 - ?"

 Sarasota: Richard Haas writes "1 - Selby Public Library downtown, 2nd floor Sunday 12 noon til closing. 2 - Senior Friendship Center US 41 x US 301 Friday's noon til closing."
St Petersburg: BlunderMaster writes "Did you include Zen Dog? I'll try to get the details for you."
Tallahassee: magneto writes "on Mondays at 7pm EST to all times of the night we got to the Village INN, a restaraunt, on The Appalachee Parkway. There's a room in the back"
Tallahassee: magneto writes "also every Wendesday and Saturday at Lake Ella in Tallahassee"


 Atlanta: petemwrites "Atlanta GA has Woodruff Park"

 Atlanta: vek writes "At Border's Bookstore on Wednesday nights, I've heard. The Border's I saw it for is the one near Perimeter Mall." vek adds "I saw you still have a posting about chess at Border's in Atlanta. But it's defunct from whatI last heard."

 Atlanta: vek writes "Also in Decatur near to the Dekalb Farmer's Market (east on Ponce de Leon Boulevard from Midtown) there is the Atlanta Chess Center"

 Duluth: Certz writes "Another place to play chess in is at Borders bookstore located next to Gwinnett place mall. Hope that helps"

 Savannah: AlexDC writes "We play chess in Savannah, Georgia at the Upper Crust by the Landings on Wednesday evenings, and also on Monday evenings at the Shoneys on Victory Drive (outdated. see next contribution). They also have boards for your playing pleasure at Gallery Expresso, a coffee shop downtown."

 Savannah: Brian Nicholson writes "The Shoney's restaurant on Victory Drive in Savannah closed two years ago. The Savannah Chess Club now meets at Books a Million on Abercorn Street every Monday evening from 7:00 -11:00pm."

 Scottsdale: KnightWalker writes "The Atlanta Chess Center on East Ponce de Leon is a good chess center"



 Waikiki: HeavensMate writes "The Kuhio Beach chess tables, in Waikiki, Hawaii are a must-see for any vacationing chessplayers. Chess and babes, what more can you ask for? ;-)"

 Waikiki: dnp writes "Just an update. Chess site at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki, Oahu; HI is currently under reconstruction after being demolished by the State. It is presently unknown if this area will be redone to accommodate chess players. I will advise you of the outcome once the area is rebuilt, if you would like.



LincolnLeisure center

Tuesday night at 7pm. If your on vacation, get terribly lost, and end up in Bloomington, your girlfriend definitely wont let you go to this former school building. Lets put it this way: I have lived in Bloomington for 6 years and my wife never set foot in the place. : ) No she is not a B its just she'd rather not. With clocks but not many rated over 1500. About 25 show up Mix about half kids half over 20.

 Bloomington: Dennis Bourgerie writes "Lincoln Leisure Center, 1206 S. Lee Street, Room 203. Tuesday nights 7-10 p.m. Barnes and Noble bookstore, Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

 Chicago: BIGGY writes "At the "Java Oasis" , meets most days at this coffee shop located at 2240 S. Michigan"

 Chicago: Siamese-Dream writes "Grant Park has a few chesstables where people play

 Chicago: SQUAREHOPPER writes "Oak Street /North Avenue Beach In Chicago. (at the chess pavilion) This one is the most famous and most attended... especially during the summer months :<) and I think half of the "players" don't know how a pawn moves."

 Chicago: mccld2 writes "There is a designated area for serious chessplayers at an area called Hyde Park. This chess site is located at 52nd & Harper. There are concrete chess tables there. The competition there is very good. In the summer time, chess is played around the clock. "

 Crystal Lake: Adam Cheknis writes "Borders Tuesday nights 7-10:30"

 Crystal Lake: Adam Cheknis writes "Crystal Lake Park District (building at the corner of Walkup & CL Ave) every second Saturday of the month from 7-10PM"

 Peoria: Ron Suarez writes "Tthe Greater Peoria Chess Federation meets on Monday nights from 7:00 - ? at the Lakeview Museum."

