How to Start a Chess Club
You already know that you enjoy playing chess and chances are you have at least one or two friends who enjoy the analytical game as well. Whether you’re looking to help an elementary school or other learning institution or simply gather a group of adults, there are only a few basic things you need to know to get a chess club up and running.
Identify Your Organizers
While everyone involved will lend a helping hand, your chess club should have one or two main organizers to ensure everything stays on track as planned. Your main organizers will be responsible for finding a location, setting schedules, recruiting volunteers, and marketing the club. The organizers can, of course, delegate these duties to others on the team – but at the end of the day, someone needs to be in charge of what happens so that things don’t get out of control.
Find a Venue
Where will your chess club be held? School classrooms are great because there are plenty of tables and chairs, allowing players to spread out and enjoy the event without disturbing each others games. Your home may be an option if your club is very small. Wherever you decide to go, you’ll need to make sure you have enough space spread out your group comfortably.
Determine Your Budget and Needs
A chess club, especially one that is small and forming, should have a relatively small budget. All you need are some decent chess sets. The key word here is decent. Don’t buy the cheap, dollar store sets if you can manage something a little better. You’ll need to ensure you have storage bags or boxes and an extra set of pieces to grab from when others go missing. Don’t have enough of a budget to buy a set for every 2 kids? Ask the members who are joining to make a small donation, or charge a small “dues” so that you can purchase the sets. These are all you should need. Unless you’re going to tournaments or events, there is no need for flashy t-shirts or anything else. That stuff can always come later, anyway!
Other materials to consider are tutorial boards to hang on the walls, computer software for playing or practicing on a PC, and chess clocks. There are items that are nice but not necessary if you don’t have the cash when you get started.
Advertise Your Club
You will, of course, want to grow your club’s membership. You may also be pleasantly surprised to find that the number of people interested in playing chess is greater than you had originally anticipated. Hang up some flyers or posters in your school or in community venues. Make sure you include the dates, times, locations, and contact information for the organizer.
Starting a chess club is a great way to practice your skills while forming friendships with others interested in the game. It doesn’t matter if you are a child or a grown adult. You’ll love having the opportunity to bond with others over a game of chess!