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Poster by Phil Gennuso Arts – Post from my Ebook Horizons Expanded edition – Links can be found at top of page

The Iconic New York Chess & Checker Club on 42nd Street, New York City!

I started playing Chess very young. One of my uncles, from Brooklyn, was really good, and I just picked it up. I went on to play in high school, and briefly in college.

The New York Chess & Checker club was right in midtown Manhattan, and would charge players for the boards. You would meet up with another player, and the loser would pay the tab! Oftentimes the tab would include a coffee or a soft drink.

You could always count on great games and meeting interesting characters, most of whom lived right in the city.

Competitive, egalitarian coffee house chess, right in the middle of downtown Manhattan!

If the weather was ok, after the games, we would walk a few blocks over to Bryant Park and the fabulous Main Branch of The New York City Public Library, a vast storehouse of innumerable books and documents, all available onsite to the general public. Typically (to this day) the Library also would host great exhibits of historical and literary documents which are hard to find elsewhere.

Bryant Park and The Main Library are truly part of the wonders of the world, in my opinion!

If the weather was really nice we would walk all the way downtown, to Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village, where folks might be playing chess outdoors, or playing guitars and singing songs to anyone who would listen!

Friendship, Chess, great books, exhibitions, music!

A great time in a great city!

The club was established by a Canadian in 1950 and lasted until the late 1970s. It became The Disney Store which I always thought was quite interesting!

I feel so lucky I was able to be part of the chess history of New York City, a city that has produced many incredible players, probably most notably Bobby Fischer. There still are many chess clubs scattered throughout the city, but I think it will be quite some time before another one like The New York Chess & Checker Club arrives.