Real World Chess Clubs

by David Powers

Online chess playing rooms are fantastic, yet some chess players feel that they are impersonal because they take the magic out of chess. The moment players leave virtual communities, they could face a difficult time finding playmates. One way to resolve the issue is to find fellow chess aficionados in chess clubs.

What is a Chess Club?

Simply put, a chess club is a group of chess aficionados who have organized themselves together. Additionally, members exchange strategy tips, hold scrimmages with each other, and participate in chess matches.

The History of Chess Clubs

Chess is an old game, but it began to attract the world's attention sometime in the 70s. The reason for the sudden surge in popularity was easy to see: the match in which Bobby Fischer triumphed over Boris Spasky was broadly publicized and somehow it managed to make chess matches cool. Instantly, everybody went gaga over the game. The players organized themselves into chess clubs. During the 1970s, it seemed as if there was at least one chess club for every city block.

Compared to 30 years ago, chess today is not anymore such a hot item. The best there is today, Gary Kasparov is however unlike Bobby Fischer who could draw crowds with his lopsided antics. With fewer chess players available, the number of chess clubs too has decreased. This means that you may have to double your efforts in searching for a chess club in your area.

Chess Club Hunting

A fantastic stepping stone to your great chess club hunt is the phone directory. You're bound to discover a number of "come, join the club" advertisements in phone directories. Alternately, you may notice ads online or in the town's bulletin board. Once you have explored all of your ideas and still have not found a chess club, then consider the possibility of setting up a chess club.

Creating Your Own Club

Organizing a chess club isn't hard. In the beginning a club doesn't need much, just some members, a chess board, and a venue. The hard part is raising enough publicity about your club. The town bulletin, Craigslist or the local papers may be able to accommodate your ad. Another great way to advertise the fact that you are starting a chess club would be to spread word in the chess playing rooms.

When people start expressing interest in joining your chess club, you will have to decide on how regularly you should meet and if you should charge a membership fee. If you do opt to require a membership fee, you need to make sure that it is apparent what the money will be spent on.

Undoubtedly, chess clubs offer you the best of both worlds: a chance to play chess and a chance to make friends.