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Social Chess

making a move

Many members come along to our club evenings (Thursday) just to play socially. Here's a flavour of what you should expect:

  • A friendly group of players who will make you welcome (just don't interrupt them if they're too deep in concentration!)
  • Help and tuition through replaying some openings or your end game.
  • Retirees, who are looking for something to brighten up their lives when they are not abroad on Safari
  • Games where formal rules (e.g. if you touch a piece you have to move it) gives way to the informal (e.g. your opponent suggesting you should retract a bad move).
  • Young professionals for whom playing chess is a way to meet some sane people and relieve stress
  • Simultaneous games, where one of the club's better players takes on 2-3 all-comers (meaning that a weaker player stands a better chance).
  • Friendly chit-chat - sometimes to do with chess.
  • Some frantic 'blitz' games, where you each have so many minutes (e.g. 5 or 10) on the clock; again, a weaker player can be given more time than their opponent.
  • Meeting a newcomer who admits to being 'rusty' but still brings out a novel opening to startle - and beat - his opponent!
  • An 8-year old who doesn't know all the nuances, so plays boldly and can beat players many times stronger
  • Casual players who throw caution to the wind with incredible piece sacrifices, that somehow never seems to work out in their favour.

When we were at Mary Hare Grammar School - a national school for the deaf - we occasionally had school pupils play. For example, Lewis Martin was in our A-team for several years before going to Bristol University. His grade is now 188, higher than any of our current players. In 2013 we were joined by a former pupil of Mary Hare from quite a few years ago whose career has taken him back to the Newbury area.

So, as you can see, we have all types (male / female, young /old, newscomers to chess, old hands, returners), and players of all standards and senses of humour. So come and join us in the fun - and serious - aspects of chess. Read the section on 'how to join' on our Club Information page.

An in between the truly social chess (which is often played quite fast and without a clock) and formal matches with other teams is the club championship, started in 2011-12. This is played under match conditions and gives the opportunity for team and social members to practice more seriously. Typically each entrant plays around one match a month (taking most of the evening). The other times they visit during the month they play normal social chess, getting in anything between 2 and 6 games in an evening.



This page last updated 10th August 2016

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Webmaster: David J Skyrme (david@skyrme.com).