Andrew   Zito International Guide to Chess Part II:
�Public Places, Parks and Spaces (compilation subject to editing and expansion)
click here for International Guide to Public Chess Spots part I:


  • Sydney: Amiel R Rosario writes "Hyde Park...- open air, sometimes you get masters who are tourists. The other day we even had Rogers himself (who was doing a shoot for an ABC programme) It's free, plenty of friendly people, open all hours - 7 days a week. And if it gets too dark we can always go into the famous Centrepoint building. Just one warning - lots of kibitzers!!!" Stewart Reuben adds "There is a giant chess set put out at lunch time at Hyde Park"
  • Sydney: Wodan writes "By the way... don't under any circumstances forget to mention a place called Long Nose Point in Birchgrove/Sydney. It's a tiny park with a little monument for the aborigines who once had their home there. It's just lovely. You overlook the Sidney harbour, seeing the Harbour Bridge, there's a ferry pier."
  • Perth: rexdoggydog writes: Fremantle has a giant chess set which is avalable if booked. It is in the park infront of the main enterence of Myer Fremantle.
  • Salzburg, Polly Wright writes Café Mozart. I can't remember what street it's on, but it's a coffee and pastry place where they play a lot of chess on the second floor. A very friendly group of people who made this American female player feel at home. I haven't been there since 1989 so I'm not sure if the place is still there, or if they still play chess there.
  • Salzburg: The big chess pieces in Kapitelplatz was a perfect place to play chess and find out about the chess cafes.
  • Vienna: Peter writes "Donaupark: there is a public (big) chess board"
  • Zell-am-See: "Kev McCarthy writes "Found a good outside board on the lakeside near the train station at Zell-am-See in Austria recently...beautiful scenery and a fair few locals every afternoon to lock horns with."


  • Gent: lenthep writes "cafe 'dambert' at the 'korenmarkt' "
  • Budiya: usnavy writes: its called Escpallion Coffee shop, in Budiya Bahrain. its' where I go to play speed chess pretty strong players but only on weekends
  • La Paz: maury writes "In La Paz they play in the sports stadium'
  • Cochabamba: maury adds "In Cochabamba they play in La Association Deportiva"
  • Santa Cruz: maury continues "In La Paz they also play El Stadium as well in Equipetrol."
  • Bulgaria: Terry Rudd writes "On a visit, in '84, to Bulgaria, I seem to recollect seeing a massive chess-board laid out on the side-walk of the promenade of the Black Sea, at a holiday resort, and this is where my memory is to be really stretched. As far asIcan recall, the place was called ZLETSKI PIASSCU,spelling not absolutely certain to be accurate. Two elderly gentlemen were playing, on raised seats either side of the 'pitch' and youths from the largish crowd, actually man-handled the pieces according to instructions, and what I do recall most definitelyis the concerted buzz of appreciation, not applause, that came from the crowd, but strangely, a few seconds after the completion of the move as if the obviously knowledgeable spectators had jointly realised the strategy behind the move. Moves were very infrequent as each move was planned so very carefully and there was no evidence of any timing devices. I never saw the end of a game, I moved further down beach side walk as it was raining at the time, a warm shower that didn't deter either players or onlookers."
  • Abbortford: Rosemary writes "Abbortford Mall has the big pieces to play on"
  • Calgary: Rosemary writes "Words books and Capp. (coffee shop) on 17 th ave. and 17th st. S.W. Calgary I know the owners and place very well. A real good place to game and hang to meet people and have lots of laughs. Open all day for fun at chess and other board games."
  • Calgary: Rosemary writes "Words books and Capp. (coffee shop) on 17 th ave. and 17th st. S.W. Calgary I know the owners and place very well. A real good place to game and hang to meet people and have lots of laughs. Open all day for fun at chess and other board games."
  • Montreal: Mistifie writes "There is a place call the Baggamon on Ste Catherine street corner Berri, very popular place good players ( rating about 2100 and up! ,There are Blitzs tourneys every saturday night!) (must pay)"
  • Montreal: Mistifie writes "There is also on Ste Catherine street near the Beaudry metro, I don't remenber the street corner, it's call Le Spécialiste ( good players 1600 to 2000 and up. There are Blitzs tourneys every friday night!) those 2 places you have to pay to play.
  • Montreal: Mistifie writes "The places that I will gave you now are free. Complexe guy Favreau on the second floor its on Renée Levesque corner St laurent. ( Rarely players higher than 2000.)"
  • Montreal: Mistifie writes "In the summer there are players at the Parc Lafontaine (Sherbrooke street corner Papineau, Its a big park so you have to find the players!!! There are near the house were you can drink water.)
  • Montreal: Mistifie writes "There are more places but I don't know the streets names. I go there, that's all."
  • Ottawa: Maelstrums writes "There's are guys with a huge board in the main square off rideau street, there are usually some people milling about looking for games"
  • Sherbrooke: Quebec: Christian Maltais writes: "In Sherbrooke, there's a small cafe Le presse-boutique every Monday nights and Friday nights people from all strengths play mostly blitz..."
  • Vancouver, B.C. Rosemary writes "Park Royal Mall in west Van has the big pieces set up in the Mall for the pubic to play on. At Myles and Beans on Sunday afternoons on Kingsway Ave. in Burnaby, B.C. tournaments"
  • Vancouver, BC: Nexus writes "Pofi Bar, Commercial Drive"
  • Vancouver, B.C. Jim writes: For the past couple of years, chess hustlers have been hanging out next to the Art Gallery. It's been getting a lot of attention this year and is the place to watch the best in town duke it out. It's free and the cities engineering crew haven't been hassling the hustlers yet, but it's coming, it always does. On warm days there is sometimes 30 or 40 people watching and playing. Human comedy at its finest.