 Pekin: Ron Suarez writes "The Pekin Chess Club meets on Tuesday nights from 7:00 - 9:00 at the Miller Senior Center."

 Rockford: CRBeach writes "Take a look at I did. It says Border's on Monday nights - State and Perryville"


 Fort Wayne: Daniel L. Hyde writes "The Riverside Avenue Chess Club would like to be listed among the chess hangouts of the world. We are considering official club status, have been for a while now, but as we stand now, the RACC is just a place where chess happens, every friday night promptly at 7:30 pm. we play al fresco when the weather permits. We have a dozen or so core members and about twice that many irregulars. Our address is 604 (upper) Riverside Ave. Fort Wayne, IN 46805"


 Davenport: Matt Nemmers writes "We meet at 6:30pm on Monday nights at Borders Book Store on 53rd Street in Davenport for skittles."

 Iowa City: Tom Rocklin writes "Occasional games at the Java House on Washington downtown.When the weather is nice, the giant chess set is sometimes out on the downtown pedestrian mall."


 Lawrence: Matt writes: "Monday night at borders cafe, lawrence chess club meets there."


  • Baton Rouge: John Jarrett writes "action nightly at Barnes and Noble Bookseller from 7-11pm"



Joe Muggs Cafe Books-A-Million - Monroe 1201 Lamy Lane Monroe, LA 71201 Saturaday mornings to early afternoon and Wednesday or Thursday evenings
Phone: 318-323-3322
Saturday 9AM to about 1PM

New Orleans

"Advertising in the USCF Chess Life FM Jude Acers used to take on all comers

on a daily basis at the Gazebo Restaurant of the Old French Quarter (editors note though this iscurrently out of date as after a telephone call from his offices I was told he was up North after Hurricane Katrina but his sporit undoubtedly will return to New Orleans.

  • New Orleans: Robert Bukovac writes for a fee at the Gazebo, not sure if he still does it."
  • New Orleans: Russell Miller writes "Jude Acers does still play chess in New Orleans. The name of the restaurant
    may have changed."
  • New Orleans: Peter Anthony Cowan writes: street chess on the sidewalk of Canal St. between Baronne and S. Rampart


Julian Lewis writes "Wedneday nights at the Barnes and Noble (in the coffee shop), located in the Bayou Walk Shopping Center at the corner of Youree St. and E. 70th St., from about 6 pm to 11 pm."





Harvard Square, Cambridge; in front of the Au Bon Pain restaurant. Serious blitz for money or many off hand games outside and inside the restaurant.
In the warmer months, you can take on "The Chessmaster" (inactive USCF Master Murray Turnbull) for $2 a game. He also offers lessons right then and there.



Baltimore City: Deba writes: There's a place in Baltimore City. It's called Wylde Cafe, Eastern Ave - off of Broadway.somthing like that.


Hartford County


Chess Club- Ages 18+; Thursday; 7:00pm; Year-round; Harford County Community Services Building; All skill levels are welcome.



Howard & FranklinStreets, Aberdeen


Recreation Council: Aberdeen Board of Parks & Recreation Aberdeen, 21001

Information - Aberdeen Recreation Office


Telephone: 410-939-6767 - FAX 410-939-6769

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

Year round

Handicapped Accessible



  • Roseville: Johnchess writes "The Barnes & Nobles is a popular chess hangout. Every Wednesday, about 30-40 people come to play."
  • St Paul: DRAGONX writes "Cool place is- Castle Chess Club; Located on snelling avenue above the Checkerboard Pizza Place."
  • Minneapolis: Kuan writes: "Professor, Every Monday evening around 6 at the Borders by the Ridgedale Mall. This is in Minnetonka, a West suburb of Minneapolis."


  • Farmington: Dale Medley (medfly) writes "I have the following contribution:at the Black Crow Cafe, on Courthouse Square in Farmington, Missouri, chess is played from 6 to 9 on Tuesdays (and just about any other time the place is open)."


