About The Club

Given the pandemic, Cambridge City Chess Club is currently able to host ONLY PRE-ARRANGED FORMAL MATCHES. Unfortunately we cannot function as a "drop-in" chess club, open to visitors. Persons seeking to play informal, coffeehouse-style chess might consider this weekly no-cost alternative setting.

When and Where

The Club meets on Wednesdays at 7:30pm September through May at St. Augustine's Church Hall, 101 Richmond Road, Cambridge CB4 3PS.


The Club is open to all, and our members range in strength from beginners to those with FIDE/Elo ratings above 2300. Our membership season runs from 1 September to 30 May. We have different categories of membership, with annual subscription fees as follows:

  • Standard Membership fee: £100
  • Seniors (65 or older): £75
  • Juniors (younger than 18): £50
  • Persons other than Seniors who are unemployed: £50

Members wishing to play in leagues or other rated matches must also belong to the English Chess Federation, which costs about £18 - £27 (different levels) for the annual season starting in September, to cover grading fees.

Persons seeking to play only informal "coffeehouse chess" may prefer this weekly no-cost alternative setting.

Leagues, Teams, and Timings

We field teams (four players each) in local leagues, for 7:30pm start. Digital chess clock time-controls limit games to around three hours, using Fischer timing, governed by the standard rules of chess. The schedule of fixtures is announced and online at the beginning of the season in September. Selection for most teams is done in August.

Main Activities

We play in the Bury Area Chess League (BACL) where we usually field five teams. Teams consist of four players, sometimes drawn from a squad of five. This League is very well organized with three divisions of six or seven teams each, playing each other team twice (Home and Away) making 10 to 12 fixtures. The Away fixtures are in the local towns of Ely, Linton, or Bury St Edmunds, on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays. BACL fixtures run from September to April.

An informal annual "Town vs Gown" rapidplay contest (30 minutes per player) is held usually in April, mainly against Cambridge University students who quite enjoy thrashing us. Other fun events cater for handicaps and some bizarre experimental variants of chess.

Finally, there is an internal Club Championship of six or seven rounds played throughout the season (self-scheduled), formatted as double round-robins within Groups, with pairings announced before the end of August.