Qu�bec (Qu�bec)

Photo de Jeanne D'arc Miron

Don de Jeanne D'arc Miron

Fourni par Jeanne D'arc Miron 17 x 12 cm


Comp�tition d'�checs entre adultes et adolescents dans un parc de Qu�bec


MRC de Drummond, Drummondville��


Photo de Joanne Boisvert

Don de Joanne Boisvert

Fourni par C�gep de Drummondville

15 x 10 cm


Au parc Saint-Fr�d�ric, un jeu d'�checs � grand format � est disponible pour les amateurs

Caf� PI , 4127 St-Laurent (pr�s de Rachel)
Ouvert: lun-dim. midi � minuit. Restaurant et bar.
Tables et jeux gratuits, mais SVP acheter quelque chose!
Apporter votre horloge d'�checs.
Info: (514) 286-4828

Caf�Brainwash (Caf� LAB) , 3565 Lorne (pr�s de University et Prince-Arthur).
Ouvert: lun-dim 12h00-minuit(ou plus tard).
Tables et jeux gratuits, mais SVP acheter quelque chose!
Tournois blitz: mercredi et samedi: 19h.
Info: (514) 284-2442

Club d'�checs Ahuntsic, Chalet du parc Ile-de-la-Visitation, 2425(?) Gouin E.
Ouvert: samedi 12h30-16h30.
Apporter votre horloge d'�checs.

Caf�Cr�me, 1219 Ste-Catherine E.
Ouvert: les mardis 19h-22h. Jeux disponibles � la caisse.
Tables et jeux gratuits, mais SVP acheter quelque chose!

ParcLafontaine.Tables pour les jeux d'�checs et cartes pr�s de l'�cole au sud du parc. Apporter votre jeu, �chiquier, et horloge.

Parc KentTables sur la c�t� ouest. �Apporter votre jeu, �chiquier, et horloge.

