Chess & Checkers
Chess and checkers in Central Park is one of New York’s most well-known traditions. In addition to being speckled with tables ideal for a game, Central Park hosts some facilities specifically designed to encourage the playing of chess and checkers.
Central Park’s Chess and Checkers House is one of several visitors’ centers within the park. Though you can play chess in almost any New York City Park, only at the Chess and Checkers House can you borrow pieces for your game. The 24 tables surrounding this rustic pagoda are blessed with ample shade, ideal for a checkers game any time of year. If you don’t have a player, the park staff will help you find one. This spot is frequented by those who play chess nearly every day. It is an excellent spot for chess neophytes to improve their games.
On certain summer weekends, players young and old can enjoy the expertise of grandmaster chess players. These events, usually held on Saturdays, include lectures on chess strategy. Additionally, up to 30 players at a time play each grandmaster. This chess series is free for adults and children.
Though a festival, tournament, special event, or dedicated chess facility like the Chess and Checkers House are all ideal and dedicated chess and checkers playing venues, it is also possible to play in many locations throughout the park. Some tables have chess boards already pre-imprinted. Alternatively, you can bring your own chess board and pieces and wait to be approached. Choose pieces that will withstand wind.