Eccles Community Chess Club is quickly outgrowing its current home, and so is looking for a new venue to host league matches.
The club has exploded in popularity in the last few months, with the lifting of restrictions making it possible for people to play chess in person.
Barbara Farrar has run the chess club for the last year, and seen it grow quickly.
She said: “Originally, it was just three men in a shed, but look at it now! We’ve got players from all over who come because its a fun atmosphere.”
Currently members meet every Wednesday at The Station Bar in Eccles Town Centre. The sports bars lively atmosphere welcomes players of all skill levels to sit down for a game.
As well as casual matches, there are also ECF and FIDE rated
matches which allow more seasoned chess players to test their skills.
Barbara said: “We do try our best to make the club a casual place, but we also really want to be able to compete professionally as a club too. That’s the next step for Eccles Community Chess Club.”
To help with this, the club also has coaches that help players improve while also joining in themselves. One of those is Leila, who has been playing for nearly thirty years. She went on to play chess international player, and now hopes to start her own chess academy.
Leila said: “Chess has changed how I think about everything. How I think about work, my relationships, even love. I think everyone should at least try it. I played chess at a very high level, and now I want to impart my knowledge on to other people.
“Clubs like this are so great when it comes to bringing in new players, but for professional chess you need silence.”
Right now Eccles Community Chess Club’s professional matches are played in Barbara’s house, but its a temporary solution.
She said: “My house is spacious, but it’s not ideal for playing professional league matches.”
Currently, Barbara has her sights set on the recently refurbished Eccles Town Hall.
“I’m in the process at the minute of putting together a proposal saying “We’re Eccles Community Chess Club, you’re Eccles Community Town Hall, let’s work together.
“The first stage is a petition, where people can express their views, requesting funding to hire a venue in Eccles to facilitate Chess,”
Barbara is receiving support from various chess organisations across Salford and Greater Manchester. One of those is ChessNuts, a non for profit group of video producers that film competitive chess matches. It’s also supported by The Station Bar itself, which is the home of their Wednesday night matches.
ChessNuts founding member Nicky regularly visits Eccles Community Chess Club.
He said: “I just love the social aspect of it. There are players here that are way stronger than me, but that’s okay. We want to show that with ChessNuts.”
Eccles Community Chess Club meets every Wednesday at The Station Bar, and you can contact Barbara at 07743888585 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. ChessNuts can be found on Youtube here