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Frequently Asked Questions

The San Diego Chess Club, America's Finest Chess Club is at 2225 6th Ave in beautiful Balboa Park. Thanks to the City of San Diego for making a significant investment in San Diego chess.

  1. Where can I learn how to play? The club does not have a prgram for teaching how to play at this time. There are resources online such as and beginner's books. At some point the club hopes to have sessions teaching people how to play.

  1. My child knows how to play and is interested in learning more about the game. What should I do? The chess club endorses Martin Nilsson's Jedi Knights Scholastic program which meets at the club on Friday nights from 6:30 - 9:00 and costs $10 per student per session. Neither San Diego Chess Club nor USCF membership is required to participate. Martin can be contacted directly at It's best that participants already know how to play before attending.

  1. I’m an adult who knows how to play. I’m interested in playing competitive chess in San Diego. How do I start? To play in the adult programs (detailed on our home page) all you need to do is show up and be prepared to join the United States Chess Federation. You can play in your first tournament without paying the entry fee (renewing USCF members must pay an entry fee). Tournament play requires that players keep score of their games and use a chess clock. See the document TournamentChess_Intro.pdf on our resources page for additional information. There are also San Diego Chess Club dues for the Wednesday night adult program. Club dues for the Saturday program are charged after players have won prizes over a certain threshhold.

  1. How do I join the San Diego Chess Club? Annual club dues are $72 for adults. Discounts for Military, Youth and Seniors. You must be a club member to play Wednesday nights. If you play Saturdays club dues are dependent on your tournament success.

  1. I am interested in taking lessons from a local chess professional. Who do I contact? Please see the club’s resources page for some local chess professionals.

  1. I just want to play casual chess without joining the United States Chess Federation? The San Diego Chess Club is primarily setup for competitive tournament play. At some point the club will start an active casual play program. But, for now we are recommending the Downtown Library’s casual program which meets Fridays from 1:30 until the library closes. This beautiful new library is located at 330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101. Play happens in the first floor lobby. This program also hosts periodic casual blitz tournaments.

  1. Can I rent space at the San Diego Chess Club? Possibly if the event is chess related. Please contact the club at to ask.