I Love Street Chess

DSCN5148, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

There is something about these scenes. Every time I pass them playing it makes me smile. I’d say it contributes greatly to the beautiful life.

11 Comment

  • Can I just jump in a game? I would probibly need to brush up on my skills.

    I think the timer would make me nervous

  • These guys eat “jump ins” alive. Trust me.

  • Is there a street chess scene at all in Columbia Heights? If not it would be nice to set one up.

  • I hate street chess.

    Not the the players or the game itself, but that it inspires people to say things like “I love street chess, how do we get street chess in Columbia Heights?” I wonder if people would love it so much if it was being played by members of the Chevy Chase country club or by retirees at Leisure World. Not so interesting anymore. Certainly not worth taking a picture of. I suspect that all of the cachet of street chess is that it is being played by people who are not “supposed” to be playing it.

  • Anon: 10:44 – Not really, the cachet is that chess is a great and ancient game which many people love. However, many folks have only played it at home and in a controlled environment. Street chess is more like street basketball I’d guess, you are matched with a stranger, things move much faster, there is trash talking, and there’s often spectators confusing the whole thing by heckling you and/or shouting out advice. That’s all quite exciting, until you play a couple times and get schooled. Then its just annoying and you realize chess sucks anyways, unless you play a toddler…

  • Anon: 10:44 !

    That was pretty funny!

    YOu where not being serious where you?

  • anon @10:44am.

    What the hell are you talking about? Street chess is the easiest way to get a quick game, nothing more. As far as “people who are not “supposed” to be playing it”, that’s your thought not mine. You can’t find a better teacher than this guy:


  • Reminds me of the barbershop checkers games played over the years, or those legendary chess games at Dupont Circle, small things that remind us to slow down in this mad rush in life, thanks

  • Anon 10:44 AM, you are right. If it was little old white men from upper NW nobody would be interested. Becuase the picture portrays black men playing chess it somehow it makes it more “real”, lol, totally funny.

  • Yes, it’s completely impossible that some of us just happen to like chess.

  • Your a pickle – check the link Eleven posted.

    As the girlfriend and roommate of ElevenIrving, I’d like to mention he is Dr. ElevenIrving, an astrophysicist and avid chess fan. He also grew up around Dupont Circle which may be where his first-hand familiarity (he has taken lessons from the man in the article) and fondness for street chess originated.

    He was very excited to see this picture and happy to post about a game he knows about and enjoys but yeah, I guess you saw through all that.

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