  • Ridgeland just north of Jackson: Jonathan Russell writes "There is a chess hangout at Northpark Mall at the food court on Tuesday nights at 6:15 p.m"


  • Omaha: JacobWagner writes "The historian chess cafe on 13 th street and Howard to julias on Fridays and Saturday nights. :)"


Las Vegas: Robert Bukovac write"Border's bookstore, corner of Sahara and Decatur, Monday and Thursday night, 6pm-11pm."

  • Las Vegas: thewiz (aka Tom Klem) writes "Mondays and Thursdays: 6:00pm to 11:30pm Borders books, corner of Sahara and Decatur"
  • Las Vegas: indigo-59 writes "just wanted to say thanks for the list of chesshangouts...i was on busines in las vegas this week, and stopped at the borders at sahara and decatur, per your list, a highlight of my trip!
  • Las Vegas: WillsGambit writes "the only problem with Borders in Nevada, Las Vegas... is that if you aren't part of the cliche you don't play."
  • Las Vegas: thewiz (aka Tom Klem) writes "Tuesdays: 6:00 pm til closing. Mr GoodCents, in the shopping center on Maryland Parkway behind Carl's Jr across from UNLV"
  • Las Vegas: thewiz (aka Tom Klem) writes "Wednesdays: Clark County Community College Annex, Charleston Blvd (not sure of the times)"
  • Las Vegas: thewiz (aka Tom Klem) writes "Saturdays: Helen C Meyer Community Center, Reg 11:30am. Play begins at noon, rated quick chess"
  • Las Vegas: thewiz (aka Tom Klem) writes "Sundays: Carl's Jr, at Rainbow & Tropicana, Play begins at noon. Rated 3 rounds, Game in 40.
  • Las Vegas: thewiz (aka Tom Klem) writes "Sundays: Barnes and Noble, on Stephanie St in Henderson, south of the intersection of Stephanie and Sunset off to the right, play begins at 1:00pm"
  • Las Vegas: thewiz (aka Tom Klem) writes "Mon, Wed & Fri at the Summerlin Community Ctr 1:00pm - ?? by Frank Pye"




Bound Brook: cateyes writes "le-fou owns an upbeat place that is a combination art gallery, restaurant and bookstore.... there are chess boards available and at times the competition can be very tough. It's called the Palmyra Teahouse on Hamilton Street in Bound Brook, New Jersey"

Hoboken New Jersey
Welcome to the home town know forFrank Sinatra and Cuban Exiles (Cubans as latinos traditionally center theor social life of the plaza or social squares which are place where chess can be played and Cubans can be heavy chess players remember Capablanca

Chess park opens in Hoboken 11th street and Madison (outside Shoprite Parking lot.

We will be starting our Summer ;

Chess in the Parks program.


The City of Hoboken

Summer Funprogram

will be sponsoring one night a week.
A free Chess program for adults at the Park.


Sign up at The Hoboken Recreation Dept.

And or the HobokenChess Club.

Donations will be accepted.

Updates of schedules will be posted!

We will be setting up chess bases at the following locations.

Email if you are interested of location near you.

Your support is welcomed.


Church Sq Park (4th St). Wednesday and Friday

7-9 PM.

Pier "A". Thursday if needed. 7-9 PM.

Hoboken Chess Club 334 Park Ave, Hoboken, N.J. 201 232-6741 there was a hefty fee of $1.50 advertised so beware [email protected]

