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The right setting for a chess club

  • #1

    Friends and fellow chess players,

    we are about to launch a new season for our Norcross Chess Club, and we would like our club to be the place to play in this side of town. So, let me ask you: What characteristics do you like/dislike in the settings of a chess club? What would make our club more inviting and attractive? What are the things we need to avoid? Please, advise.

    Gracia & Paz


  • #2


    - Obviously enough boards + pieces, preferably housed at the club location so that the 1st person to show up can set things up.

    - Clocks on all tables so that players don't get sucked into long games vs. really slow players (unless they want to)

    - access to a cafe/coffee shop (our own club is inside a Barnes and Nobles so access to high-priced coffee that's a perk we enjoy :) )

    -Weekend (and weekday if possible) Swiss events.  Have someone sign up to be a USCF TD and if possible, keep a house player to make sure everyone gets to play each round.

    - Incentivize strong/titled players to show up. How? Free coffee, provide them a networking ground to rope in students (if they teach) or even pay them to play a simul ever so often :)

    -  Have strong/titled players perform guest lectures with a demo board ever so often.

    - A website indicating schedules, days when it is closed etc.


    - Bughouse - It is so infectious + fun that everyone (esp. newbies)  will only play it as opposed to actual chess... and can be quite noisy + distracting to other players.

    - Kids below a certain age / kids who think the club is a playground for their shenanigans.

    - Membership dues ( this is tough if you have to pay for your club venue ... but given how tough it is to get people to join the USCF and actually play a tourney, you don't want to pile on the number of things they have to pay for ...) You can try to make up for it via tourney entry fees?

  • #3

    + include bulletin Board on the wall with info to players who does not have internet.
    maybe even a trophy cabinet.
    important to have the possibility to buy or make coffee. and buy Coca Cola
    enough boards are importantent.
    fresh air is important.
    and make sure that no drummers rehearse in the basement!!! (it may sound like a joke but I had to play team match in another chess club and guess what happened in the basement)

  • #4

    Wow! Thank you so very much for the advice. I will be sure we follow as many of them as possible.

    Again, thank you. And please, keep them coming,

    Gracia & Paz


  • #5

    Well our chess club plays in the mall near the food courts, so access to food/drinks is good and we get noticed by the general public. Those 2 things are probably good for your club. Also we have no membership fee, but we are a small club (10-12 players), and we only host unrated tournaments so far. Perhaps the fact we are non-profit lets us play in the mall, Im not sure.

  • #6

    Well, a local church will allow us to use their facilities for our club's meetings. Would that be a problem?

  • #7

    no, one of the chess club in my area is based in the missionary house I see no problem in that. but I think it is more fun to come to a sports hall or a school.

    Another thing you need is more than one playing room. In my chess club we are one room short each time we have a tournament. it would be great to have a room more there we can analyze games. we also have to be quiet if two members are playing a serious game on a normal day.
    in our club this is a problem cause we like to joke a lot.

  • #8

    just to give you an idea where clubs play in my region.
    school/business college xxxxxx (7 clubs)
    church 1 club
    Graasten - sportshal a room in the basement. (my club)


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