  • Copenhagen: Erik Hedegård writes "Sometimes there are chessplayers in the middle of the main pedestrian street called "Strøget" in the central of Copenhagen. Often they play blitz for money, but it's always fun to look at, and you can play too if you want to."
  • London: Stewart Reuben writes "Chess is no longer played at the King's Head in London. You can
    find it at the Durham Castle, London W2."
  • London: Stewart Reuben writes "Broadgate, by Liverpool Street Station in London there are giant
    chess sets put out every lunch-time."
  • London: David Osler writes "Another place in London is the Fox Reformed wine bar in Stoke Newington Church Street, where there is regular chess and backgammon, especially weekends. It's on the 73 bus route from the centre of town."
  • Hastings: Stewart Reuben writes "George Street. There is a Giant chess board and the set can be put out there."
  • Leeds: Stewart Reuben writes "On the steps of the Town Hall."
  • Hastings: Tim Spanton writes: A pub called The Pig In Paradise (also known as The Palace Bars) in Hastings, East Sussex, has chess sets behind the bars all year round and is especially popular with chess players from all over the world during the two-three weeks of the annual Hastings International Congress over the New Year
  • Paris: Luxembourg Park, near the North West corner. Tables don't always exist so people put there boards and clocks between chairs. Big turnout.
  • Parks, Gardens, and Squares: Chess in the Luxembourg Gardens
    Written by CALSF
      on January 17, 2005.

