Welcome to the website for the Menlo Park Chess Club!
We are a U.S. Chess affiliate (A7573196) and offer casual instruction, lectures, informal play, rated and unrated tournaments and other chess activities to residents of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Stanford, Mountain View, Redwood City, Sunnyvale and the surrounding area, striving to appeal to players of all interests and skill levels, from complete beginners to strong masters. The club meets every Thursday from 6:00-9:45pm but check the Events page for current meeting dates and times. For location and outreach information please see our Contact page.
Chess has experienced a resurgence of late, thanks in part to a popular Netflix series and to compelling content created by online chess streamers (Agadmator, GMHikaru, BotezLive, GothamChess, etc.), as well as interest in the recent World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament and the ability to play the game with anyone in the world online, anytime, through services like lichess.org and chess.com, activity which became all the more prevalent and convenient while the pandemic forced us into relative seclusion.
For many chess enthusiasts, online play has its place but is not the equal of an over-the-board (“OTB”) game. Sitting across from your opponent for a casual, blitz or rated tournament game while moving actual pieces on a board is how chess is meant to be enjoyed and the Bay Area of California affords numerous opportunities for OTB play.
Surprisingly, there is no longer an established chess club in the Menlo Park/Stanford/Palo Alto area–one must visit the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco or the Kolty Chess Club in Campbell to enjoy regular weeknight chess. Scholastic chess and weekend tournament opportunities abound in the Bay Area, with organizations like the Mechanics Institute, Bay Area Chess, Berkeley Chess School and many others providing these services, but for the adult chess player looking to gather on a weeknight for a game or two the options are far more limited.
The Menlo Park Chess Club is ideally situated between the Mechanics Institute and Kolty clubs and is one block from the Menlo Park Caltrain station. Our club meets in the beautiful Oak Room at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, the perfect place for casual or serious chess. Please join us for a game or two and bring a friend–the more the merrier!