New York State

  • New York: knightrunner writes " well, here's a few : Washington Square Park , in Manhattan near Bleecker St and Thompson ST. also near there is the Thompson ST Chess Shop. Also in Queens during the summer the park benches at Forest Park on Woodhaven Blvd, near Myrtle Ave"
  • New York: SaintAlphonzo writes "Bryant Park" Macauley adds: "Bryant Park is just south of 42nd Street between 5th and 6th avenues. The chess playing area is at about 41st and 6th.
  • New York: Macauley (a.k.a. "Axl", "Digital") writes "The Chess & Checker House has been a long standing place where players can gather in Central Park for casual games. It is located in the Southern part of the park just north of Wollman Rink."
  • New York: Macauley writes "City Hall Park (that's not the real name but everyone I know calls it that) has a half dozen tables that are quite popular. It is just south of Chambers Street and just east of Broadway. This is bogus since Guiliani cordoned off the chess tables in the interest of national stupidity.
  • New York: Owen28 writes "The Thompson Chess Shop, On Thompson Street"
  • New York: Owen28 writes "In addition to the Thompson Chess Shop, there is a small place called the Chess Forum with books, tourneys and instruction. at Chess forum 219 Thompson street"
  • New York: Brooklyn: Madquick writes "NY Park - Ave. L & East 16th, afternoons, informal."
  • Long Island: Joseph Amaral writes "Chess meeting at Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn, by tables beyond playground. Sunday afternoons 1:- 4ish. Meets during the summer months."
  • New York: Brooklyn: TomBrooklyn writes "There is chess being played in Coney Island at the park on Surf Avenue and Ocean Parkway, by the bandshell. Several of those concrete tables with the board built in."
  • New York: Brian Helinski writes "Chess for Idiots lists the World Trade Center, New York City. NY. I cannot confirm this as I have not been there myself, at least not lately. " (editorsdesk confirms it but alas before the 9/11 debacle in which the twin towers came tumbling down.
  • New York: Brooklyn: Gene writes "I can confirm the New York hangout of the small park near the World Trade Center in Manhattan. I pass it daily and there's always chess being played there except in bad weather. It's a place to beware of chess hustlers, who are very fast but not very interesting. They play only for money, of course."
  • New York: flea shouts "In the New York City area. Visit our chess & backgammon club!(Aeon Club) Open 24 hours-7 days!136 West 72nd st (off Broadway)Ph.(212)874-8299.Your are welcome to 'our' new club!"
  • New York: Arthur Berger writes "In Queens (Forest Hills) there's lots of outdoor speed chess at McDonald Park, right near the Forest Hills subway station."
  • New York: Jonathan Corbblah writes "There is a park in Harlem on 141st St and St Nicholas avenue with a few tables, mostly blitz. In Brooklyn , NY there is a park nicknamed Mount Olympus on Eastern Parkway across the street from the Museum where you can find dozens of games 24/7 being played. "
  • New York: Staten Island: CarminesCarnage writes "Every Monday night 7:30 PM. Holy Child Church. Arden Ave and Amboy Rd. Staten Island Chess Club.
  • New York: Kenny from Harlem writes "140th st and St. Nicholas Ave -- Chess players are here daily throughout the warm weather months."
  • New York: Kenny from Harlem writes "135th st and 5th Ave --Chess boards set up by a person selling flowers on this corner. Popular during the warm weather months."
  • New York: Kenny from Harlem writes "121st and Madison Ave --Chess players are here throughout the warm weather months."
  • New York: Kenny from Harlem writes "146st & Bradhurst Ave --Chess players meet here Mondays through Saturdays during the Winter months"
  • New York: Seabeaking writes "Well in a way the Bankers' chess League lets you play with a one time fee anyone can submit a team in new york."
New York City
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The Williamsburg Chess Club of this gentrified ghetto slum has allegedly become a very trendy area (I freguented the Williamsburg YHMA in the early 60s before it became overwhelmingly Spanish, Polish, or trendy) meets every monday at 8pm at The LUCKY CAT Cafe, 245 grand street in Williamsburg undoubtedly there will be much in contention there.


MacDonaldPark(7 minute drive from midtown Manhattan)

Queens Boulevard, between Yellowstone Boulevard & Continental Avenue - Across the street from Post Office.

Best gathering of players in New York. No gambling whatsoever. Daily playing from about 1PMto midnight. This is an open area in the middle of Queens Boulevard. Lost of shopping and entertainement in nearby Austin Street. Play from late Spring to early Fall. Players of all strenghts, but masters show up on Saturday afternoons, occasionally Friday night or Sundays.

