Chess Clubs and History

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     There have been many chess clubs throughout the history of the game. About some of these we know a lot of details through books, periodicals and newspapers. About others we know practically nothing.  Even some great clubs have left us bereft of important and interesting details.

     Today opportunities and resourses exist for individuals to report upon not just the present, which most clubs do, but also the past. However, even in this information age, only a handful of chess clubs have indefatigable chroniclers with a strong sense of history.   

     Many clubs give what most term as "a brief history,"  but that isn't quite the same thing. Not all the clubs with such dedicated individuals are old, though some are, but that doesn't detract from the results in the least.

     Here are some of my favorite chess club sites which delve into the chess history of that club and/or area :

The Boylston Chess Club is in Somerville, MA, the birthplace of Harry Nelson Pillsbury and its origins go back into the 1850s.  David Glickman conducts the club's blog which is a potpourri of old and new, making it hard to find anything specific, but each exploration an adventure.

The Kenilworth Chess Club is relatively new, founded in 1972. Michael Goeller runs the always interesting and equally difficult-to-search Kenilworthian Blog.

The famous Mechanics' Institute Chess Room, the oldest chess club in the US, has a "brief history" written by IM John Donaldson. Fortunately the tireless Kerry Lawless, historian for California Chess and operator of Chess Dryad, also has a lot to say about the Mechanics' Institute's history.

One of my favorite club histories is given by Dwight Weaver of the Memphis Chess Club.  I met Mr. Weaver when he directed me to some information on the Memphis player Rosa Jefferson, whom I was researching.  Luckily for me, I then became aware of his rich work preserving Memphis chess history.

The Streatham & Brixton Chess Club conducts a blog that delves into the history and culture of chess, past and present, mainly in the London area with so many well researched twists and turns, it makes your head spin.

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