Chess club offers something for everyone

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta in Roswell offers lessons, tournaments, lectures and open play.
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The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta in Roswell offers lessons, tournaments, lectures and open play.

Credit: contribu

Credit: contribu

Q: My husband and I are new to the area and I see there is a chess club in Roswell not too far from the Country Club. Would you tell me about it?

A: You are inquiring about the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta in the Village Terrace Shopping Center.

Born into a chess master family, Ben Finegold and his brother learned how to play the game at an early age.

Karen Boyd began her journey much later in life and noticed a lack of a chess club.

“Ben and I independently came up with the idea of the chess club, but we had not vocalized that to each other,” said co-founder Boyd. “Ben had worked at the St. Louis Chess Club as one of their grand masters, did tournaments and commentary. Relocating here he planned on teaching lessons.”

The husband-wife team opened the chess club in the fall of 2017 and welcome novices up to grand masters.

The Finegold’s have a couple of regular members who are 85. “Most kids under the age of 5 can’t make it to the end of a chess game,” she noted.

The Roswell chess club offers lessons, four types of tournaments, lectures, open play and hopes to bring camps back once it’s safer, Boyd said. Memberships are available but not necessary.

The most popular are their free-play nights on Wednesdays (6-8:45 p.m.). They get about 40 people or so. Coffee and snacks are offered.

“It’s informal and you get to play with a lot of different people, both repeats and newcomers. It’s a fun night,” she said.

Senior (50 and up) club time on Wednesdays is offered from noon to 2 p.m. and is also free. This is a slot the owners would really like to see built up.

The open tournaments are for both kids and adults. The scholastic is for K-12 only.

“Blitz tournaments is a fast chess game with a certain time control and the bughouse is a fun, standalone event that is not rated.

“You can enjoy chess and learn to play at any age. It keeps you youthful and studies show that it’s good for the brain, but I do wish that more women would play,” said Boyd.

Address: 2500 Old Alabama Road, Suite 11, Roswell (678) 628-5615.

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