Club Of The Month: Nashville Chess Center

Club Of The Month: Nashville Chess Center

| 16 | Other

July's Club of the Month is the Nashville Chess Center. This over-the-board chess club was established in September 1995 and seeks to promote the game of chess on a local level. The club has been actively organizing chess programs in schools (public, private, charter, and home schools!), libraries, community centers, and more for almost three decades now. 

As well as hosting multiple weekly events for players of all ages at its physical location, the Nashville Chess Center also has an online home on FM Todd Andrews, the center's executive director, was kind enough to share his time and tell us more about the NCC!

A picture of the Nashville Chess Center HQ in Nashville.
The Nashville Chess Center has been promoting the growth of chess since 1995.
Photo: Courtesy of the NCC. How would you describe the Nashville Chess Center?

Andrews: One of the friendliest and most unique chess clubs in the world.

Can you share the history of the Nashville Chess Center with our readers?

The NCC was founded by Dr. Martin Katahn in September 1995. Dr. Katahn had a vision of a central location for chess in Nashville, Tennessee—a city where the artistry of chess naturally fits. Our current leaders were there as children on the opening day.

In 2007, Todd Andrews and his sister Tiffany Elliott became the leaders of the club and have brought it to new heights with premier events on site and huge open FIDE and K-12 events nearby. We have also worked in 100+ different Middle Tennessee schools, creating chess clubs and forming teams out of the tens of thousands of students we have see come through our doors over the years. 

We presently have weeknight tournaments and weekend events for adults too, and players of all ages!

Another view of the Nashville Chess Center headquarters located on Belmont Boulevard.
Photo: Courtesy of the NCC.

What inspired you to take a leadership role at your chess club?

The NCC was not a fun or welcoming place. It was in between directors and I was offered the chance to see what I could do with it; being a chess professional since I was a teenager, I ran with the opportunity.

Does your club meet in person? If so, where and when can prospective members find you? If not, when do you typically have events online?

Our events calendar can be found on our website, here.

What role do you think physical chess clubs should take as players continue to embrace online play?

Chess, at its heart, is a social sport. Chess players create one of the most eclectic and unique communities in the world—we are literally accepting of everyone. Physical chess clubs are the homes and meeting places for our communities to come together. 

What separates your chess club from other clubs?

Our members, our staff, and our one-of-a-kind, 100-year-old building. We continue to be innovators in how our in-person chess events are conducted, and the best is yet to be seen!

A banner advertising a FIDE-endorsed tournament hosted by the Nashville Chess Center.
In-person events are a core part of the Nashville Chess Center's activities.
Photo: Courtesy of the NCC.

What advice would you give to clubs on that are just starting out and would like to grow?

Your club will only grow if you foster an environment that members wish to return to. Always treat everyone with respect, be friendly, remember people's names, and be approachable. 

How can members get involved in your club?

Join our group on or go to our website and check out an upcoming day we are open. It is free if you are just going to come and hang out at the club for fun. We only require payments for events, and membership is not required—we believe we must demonstrate to the community that their membership fee is worthwhile and that they truly wish to support the club. We currently have 300+ members! 

Thanks to the Nashville Chess Center team for providing us with their answers for this month's article. 

If you'd like to nominate a club for our next Club of the Month article, fill out the nomination form below:

Previous Clubs of the Month:

More from Mick
Can You Solve A Puzzle From A Five-Time Armenian Chess Champion?

Can You Solve A Puzzle From A Five-Time Armenian Chess Champion?

From Turtleneck Trauma To Chess Success: An Adult Learner Story

From Turtleneck Trauma To Chess Success: An Adult Learner Story