The joys of New York City’s outdoor chess scene
There are few games as intellectually stimulating and universally loved as chess, and New York City has embraced the game in all its glory.
A trip to the big apple offers the chance to take part in this iconic pastime – simply find one of the city’s many outdoor parks complete with chess tables and find a player to challenge.
NYC’s chess scene
Chess subcultures have been thriving in Manhattan since the mid 19th century, making it a vibrant part of the area’s history as well as a wonderful way to while away an afternoon. To take part in this traditional, New York pastime, simply brush up your skills and make your way to one of the parks and cafes frequented by the city’s players. Chess NYC has a comprehensive list of locations to get you started.
Blogger Michael Goeller has also created an excellent list of some of the best tourism destination for chess lovers. Consult his list of chess hot spots before a trip to New York and know that you won’t miss a trick during your break. The New York Times also devotes a significant amount of space to keeping up with chess trends in the city, well worth a read if you’re a fan of the game.
Chess: a great equaliser
New York’s outdoor chess scene isn’t confined to a particular age group. In fact, thanks to the nature of the game, it’s enjoyed by a wide range of young and old people, all keen to put their skills to the test. There’s also no class barrier when it comes to outdoor chess and players are invited to take part no matter how much money they have or what their background. This differs from many other leisure activities, which require a certain amount of cash to get players started.
However, there are certain rules of etiquette that you’ll be required to follow both as a player and a spectator. The BBC has complied a useful collection of things to remember when settling down to a good game. You’ll also want to make sure you’re up to date with the rules and these illustrated instructions from Chess Variants could help.
Enjoying outdoor chess in the UK
Recreate the NYC vibe at home by trying your hand at outdoor chess UK-style. Involve the whole family in a fun activity by buying a large garden chess set that requires some real physical interaction. Companies like Mega Chess and Regency Chess have plenty of oversized, lightweight chess sets to choose from.
There are also a few UK cafes and pubs that have embraced the outdoor chess trend, including Holland Park Cafe which offers a welcoming spot for chess players in its outdoor area. Chess enthusiasts tend to gather at around 2pm and, in the summer, carry on playing until 9pm. If you’re based in Scotland and are looking for a chess challenge, have a look at the Chess Scotland calendar and explore your competitive side.
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Do you think university tuition fees should be scrapped? - February 20, 2018
- Let’s end polio for good - February 19, 2018
- It’s why we travel… - February 19, 2018
- Heart Valve Voice Reaches New Heights - February 19, 2018
- Will your pension support your retirement plans? - February 15, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!