Where to Play Chess in Manhattan
NYC Chess began on 112th and Broadway. This is a haven for chess and community. Located in front of the famous Tom's Restaurant, it attracts many people to its corner. Bookseller, author, artist, and friend Adhemar Ahmad runs the location and is always ready for a game. NYC Chess often runs tournaments there throughout the summer.
Stationary chess tables on the southwest corner encourage playing. There are often plenty of onlookers creating an exciting environment. These tables were featured in the 1994 film, Searching for Bobby Fischer. The Washington Square tables form the cornerstone of what is called Manhattan's "chess district" since the area around the park (Thompson Street, between West 3rd and Bleeker Street) has a number of chess shops , the oldest being the Village Chess Shop. You can always find a game in Washington Square. The skill level varies and will usually cost 5 dollars for two games.
The Village Chess Shop has been at the same location since 1972. It is located in the heart of Greenwich Village on Thompson Street. The Village Chess Shop was the first to create a place where chess players could come and play, as well as find sets to bring home. "The Chess Shop" takes great pride in displaying hundreds of chess sets from around the world. You can always find a good game there, and it will only cost a few dollars per hour of play.
The Chess area, located next to the fountain Terrace on 6th Avenue, provides the public with chess, checkers, and backgammon for a small fee. Tournaments are run throughout the summer and this location provides a great place to relax and enjoy a game of chess.
There are many players playing along the west side of Union Square. Many of the strong players from Washington Square Park have migrated to Union Square due to the construction in Washington Square. There are tables, but no permanent boards. Bring your own board if you're looking to play with friends, or you could pay the requested fee to play against a regular.
The Marshal Chess Club is one of the oldest and strongest chess clubs in the United States. The club was formed in 1915 by a group of players led by Frank Marshall. The club meets at 23 West 10th Street. The club occupies two floors of an apartment building that the club owns. Marshal was the leader of the club until his death in 1944. Frank Brady was elected president in 2007. The club has been the site of several rounds of the U.S Chess Championship, and Bobby Fischer played in the 1965 Capablanca Memorial Tournament being held in Havana, Cuba via teletype.
The Chess and Checkers House, inside the Park at 65th Street just west of the Dairy, offers 24 outdoor chess and checker tables. It was built in 1952 as a gift of philanthropist Bernard Baruch, the octagonal red and cream colored brick structure has indoor as well as outdoor tables that attract players of all ages and abilities.