Flowering Pear(Pyrus calleryana)
McDonald Park; Northern Boulevard in Flushing; Borough Hall; Newcomb Square; 81st Street and Ditmars Boulevard; 23rd Avenue (between 91st and 100th Streets); 164th Street near Kissena Park; Main Street (between the Long Island Expressway and Union Turnpike); Utopia Parkway (between Peck Avenue and the Long Island Expressway); Francis Lewis Boulevard (b/w the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway); Shea Stadium.
On cold winter days, action moves to

ASTORIA. Queens New York

Astoria Billiards

Steinway Street, two blocks off Northern Boulvard, across the street from PC Richards. Cheap, good food (try the Greek salad). Playing is free, a Balkan Latin American International chess free for all which is home to also Russians as it is also a Taxi driver hangout. Thoughit's suggested you order a refillable coffee or some food or drinks if you hang with friends who order that isn't necessary just tip the waitresses (Polish at last count) as they get paid based of tips. Best playing time is Friday, Saturday & Sunday, after 4 PM

ForrestPark, Queens

This park has a well founded traditional core constituency of regular chess players that can be found there in good weather occupying approximately 12 chess tables in action that adjourns to a nearby McDonalds in winter time or days of bad weather. Often they bring official boards. Sets and clocks and play.

Sunnyside This is a small local community park administered by the New York City Department of Parks located in Sunnyside Queenslocated at 43rd. Street and Greenpoint Avenue that has a number of standard New permanent chess tables. Generally it is a friendly family oriented area, and there are approximately eight tables. Though often many of its chess tables are misused and occupied by card players and regular park users, often two or three are used for chess in the good weather seasons. The games are usually unclocked. Freguented by Greeks, Armenians, Romanians, Russians, and South Americans from it is a friendly community game though be prepared for kibitzing butinskis and others. There are many affordable fast food restaurants and restrooms convenient to the area as there is a Pubic Library across the street.


Battery Park, Manhattan

Central Park


Annual Chess-in-the-Parks Rapid Open. Even though it looked like it would rain all day, more than 450 participants showed up for this wonderful event and the weather cooperated with us all the way until late afternoon. There were thousands of other spectators surrounding the chess tournament all day. The event was held right by the Bethesda Fountain, one of the most beautiful and most visible spots in Central Park.



Thompkins Square Park world famous as part of the Lower East Side some active chess playing at the table of the south west corner of the part though not necessarily for the unsavey out of towner as I saw the restaurant across the street get cleared out when some one tried robbing it and the dozens of police that soon followed.

WashingtonSquare Park

Commonly said as WashingtonSquare Park, serious play, including blitz for money with expert-level players, all day until dark. Most are hustlers who only play for money. Rather mangy crowd with occasional drug trafficking, not recommended for unattended kids. Players often move to the nearby Chess Shop or Chess Forum shops to play in winter or after dark. Both are on the same block, two blocks south of the park on Thompson Street. They charge a few bucks for use of set and clock.

But that is only to the uninitiated stranger as there are distinctions between the Southwestern corner of the park on fourth Street and the Northeastern corner near Waverly place as the South Eastern corner is everything said about it (IF NOT MORE as it has come under the watch of Anti-drug task forces on occasion they installed video surveillance on the rooftops). Whereas the Northeast corner is much less hustler drug oriented and more friendly as it is frequented by retirees and neighborhood types. Even so both areas are generally fine if approached cautiously as where any where elsecan become a front cover for the sale of drugs of other illicit activities.


Staten Island

Madquick writes "Crossgates Mall (in front of "The Gamekeeper"), 7pm-11pm MON Albany High School (cafeteria), 7pm-10pm WED"
Annual Labor Day Chess Tournament

31st Annual John Jay Homestead Labor Day Chess Tournament

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
Monday, September 05, 2005
Region: Taconic
Phone: (914)232-5651

Co-sponsored by the Max Pavey Chess Club. 9 AM - 4 PMin the Main Barn. Free admission.


