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Idea: Let's build a database of chess parks

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  • #16
    Strange no one mentioned Union Square Park, in NYC 14th to 16th Street,
    East & West.
    Humphrey Bogart may have played in a NYC park probably in Midtown Manhattan. There is a park next to the Public Library.
    I myself played a few thousand games in a Bronx Park, known as the Soundview area.
    When I was in the US Army in Berlin, strange I never saw anyone playing chess in a park. They played in clubs. You could enter the club, and no one said anything. You just played. I gave lessons to a younger player.
    In Zurich, the same thing. I saw the club of the 1934 famous tournament.
    But I never saw anyone playing in a park.
    There must be a park in Boston, where chess is played. But the only time I was there was in Winter.
    However, as above, Union Square Park, chess is played when it is not raining or snowing. There is also a park near NYU in Manhattan, and chess is definitely played.
    You have to relate where ever there is a college, and a nearby park, you probably could find chess.
    Although at CCNY in the 60's chess was played indoors.


    • #17
      3 sites I used to be at

      I looked through the threads and thought it remarkable that three sites I was familiar with are not yet listed.

      1. Harvard Square, Boston, the coffee shop (or cafe, formerly Au Bon Pain, may be a Starbucks now). This is a huge one, usually at least 20 players in the al fresco area plus maybe 3 tables going inside. There are 6-8 stone tables with the 64 squares etched in (people often just put a vinyl tourney board over it. Usually going until the cafe closes, around 2 am. Occasionally I found bridge players here, too (no one in my age groups know how to play bridge! They are usually my grandmother's age!). Variable strengths from Master on down. People will play at all hours into the night/morning. Rain or shine, you'll always find a game going. Most anyone you ask in Boston about this will know about Harvard Square's chess 'park', even if they don't play chess. BTW, there is an excellent 7 day/wk chess club in Boston, the Boylston Chess Club.

      2. JFK square, downtown Philadelphia (aka Center City), just north of the City Hall on Market St. At least there was one during the mid-1980s. People would play on the benches & steps of the fountain there. Usually going during the day; inadequate lighting & safety issues (Philly cops are not to be messed with. Period.) This one has hustlers, so beware. At the time, the funny thing was that often times I was the only white guy there (the funny anecdote is when I was playing one of the stronger players, money was changing hands behind me, and one said "I'm betting on the white guy!")

      3. The KFC on Canal Street, Vieux Carre (Bourbon St. area, old New Orleans). Not so much a park but on the sidewalk under the canopy--usually about 2-3 games going on those fold-up conference tables that can fit two boards. Definitely hustlers there! If you beat them (when I was last there, I'd put them around 1600-1700 strength), some will throw their money down on the board in disgust and not play you anymore. I haven't been down there since 1998, but the three times I was there for conferences at the Riverwalk there was something going.

      I live in North Carolina--I know of several chess clubs, but no outdoor venues I'm aware of.

      Someone may be able to verify the last two venues. The Harvard Square site is an institution.

      -d nemo

      P.S. I'm looking for parts or repair for my BHB Turnier analog clock. Does anyone know of anything like this?


      • #18
        Nice. BTW, I hope you won that game in Philly!

        "Players who fail to study tactics systematically tend to suffer from tactical blind-spots that plague them throughout their playing career, and thus they fail to realize their full potential." GM John Nunn.
        Chess is 99 percent tactics. - Teichmann
        Chess is 99% tactics - Alexei Shirov
        "I absolutely agree with the well-known maxim: 'Chess is 99% tactics." GM Susan Polgar


        • #19
          nice idea


          • #20
            idk if this counts, but in a little area near the mall at Wollongong, Australia, there are often some old guys who come to play...probably not at the same level as American players would though lol


            • #21
              Flat # 16 Blantyre rd Town Centre, Ndola. It happens everyday after 17hrs


              • #22
                ChessBase posted where to play chess in the U.S. but I can not locate the link.
                But the following has the clubs: Click on a State and the information appears.
                United States Chess Clubs


                • #23
                  801 Southwest 15th Avenue
                  Miami, FL‎


                  Maximo Gomez Park, also known as “Domino Park”, is a former parking lot that was converted into a park along Calle Ocho (SW 8th St). Today, it is one of the main meeting points and cultural landmarks in Little Havana. Almost anytime of the day, the small park is filled with retirees and neighborhood people playing dominoes or chess. Here one can see an older generation of Cubans play dominoes or chess each day.

                  Around the corner, don’t miss the Little Havana Paseo de las Estrellas (Walk of the Stars). It is reminiscent of the one in Hollywood, but stars are given to Latin American actors, writers, artists and musicians.
                  Chess on YouTube! FM Charles Galofre


                  • #24
                    Here's a chess park for you. Maybe not the one you have in mind, but a park is a park is $45 for a car spot. 24 hours, no thrills.

           Welcomes ChessPark Members -


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by downby
                      New locations in New York City
                      Where in New York City?

                      Washington Square Park is currently undergoing construction. But, man, they can smell out an untrl-strong player. I went there with two of my friends once about three years ago. One of them was 19 and rated about low-2300s but HIGHLY tactical. The guys already knew him. We'll call him "A". The other was a kid - 15, skinny and blonde. We'll call him "B". We told him to keep his mouth shut because he talked with a heavy accent. We looked around and only asked those who were the actual hustlers. "A" could already beat them. The hustlers also knew I was a weak player, so they knew I wouldn't play but I would be the stakes horse. When they looked at "B", they declined. They smelled a very strong master even though he didn't speak. They were correct in declining and kind of ruined our fun. "B" was hovering just above 2500 at the time.

                      Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
                      *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

                      The King In Jeopardy
                      Perfect Your Chess
                      Sharpen your Tactics
                      The Middlegame, Book I
                      ICC Tactical Trainer bot

                      "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Phoenix View Post
                        Where in New York City?
                        Between the non-useful posts and off topic link in his signature, the guy struck me as a spammer, so he's gone.


                        "Don't be afraid of ghosts! Always play the moves you want to play unless you see a genuine tactical drawback." --Grandmaster Neil McDonald


                        • #27
                          Who was Player B?

                          Would have guessed Kamsky if you hadn't mentioned the 'blonde' part.


                          • #28
                            Hi Folks

                            Hi to everybody. Just joined today. Been playing since I was ten (on and off)
                            and I've just retired and joined a local chess club. Looking to improve my game now I have more time to study. I play on ChessCube online and Chessmaster on the PC.



                            • #29
                              The Chess Page

                              The owner of the page says:

                              "I am collecting a list of all the public chess sites in the world.
                              Streets, Parks, Beaches, Bookstores and Cafe's"

                              My gut is the page might be old. It does contain several or more locales for every state, and locales in countries other than the States.
                              "They work at the pace of amnesia."--M. Bloch


                              • #30
                                What a wonderful opportunity that was for you. It was like a gift waiting for you. Happy you had that chance.