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I like playing chess at the 16th street mall in Denver. Outdoors, always someone playing chess, musicians playing in earshot, near restaurants. Very nice.
I visited my brother who lives near Santana Row in San Jose California. Also a nice place where people were playing chess.
Who wants to share their favorite chess places?
The best place I have played chess was at a hot springs in Budapest Hungary.
Chess game in Széchenyi Bath at the City Park
Always enjoyed playing outdoors, in the parks or outdoor cafes. There was one place with a patio right out to the sidewalk, an old friend and I would grab the table right at the corner of two streets and set up a board and clock. Speed chess and beer, breakfast of champions!
Anyway, this was in a gentrifying but somewhat hippy district, and us being out there often attracted spectators, who would watch for a minute and take a seat or go inside the place. The manager loved this, so he would send us a round or an appetizer on the house from time to time - the longer we stayed and played from after lunch to the dinner rush, the more he'd send us.
It was a lovely scam and going just too well, until my friend bragged about it at the nearby city chess club one evening. The poor cafe became a target for chessplayers hoping for freebies and not buying much. They took "our" table - and many from other paying customers. Before you knew it, chess was banned.
Caffe Pergolesi on Cedar Street in Santa Cruz, California.
Hyde Park in Sydney is quite nice to play.
Oh yes, my wife is from Australia. I have been there many times. We even watched some chess at Hyde Park. Next time I should play
A very cool place!
How about under water chess. chess board inscribed on the bottom of a swimming pool six feet down, must dive to make your move! this is one case where the better chess player does not always win, but the one that can hold their breath longer wins!
Can't think of a time I've ever seen anyone play chess outside in the UK.
On my next trip to Cuba, I'm hoping to play at the Capablanca Chess Club in Havana.
Read this report from one of very few Americans allowed into Cuba
Just got back from New York City for a wedding. Went a couple of times to Washington Square and it was an interesting spot. A number of colorful folks playing and one day they were filming a movie of a young girl playing chess. The poor girl made the same couple of moves and speech over about 20 times. Also visited Chess Forum just up the street and picked up a new set. A nice visit.
Where in Santana Row do they play? Is it in front of a particular store?
The chess park is on the main street of Santana Row down at the far end near the cinema. It has a giant outdoor chessboard so you can't miss it. The chesstables are very large, so bring your largest pieces or bring your own board.
Did that last month, then a yellow thunderstorm happened!
Oh, and I was going to say "a fridge," but that's because I'm a jerk and not funny.
If you are interested in Chinese Chess (Xiangqi), Portsmouth Square in San Francisco's Chinatown is a great place to watch or play (play, if you dare...personally I don't dare...it is all rather scary). The games tend to be loud and rather violent and and attract large crowds. While you are in Chinatown you can pick up your own Xiangqi set at any number of stores on Grant Avenue.
I also walked by one of those games last time I was in San Francisco; the daylight was waning so it was less crowded and considerably more quiet, though
You forget about the vital factor of the British weather!
all above cool places. I wonder if it is safe to come and play as a tourist or is it best to make a big circle around it as you do with street hustlers?
I didn't see anyone actually playing there when I was there, although there is a giant chessboard. Washington Square Park in NYC was full of people playing.
Santana Row is private property with private security. I always feel totally safe there. Never any hustling to my knowledge. Some other public venues, like the chess park on the beach in Santa Monica are a bit threatening to me. I think the chess in MacArthur Park on Wilshire in LA was shut down. The neighborhood got just too dangerous.