The Houston Chess Scene
If you're looking to play chess in Houston, you have some options, both casual and rated. This post will cover the places where I play (a class C player), and I'll mention a few others that I know of. My hope is that this post can be used as a resource for other players and maybe get more people playing OTB in Houston!
Monday. I don't know of any chess happenings.
Tuesday. Center 64 has Tuesday Swiss, which is a 4-round, month-long tournament. Games are G120 d5 rated. I've never participated in this, but it sounds like a great way to get tournament games with the time commitment spread out over a month. C64 is a brick & mortar chess club offering rated tournaments, lectures and learning opportunities for all ages (taken from their website). Some of the strongest players in Houston play at C64. Picture below from their website.
Wednesday. You can find me at Slowpokes playing casual chess. We play from 6-10 pm, mostly blitz, some G15, and untimed games. Sometimes we play a round robin or swiss for bragging rights or a drink. Edgar has named us the Royal Rooks, also can be found on Meetup. Picture below taken from Royal Rooks.
Wednesday too. You can also find a casual round robin tourney at the Cafe Express on West Gray. Games start at 7 pm, and the regulars have 5-6 place trophies that you can take home if you promise to come back. Games are G10 or G20, depending on attendance. I've played here twice and enjoyed it, but I prefer the Slowpokes scene.
Thursday. You can also find me at the Sheraton on Clay Rd playing casual chess (in the bar/grill). We play from 6-10 pm, and most games are G15, blitz, or untimed. We are unofficially named the Thursday Knights and can be found on Meetup.
Friday. I rarely play on Fridays, but I know of (and have been to) two places. The Bellaire Chess Club meets at Starbucks on Stella Link. They play from 6-9 pm, casual games the one time I attended. Picture below taken from their website.
Friday too. On the outskirts of Houston, you'll find a weekly rated tournament in Tomball, in a McDonald's. Known as The Friday Knights, the tourney is mostly scholastic but open to all ages. Great for kids (and adults) getting into tournament chess. It's run by Jim Liptrap, a well known TD, and his website is another great chess resource for Houston chess. The picture below is at a previous location (McDonald's inside a Walmart).
Saturday. Center 64 has a weekly Saturday Swiss, which is a rated 3-round, one-day tournament. Games are G75 d5 and rounds are at 1, 3:30, and 6 pm. The crowd is a mix of kids and adults, and most players are actively studying chess, looking to improve. Picture below taken from C64.
Sunday. I've heard that there is a group of strong blitz players who play at a Starbucks on Westheimer Rd. Never been, so I don't have any details. For more info, I would ask on the C64 Facebook page, where I got the picture below.
So that covers most of my knowledge of the Houston chess scene. There are more OTB options that I've heard about in passing, so hopefully somebody reads this and writes another post to cover other chess spots in Houston.