    Is anyone here interested in chess? It's a top European sport if not a very popular one in the US. Well, if you are interested, Paris boasts a local chess community that meets in the Luxembourg Gardens daily. It's no surprise really that chess is popular in Paris as the FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs) or the world chess federation is headquartered in
    France. It's not too easy to find the chess players' venue in the Luxembourg Gardens unless you know it beforehand. Even the gendarme did not know where it was and had to ask his colleagues in the park when I asked! As the garden is huge the easiest way to find the chess players is to take the rue de Vaugirard entrance which is near to the tennis courts and children's playground. Just across the tennis courts and under the trees you'll see these young and old men sitting on the green metal chairs, chessboards propped up on another chair in between them. Shh, don't be noisy because it's not nice to create noise when they are thinking of some highly intricate strategy to out the other guy. If it rains the chess games go on but they are under played an awning. If you are a chess enthusiast, don't hesitate to join a game if it's possible. If you speak French, you can ask the players or just motion to them that you want to join. When a game is finished, another opponent takes a turn playing against the winner of the previous game. You don't need to speak French to know chess. All you need to know is how to play as chess strategies and theories are universal.
  • Paris: Leeloo writes "Cafe called 'Le Cloitre', 19 rue St Jacques in the 5th Quarter by Notre-Dame Cathedral. Lot of tough players."
  • Paris: Suresh C.G writes "When I was a student in Paris (nearly 20 years ago!!), I used to haunt a chess café in Paris called "Chez Max", near Porte d'Orleans. The street name I forgot (it was something like Rue d'Edureil, I think..) Would you have any clue about this place? I have such fond memories of the café.... I live in India and I have been wanting to get in touch with this place for quite some time. "
  • Paris Polly Wright writes: Le Damier de L'Opera, 7 rue Lafayette, Paris is a wonderful chess shop with lots of books, and chess sets. The owner speaks English quite well, and will give you a list of all the chess clubs in Paris. The list includes and addresses and phone numbers. Unfortunately I didn't discover the store until late in my trip so I didn't get to go to any of the clubs on the list. When you're traveling with a non-chess playing husband, and you have limited time left in a city, chess club tours take a backseat to museums, and churches.
  • Berlin: Alex Levy writes "I accidentally discovered Cafe Voltaire while staying at the hotel next door (the Charlottenhoff). Chess is informal and mostly 3 minute blitz. The players are strong, friendly and many speak English. Action starts fairly late, at about 9:30-10 PM. Nice atmosphere and quite close to one of Berlin's best chess stores, whose name and location, however, I've forgotten. Oh, yes, almost forgot! Food and coffee are quite good also. I was able to avoid most of the museums, galleries, and whatever tourists do in Berlin, as late night chess made it impossible to wake up in the morning."
  • Cologne: Tim Jake Gluckman writes "There are chess cafes in Germany too e.g. in Cologne where I live. It's at Limburger str.23, 50672 Cologne, and is open afternoons and evenings. Backgammon is played there too. But you may note that nearly every modern Kneipe (pub) has chess et, cards, draughts etc so one can play chess wherever assuming one has a partner. Sth that you won't find in most other countries in the world,... Ciao"
  • Munich: LadyDi tells you: There is a cafe in munich called Schachburg. Before it was known as Schellingsalon.
  • Patmos Island: Mazetakos writes "Greece, Patmos Island, Georgy's Beach Bar at Groikos beach June-September mostly 'amateurs'"
  • Athens: turnpike writes "Exarhia Square, BLITZ Cafe"
  • Athens: Takis Gor writes: "Hello from Athens-Greece.'Panellinion Cafe', Mavromihali Street, beside the University of Chemistry, Athens. Strong players, don't be surprised if you meet GM Kotronias there!"
  • Thessaloniki: turnpike writes "A chess cafe that also maintains a chessclub, GMs hang out there among others, and they have computers too, to log on ICC from there. It is called Diahroniko, is on a street next to Papafi Str. ask xroniko for details."
  • Amsterdam: A cafe called "Het Hok" has a lot of Chess and Backgammon. Trojga adds "Cafe Het Hok Korte Leidsedwarsstraat near Leidseplein."
  • Amsterdam: talpa writes "in Amsterdam you have Chesshouse "Gambit" at the Bloemgracht, with a lot of good chess possibilities" Trojga adds "Cafe 'Gambiet' on the Bloemgracht #20"
  • Amsterdam" Henk Cramer writes "Max Euwe Plein in Amsterdam has a big outdoor chessboard. Always in use with a lot of kibbitzers around."
  • Utrecht: Trojga writes "Good chesscafe Cafe Ledig Erf, Tolsteegbrug 3 (at the end of Oude Gracht)
  • The Hague: Willem Broekman writes "You can play chess in what is called " Schaakcafe En Passant" It is a cafe where you can play every evening from Thursday till Sunday. See the website"
  • Budapest: jenifer writes "They play chess in a park by nepstadion in Budapest"
  • Budapest: jenifer adds "and one on the buda side by the marxist cafe"
  • Reykjavik: Petur Jonsson writes "In the downtown area there is a pub named "Grandrokk" where all the tables have a chess board pattern and where there are chess pieces (nice heavily weighted wooden pieces actually) and chess clocks are available for the asking at the bar. The place is a bit seedy, but it is a hangout for a number of GMs and IMs. In fact there have been tournaments there with about a dozen GMs playing (Icelanders, Englishmen, Slavs, Hungarians etc.). If you want to play, there is always someone there who is willing to take you on. The only problem with this place is that the chess there is crushingly strong for patzers (like myself). This pub also sponsors a chess team that plays in the Icelandic chess club competition under the same name as the pub, or 'Grandrokk'."
  • Calcutta: MohanP writes "Deshapriya park"
  • Dublin: GreenFord writes "Temple bar, meeting house square open-air blitz from 2.:30 onwards every sunday in the Summer"
Vatican City: 
Right out front of St Peters Basillica Square theres a small street. I found a few guys @10 out playing chess on the sidewalk. I didn't play but it looked pretty casual.
  • Tlaxcala: H�ctor Corona writes "I received the newsletter of Chessville and I would like to tell you that in Tlaxcala we have two open places where chess is played: The first is situated in Tlaxcala city. There in "La Plaza San Salvador" several chessplayers gather all the weekends. One can find many childeren and some adults (once in a while some masters go there). The second is situated in Apizaco, Tlax. and is called "El Jard�n del Ajedrez" (The Garden of the Chess). There on weekends too one can find chess players (some of them are strong players). I hope this information can be useful for you."
  • M�xico City: Brian Watkins writes "On the west edge of the Alameda Central park there are frequently hundreds (yes, hundreds) of chess players between 18:00 and 22:00 or even later."
  • Mexico City: Armando Acevedo writes (with the help of Alta Vista translator) "In the flank of the Central Tree-lined avenue that d� towards the National Lottery, in the Corner that forms the streets of�Av. Hidalgo and Dr. Mora, is the Cultural Institute " Jose Mart� ", in who from the year of 1980 an enthusiastic pillar of chess exists�that is installed in the " alley of the art ". It faces is the station M. Hidalgo of the Meter. The chess players meet of Monday through Friday of the 10:00 hs until the 16:00 hs and Saturdays of 10:00 hs to 15:00hs. Generally after these hours, when the Cultural Institute is closed " Jose Mart� ", the chess players go to the Park Solidarity to continue playing. The chess players also meet in the Park Solidarity when the center is closed on holidays. "
  • Mexico City: Armando Acevedo writes (with the help of Alta Vista translator) "The Bookstore Gandhi is located in Chimalistac in the Av.Miguel Angel of Quevedo 134, to average block of the Av. University and near the station of meter M.Angel de Quevedo. It faces is a commercial center with an ample one and economic area of parking. In the cafeteria of this place they meet of Monday to Sunday daily, at all hours but mainly from the 17:00 hs and until the 23:00hs, a nourished group of chessplayers that play slight games. The Bookstore Gandhi by a reasonable tariff of $8,00 by all the day puts board and the chess."
  • Mexico City: Armando Acevedo writes (with the help of Alta Vista translator) "In the Forest of Chapultepec, next to the lake and before the House of the Lake of the UNAM, is an old rock of chess players who meet all the days between 10:00 and 11:00 hours and until the 17:00 hours that are when they close the forest. Sometimes they meet up to fifty chess players."
  • Mexico City: Armando Acevedo writes (with the help of Alta Vista translator) "You can attend the Seat of the Solidarity, located to a flank now of the Central Tree-lined avenue (course to the Monument of the Revolution) in where they reunite a nourished group of chessplayers, Monday to Saturday between 11:00 and 18:00 hours. There is a tarp to lodge the chess club, is coffee and great enthusiasm."
  • San Crist�bal de las Casas, Chiapas: Brian Watkins writes "There are often a few casual chess players from Europe, Mexico and North America in the evening at El Puente on Real de Guadalupe. I wouldn't expect to meet any strong opponents there.
  • Oslo: SJ64 writes " You have no Norwegian chess hangouts or clubs?! Please add Oslo Schakselskap, Norway's biggest chess club, open all days 18:00-23:00. Address: Oslo, Bogstadvn. 30 6th floor. For a chess hangout in Oslo try Cafe Sjakk Matt (yes it means Cafe Chess Mate) near the City Hall"
Puerto Rico:
  • 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."

