Manhattan Chess Club - A Quick History

| 7 | Fun & Trivia

In 1877 chess players met at the Cafe Logeling, 49 Bowery Street in lower Manhattan. Mr. Logeling was a chess enthusiast and eventuallu built a room in the back of the cafe for chess.

On November 24, 1877, it was decided to form a chess club. There was discussion to name it the Metropolitan, Morphy, or Manhattan Chess Club.

On December 1, 1877, 37 members showed up for the first meeting. The entrance fee was $1 per person and dues were $4 per year.

In May 1884, the group moved to 22 East 17th Street.

In May 1889, the club moved to 22 West 27th Street.

In 1890-91 Steinitz played Gunsberg in a world championship match at the Manhattan Chess Club

In May 1892, the club moved to 105 East 22nd Street in the United Charities Building.

In 1894 Steinitz and Lasker met at the Manhattan Chess Club to negotiate thier proposed world championship chess match.

From 1905 to 1910 the Club was located at the Carnegie Hall Building on 56th Street.

In 1905 Jose Capablanca joined the Manhattan Chess Club and beat its champion.

From 1910 to 1923 the Club was located at the Sherman Square Hotel, then to Beacon Hotel.

During the Depression, the Club moved to a basement on Broadway and 73rd Street.

In 1932 to 1941, the Club was located at the Alamac Hotel.

In 1941 to 1956 the Club was located at 100 Central Park South.

On March 7, 1942, Capablanca suffered a stroke at the Manhattan Chess Club while analyzing a chess game. He died the next day at the age of 53.

In 1949 Arthur Bisguier won the Manhattan Chess Club Championship.

In June 1955, Bobby Fischer joined the Manahttan Chess Club. He soon won the 'C' section, then the 'B' section.

In 1956 the Club moved to the Hotel Woodrow.

In April 1956, Bobby Fischer won the Manhattan Chess Club 'A' Reserve championship.

In the late 1980s the Club was headquartered at Carnegie Hall on the 10th floor.

The Club later moved to 353 West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue on "Restaurant Row." Traditionally, the club was supported by the patronage of Wall Street executives. When they passed away, the American Chess Foundation, which owns the building, fell into the hands of non-chessplayers. They ordered the Manhattan Chess Club to move.

In 2001, the Club moved to the New Yorker Hotel, Suite 1521, 481 8th Avenue. It was open on weekdays from 6 pm to midnight and on weekends from 11am to 11pm.

In January 2002, the Manhattan Chess Club closed. It existed for 124 years. Its last president was Jeff Kossak.

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