  • Asheville:, Chris Holroyd ("isolani" on ICCwrites) "(tourist city in the western mountains) "The Mystic Eye", a coffee shop on Lexington Ave. in the downtown district, harbors chessplayers. Most anytime you can pick up a game there. "




Says the Southern cavalier spirit

Come downtown and play chess on Lateral Thinking, a sculptural chess table located on the broad sidewalk on
Marshall St. in front of Winston Square Park! Bring your own pieces or borrow a set from the Auction House Restaurant next door or the Sin Coffee Bar on 4th street.


The table will be inaugurated with a celebrity chess event Friday, October 15th
5:00 -7:00during Rock the Block. Individuals and teams from around the area will play for fun and bragging rights. Bring a team from your club, and help spread the word about chess to adults who are rusty or never had the opportunity to learn. Drop on by!

North CarolinaChess Association
Winston SalemChess Club
Boarders Thruway Shopping Center
Thursday 7:00 p.m.

Austin Chess Club
Austin Cafe
9:00 a.m.

Yadkin Chess Club
Ace's Restaurant in uptown Yadkinville
6:00 p.m.

Kernersville Knights 
Panera Bread on
970 S. Main St.Kernersville, NC 27284
Tuesday 6:30 p.m




CHESS TOURNAMENT -- The Second Annual Eden Park Chess Tournament boasts

$1,000 in cash and prizes. 11 a.m.-dusk. Saturday-Sunday. $10. Eden Park, Mount Adams. Duane Larkin 513-931-1550 or 513-641-2510

Victory Parkway and Macmillan Street, Gilbert and Eden Streets

Wednesday chess meetings

  • Niles:
  • Scott writes "Niles is in eastern ohio DJ's Lounge, 619 federal st. we give new meaning to blitz chess."


Lebanon: Marc Miller writes: "Hi Bill ; An informal chess club meets at the Allen Theater Coffee House in Annville Pennsylvania every Tuesday night at about 7:00 . Everybody who shows up gets to play , and its totally free of charge . The food there is
pretty good also."

Philadelphia: sweeps writes "Rittenhouse Square on Walnut St."


Market Square

When I recently visited the area in August 2005 for the Western Pennsylvania Chess Open I was told of Market Square and advised as to the hustlers and drugs both of which as I was from New York City I was Surprised. Though when I first visited on a Thursday when a free rock/Pop concert was provided by the City and there were perhaps 4 chess games going on (all without clocks) when I returned the following Monday there were none and perhaps those games were disappointingly merely ruses to front for drug selling.


Pittsburgh Jonathan Fry writes "There is a coffeeshop on East Carson and 14th St. in the South Side called "The Beehive" where casual chess games are playedregularly in the evenings."

Wynnewood: Dan Heisman writes "The Main Line Juniors Club, which currently meets the 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 2-4 PM at the PennWynne Library in Wynnewood, PA "

South Carolina:

  • Chapel Hill: Justin Lessler writes "Wednesday nights at the Skylight Exchange on Rosemary Street. Sometimes is a lecture at 7pm on a historic game and people usually start playing around 8pm. This is also open mic be prepared for an intersting mix of folks."


  • Memphis: Greg Krog, Jr writes "Also at Bartlett Book Center & Cafe at Bartlett Blvd and Stage Rd in Bartlett, TN (a Memphis suburb)"
  • Memphis: Greg Krog, Jr writes "Members of our club also hang out at the Southland Mall Barber Shop, on Shelby Drive in the Whitehaven area of Memphis."
  • Nashville: jwheeler writes: " Nashville,The Bongo Java on Belmont Blvd. Bongo Java is a coffee bar/cafe....even though there is a Chess center right down the same road...Bongos is the place to pick up a game anytime and thats where most of the stronger players hang out or frequent"


Giant Chess Youth Tournament Sunday, October 24, 2004 at Wooldridge Square Park, youth in grades K-12 participated in a chess tournament using knee-high chess pieces on a giant chess board. Sponsored by Rocks & Rooks, Parks & Recreation Department, Ace Chess Club, and Downtown Austin Alliance.