South Africa 

Paul Stigling with the children of the area: alongside the giant chessboard is the play area for morabaraba 

So Stigling decided to do something. He approached his ward councillor, Fahdiel Moosa, with the idea of turning the empty lot into a safe playground.

His ideas were received with enthusiasm and a joint operation was set in motion.

City Parks

Community members quickly became involved in the construction work, while City Parks provided all the building material.

The team planted grass, built walls, installed benches, and set out the giant chessboard. Brick blocks were used on the sides and bottom of the board, with cement poured on top. Oxide was used to colour the squares.

Chess pieces were provided by the department of sports, recreation and aquatics.

Chess was selected, said Stigling, because it enhanced mental capacity and helped develop strategising skills. "It relaxes the mind and props up individual physical senses."


He noted that most township children tended to want to play soccer, "and follow in Steven Pienaar's footsteps", but did not know much about chess.

Jonathan van Rooyen, Region 4's operations manager for sports, said the park and its chessboard had been well received. "During school holidays the park is filled with school children and at weekends everyone in the community comes to the park."

On weekends residents brought braais and picnics, playing music and relaxing, he added. "Everyone has agreed that there will be no liquor allowed in the park."


One of the regulars, a 12-year-old called Jonathan said, "I love coming to the park to play. Every day when school is over I come here to play with my friends and we play karate, horses and sometimes when we have a ball we play soccer."

It has become a safe area for the youngsters. A volunteer caretaker at the park, Mildred de Bruin, said, "At least now I know my children have a safer place where they can play."

Having watched the chess players, she too is keen to learn how to play.

Now plans are now being made to extend the facilities. An area has been set aside for morabaraba, and other sports will be encouraged.

Before that, however, the next item on the list of priorities is irrigation and lighting. The community also wants to plant trees.

"I'm filled with joy when I think what this area was once used for," said Stigling's youngest daughter, Sabrina. Although the changes were not easy, "we did achieve our goals".

