Our membership is made up of a diverse group of people numbering upwards of 2,000 adult, junior and senior players, male and female, who participate in activities from casual play all the way up to the professional world championship stage.
The club offers regular weekly meetings, lessons, and structured competitive events. We are a registered member of national and international chess governing bodies. We continually work towards improving the skill level of our members and raising the profile of the game in schools and the larger community.
Hours of Operation
The Calgary Chess Club is open for casual play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 19:00-22:30. Our friendly session hosts rotate weekly and include Steve Sklenka, Samer Louise, Steve Smith and Gordon Campbell.
Activities on Tuesday include our regular competitive events in the main room, as well as more casual play and kibitzing in the secondary room where we also offer casual seating, access to our printed and digital chess library, and various complimentary refreshments. Thursday consists mostly of casual blitz or rapid games, but will occasionally morph into friendly mini-competitions at faster time controls.
Larger competitive tournaments and other events are held at least monthly, and almost always on weekends. Please refer to our Events schedule for details.
Our classes and other instructional sessions happen at different times. For more information please check Classes!
The use of cell phones and other digital devices is strictly prohibited during competitive events. Specific details about these and other rules can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section on our Events page. Please familiarize yourself with these and other rules, and always respect the the right of other participants for enjoying a quiet environment free of unnecessary distraction.
Early History 1930 to 1971
Looking for a chess club in Calgary, some fifty years ago, was an adventure! There was enough interest in playing chess with friends or family at home, but to play in a club, that was something different. Somehow, around fifteen brave players found each other and gathered every Monday night in Maccabees Hall on Fifth Avenue between 9th and 10th Street SW. This was the year 1968.
Much earlier than that, chess was also played at a club called Eagles of Britain all the way back in the 1930s. One of the players of that era still played the game into 1980, and regretfully we never heard the entire story from those days many years ago. Some day, perhaps, someone else can fill that void with records from local newspapers or stories heard through friends...
Once we started, back in 1968, we tried hard to promote ourselves. There were simultaneous chess exhibitions at Westbrook Shopping Centre, Market Mall and others. The club grew to number 50 members in just one year. Branimir Brebrich became our first president. This was the year 1969.
But just when the club looked poised to take flight in earnest, disaster struck in the prosaic but serious situation of a $27 debt owed in past rent!
But just when the club looked poised to take flight in earnest, disaster struck in the prosaic but serious situation of a $27 debt owed in past rent! Members were summoned to talk about options in case we were to be evicted. One interesting idea was to join the German-Canadian Club in Bowness, but that would mean losing our own identity. After much lively discussion the name stayed, and the rest is history.
The crisis had been averted, and the club now formally registered its existence with the authorities. Two letters, sent to the Government of Alberta and the Albertan newspaper, respectively, and signed by Branimir Brebrich, J. Kassay Farkas, R.C. Korpan, R. Gjesdal, and B. Van Wieren asked to sponsor Branimir Brebrich's appearance at the 1971 Canadian Open in Vancouver. That application was rejected. This was the year preceding the famous Match of the Century between Robert James Fischer and Boris Spassky in Reykjavik in the following year. Chess finally made headlines!