Austin Parks Foundation
701 BrazosStreet, Suite 170 Austin, TX 78701
tel 512.477.1566 fax 512.477.1586


The Greater Austin Experience


Wireless Internet in Downtown Parks

Austin's historic downtown parks are embracing the future, with the installation of free Wireless Internet. This project is a collaborative effort of the Downtown Park Partners, the Austin Wireless City Project, the City of Austin, and Schlotzsky. The Downtown Park Partners is an ongoing partnership between the Downtown Austin Alliance, Austin Parks Foundation, and City of Austin Department of Parks and Recreation whose mission is to revitalize and redevelop Austin's downtown historic parks. The purpose of this groups efforts is to provide free wireless Internet access and to activate public spaces.

Provide partners and resources that supplement the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department's ability to create and maintain a large, beautiful, and active park system.

Movies in the Park

April and May saw crowds of enthusiastic movie goers lounging on the lawns of Republic Square Park for screenings of Chicken Run, Fletch, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and Raising Arizona. On June 2nd, our screening of Napoleon Dynamite drew over 1,000 people to the Square, setting a new attendence record. Partnerships with Milago Condominiums, Fairfield Properties, Downtown Austin Alliance, and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema made these community events possible. Movies in the Park is part of Austin Parks Foundation's efforts to revitalize downtown parks.


  • Austin: Brenda Hardesty writes "Monday nights, 6:45 PM to about 9:30 PM. Dobie Mall Food Court, next to the University of Texas campus. 50 cents to play, with small prizes for the winners"
  • Grapevine: JungleStar writes "Chess is being play each monday night at Barnes and Nobles at 7:00 pm."
  • Austin: Brenda Hardesty writes" Thursday nights, 6:30 PM to 10 PM, TexPresso Coffee Shop, corner of William Cannon and Brodie Streets, in southwest Austin"
  • Austin: WishMeLuck writes " The ace chess club meets at the intelecom building on 1300 w. koenig. the kids event is from 4-6, entry fee one dollar. the adults is from 7-10, entry fee about five dollars, depending on whether it is rated or not."
  • Dallas: JDoss writes "The Richardson Barnes and Nobles"
  • Galveston: TrishFG writes "The cafe and coffehouse Rock n Java...only place to play chess"

    Galveston: ChessStud2000 writes "It is a place in Galveston called "The Strand". There is a huge chess set kind of like the one you had your picture taken in in Austria that people gather at and either have a few games or just talk and walk around."