"I just wish it was summer and schools had already closed," she said. "We could put the park to full use."

City of Johannesburg website (

Chess keeps kids off streets

A RIVERLEA resident decided to do something when an empty lot became a no-go area and a haven for anti-social activities. 

July 29, 2005 

By Tshepiso Seopa 

AMID the mine dumps surrounding Riverlea is an unusual sight: in a small park several youngsters are hauling waist-high chess pieces from checkered square to checkered square, while others stand on the sidelines giving free advice.

The outdoor chessboard is one of the facilities set up in the park to keep the youngsters in the area busy and out of trouble.

Riverlea Extension resident Paul Stigling came up with the idea, but the park is a result of hard work by members of the community and City officials from Region 4's department of sports, recreation and aquatics and City Parks.

The impoverished suburb of Riverlea, about eight kilometres from the Joburg central business district, has a high unemployment rate and there is little to keep young residents occupied.

Stigling watched with concern as the empty land on the corner of Kammanasie and Storm streets became a no-go area and "children as young as eight years old" became involved in activities such as gambling. "Members of the community feared walking past those grounds," he said.





  • Barcelona: Dennis Dongart writes "I have been playing chess with some nice guys for a couple of nights in PLAZA DE CATALUNYA (Go from the beach up The Rambla and on the west side of the first square they are). And they told me that I could always come and play with them because this was their office!"
  • Eddie writes "Ciudadella on Menorca play chess in the wooded square by the bus station..then get beat at "boules" by the old guys!! (menorca is the island ciudadella is on it)"


  • Stockholm: Cokehead writes: "Kungstr�dg�rden, in the heart of central Stockholm" Olle adds: "Kungstr�dg�rden is a park in central downtown Stockholm. There are two open space chess places (i.e. big pieces moved with both hands)."


  • Lugano: qaw writes "A chess board in piazza della Riforma...another one near the lake!"
  • Luzern: I remember a big chess set where they played chess. Let me know if you know more. Maybe this was really Interlocken. I'm not sure. It should be near the bridge.
  • Geneva: Gary Gillespie writes "Ihe outdoor chess boards are on the grounds of the Universite des Blbliotheque. They are near the left end of the Monument de la Reformation, very close to the intersection of the Rue de la Croix and Platz Neuve. Buses/trams 12 and 23 stop at the Platz, right in front of the gate leading to the grounds of the University and the chess boards. Buses 3 and 5 stop just around the corner on the Rue de la Croix.
  • Berne: Renger van Nieuwkoop writes "Here are two sites where you can play chess in the open: Bundeshausplatz (in front of the parliament buildings)
    In front of the Casion. Greetings from Switzerland"
  • Zurich: Naouel writes "I was in Zurich two years ago. I found a park on top of a hill where there is outdoor chess on large boards that you can walk on. The pieces are kept in big boxes. I remember that there were several of those chess boards. I can't remember the name of the park but I know that it was mentioned in one of my guidebooks. It was a very nice and peaceful place."


  • Papeete: Adam Alain writes "hello, Si vous aimez les blitz, il existe un club d'�checs � Papeete, la capitale de l'�le de Tahiti (french polynesia) d�nomm� "mike's chess club". Il�est situ� dans un parking de la rue des Remparts derri�re l'agence a�rienne " ZOOLAND".


  • Ko Chang: Wodan writes "How about lonely beach? You have to bring your board but the hangout is just marvelous, I've seen it. really."
  • Bangkok: Kai Tuorila writes "Bangkok Chess Club will move its Friday evening meetings on January 2001 to new location: O'Reillys Irish Pub (62/1-4 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand). The meeting times are still on Fridays from 7 p.m. until the closing of the restaurant. Our old venue Blue Lakes Restaurant (Sukhumvit Soi 23 (opposite of Tai-Pan Hotel) will start to host chess evenings on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. onwards. For more info about the chess in Thailand e-mail to: [email protected]"


  • Havar. On the main street on or near a bridge. I know this from before the breakup of Yugoslavia. It could be very different now. Let me know.
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