As we lurch unsteadily towards the brave new post-pandemic, post-industrial world, chess clubs must decide how they are going to react to ‘the new normal’. Those clubs which take a proactive approach will survive and flourish.
We’ve been one of London’s leading chess clubs since the merger of Richmond and Twickenham Chses Clubs to form Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club in 1958.
For the last half century or so, we, like most chess clubs, have seen our purpose mostly as providing competitive chess, competing in league matches and other competitions against other clubs in the vicinity, and sometimes further afield.
Even before lockdown there were signs that times were changing, and those changes have been accelerated as well by the Beth Harmon effect, with many viewers of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix either taking up or returning to chess.
My view is that chess clubs should aim to provide three products: competitive chess, social chess and chess instruction.
If you are interested in any or all of these products, you’re very welcome to join us. At present, our venue is rather small and unsuitable for younger children, but we’re actively working on looking at alternatives.
If you want to play competitive chess for us, whether you’re a master or a novice, we run teams which will provide you with challenging opposition. If you just want to come along, play a few games and make new friends, you’re very welcome to join our social evenings: you’ll find we’re a friendly bunch of chess enthusiasts of all ages who will make you feel at home.
If you want to learn chess, or to improve your chess, we can help. If you want your children to learn and improve, our President is an internationally renowned expert on children’s chess.
If you have any useful skills or contacts, do let us know. We’re always looking for people with administrative or teaching skills, for example, as well as chess skills. We’re also always looking for potential venues for chess events and, if you know someone with money to spare for a good cause there are always sponsorship opportunities.
Please note that all members who represent Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club in league matches are expected to be members of the English Chess Federation at Bronze Level or higher.
Click here to check your current membership status and see a list of gradings of RTCC players.
A quick note on ECF membership:
Bronze membership entitles you to play in league matches such as those in the London and Thames Valley Leagues.
If you want to play in tournaments graded by the ECF you’ll need Silver Membership.
If you want to play in tournaments which are internationally rated, and your national federation is England you’ll have to become a Gold Member.
You’ll find details of current rates here.
When you’ve decided which membership category is the one for you, go here to sign up.