  • San Antonio: TeamTalon writes "The San Antonio, Texas, International Airport is a great place to hangout and play chess. Parking is by the hour, but I've played for about 10 hours for 5 bucks. Ask any cabbie for directions to the cab stand near the American Airlines terminal. It's an outdoor, covered area with 3 to 4 games going at any given time. They'll play for fun or for money. Non-cabbies are treated very well, so don't worry about "invading their territory". "
  • Wichita Falls: Bahasa writes "Chess is played informally at Cigars, Tobacco, Etc. located at 4208 Kemp Blvd. Hours are Tues. through Thurs. 8am-7pm, Fri. & Sat. 8am-8pm. (940) 691-2347"
  • MissB writes "I know of a pub in VA but I can't find the address right now. When I find it I'll give it to you.". (We anxiously await.)
  • Norfolk .Downtown: Adrice writes "Waterside Mall, 1st floor, open food court area; every Sunday afternoon between the hours of 1:00 pm. until about 8:00 pm., or closing. Waterside is situate along the Elizabeth River overlooking the Portsmouth Harbor and Naval Shipyard. Chess at Waterside is informal, visitors are welcome, spectators are currious, anyone can play; it's not a chess club, just a great public meeting place in a maritime setting (much like Baltimore's Inner Harbor) where enthusiasts can enjoy chess among a variety of personalities, playing styles, and abilities."
West Virginia:
  • Moorefield: Al Knowledge writes "School of Chess Knowledge. Located at the bridge in Moorefield at the "Big" white house, they meet on Weds 7:00- 11:00 an on weekends after 1:00 pm. Look around for a Guy Named " Valentine". Bring boards, clocks, friends."
  • Racine: Chaturanga1 writes "In Racine, WI on the west side of Racine there is a center called the John Bryant Center. Right by the center is a quiet park. This is a great place for chess and in my opinion it is the best place for casual chess in Racine."
  • Madison: John Kane writes "Hi! There is a place to play chess in Madison, the Capitol of Wisconsin, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. It is the Memorial Union, the student union building located at 800 Langdon Street along the shores of beautiful Lake Mendota. The best times are Friday and Saturday afternoons. During the summer, you will catch us playing blitz outside on the Memorial Union terrace, overlooking Lake Mendota. All are welcome!"
  • Bellevue: Good-BadandUgly writes "Mall chess. Large pieces interior of mall food court at crossroads mall 156th ave. and n.e. 8th. Can bring own chess board Games usually going also sign up list to play at big board with large floor pieces."
  • Bellevue: Chris Ashton writes "Best place to play chess in Seattle: Crossroads Mall in Bellevue. Every day till close."
    Bellingham: moton writes "Hey man, i have another chess hang out for you to add to the washington state list if you feel like it. Tonys Coffee House (actually located in Fairhaven which is the southern portion of B'ham.) between about 2:00 and 5:00, there is usually chess there."
  • Seattle: Scott Mason writes: "Crossroads Mall has a big chess set in the mall. People play there daily from 6am until the mall closes (9pm Mon-Thurs,11pm Fri/Sat, 6pm Sun). Players also bring in sets and play at tables next to the big set. Player strength ranges from beginner to Master. (Usually a couple of masters show up on Friday night and one usually on Sat)."
  • Seattle: Scott Mason writes "Third Place Books in Lake Forest (N. Seattle) has a large chess set that people play on during open hours. (it is in a food court). However, Crossroads (already listed) is better. :)"
  • Seattle: Chris Ashton writes "Best place to play bug in Seattle: 6pm Fridays, University of Washington, 4th floor of the Sieg building."
  • Tacoma: Good-BadandUgly writes "A cybercafe in Tacoma The location is in 325 E. 25th ST. 98421. The big set is 5' x 5' 16" high king, imported. Play me there and win a free latte' if you win. for some it is when you win. Thanks again" (picture)

Washington, DC

Dupont Circle

Intersection of New Hampshire Ave, Connecticut Ave, 19th Street and Massachusetts Ave in Washington DC NorthWest (NW) area; Variety of chess strengths depending on the day and time of the week. Some hustlers. Best day to meet strong players is usually Sunday afternoon/evening.

Washington D.C:

  • OnTheEdge writes "Dupont Circle is the main place for pickup games. Mostly after work on weekdays and most of the day on weekends. "
  • OnTheEdge writes "Lafayette Square by the White House also has chess tables, but games are mostly lunch hour it seems."
  • OnTheEdge writes "The US Chess Center is located at 15th & M Streets NW. Open in the evenings, but don't expect to find pickup games. Go to see the US Chess Hall of Fame and Museum. Call for hours at (202) 857-4922 before going."
US Territories
Puerto Rico: also listed below as a separate country as part of "The Rest of the World"
  • San Juan: KHammett writes "McDonalds, or any fast food restaurant, that's how it goes here in Puerto Rico. We play at the McDonalds located at Roosevelt Road"
  • San Juan: Robert Arnold writes "Puerto Rican players hang out daily on two tablesat BordersBooks inPlaza Las Americas mall. There the top players including frequently masters and the PR Champion play both casual and speed chess. Large crowds including some sexy latinas watch when the play turns to speed chess.Never saw that at my club."
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