While walking on the Promenade a while ago I tweeted something about a chess park and how rad it would be to have one here like they do on Venice Beach. We don’t really have the bums they do though, the kind that hang around in chess parks playing chess all day talking about their fight against The Man, so I’d imagine a park here would quickly deteriorate into just another public area filled with tiny tables for people to sit on while they eat their soft-serve, or for bergies to sleep under. While contemplating all of this I started getting a lot of replies on Twitter from people that loved the idea. Two weeks later I was playing my first game with @cluckhoff , two weeks after that eight of us were seated around a table at &Union, short of boards.
Next week we’re playing again, same time (6pm), same place (&Union). The beauty of this ‘chess club’ is that it’s completely informal. There are no scheduled games or rankings. There’s beer, good food, and a couple of people that like to play chess but never get the chance. That was my problem. I could only get a game maybe once a year at the family Christmas. I’ve played more games of chess in the past three weeks (10 games) than I have played in the past ten years, and I’m absolutely loving it.
We’ve got a very mixed group going at the moment. I’m not even sure all will keep on playing, but the idea is to provide the opportunity for people to play. We’ve toyed with the idea of a quieter venue, but to be honest, Brewers is perfect. If you want to have a game, but don’t want to rock up alone you can bring your mates, watch some music, and join in when there is a gap. Or bring your own board and challenger.
I’m no chess scientist, but I’m pretty sure this is the best workout you can have for your mind. At the very least it takes your mind off work and all that rubbish. In a battle for honor everything else matters a hell of a lot less.
I also have a new life goal after this past Tuesday. Well it’s @Rob_Hope’s actually, but I’m going to adopt it. There are 32 pieces on a board. Rob plans to get a chess set from each country he visits. His end goal is to one day sit down and play a game with a set which is made up of a piece from each of the sets he has collected. So one set with pieces from 32 different countries. I love it.
Follow me on Twitter for updates on the nights. We’ll be playing again this Tuesday.