Shropshire Star

Clock ticking as decorated Shrewsbury chess club faces race to find new home

One of Shropshire’s oldest and most decorated chess clubs is at risk of folding unless it can find a new home over the summer, it has been revealed.

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Shrewsbury Chess Club officials have issued a call for help after it was revealed that the club’s existing venue, Shrewsbury's Nerdy Cafe, will close in the near future.

The club – which has a rich history stretching back more than 100 years – had expected to have to move at the end of the season, but attempts to find a venue suitable for hosting chess club nights and league matches in the meantime, has so far proved unsuccessful.

That search has now been stepped up, and the club’s hierarchy has called for anyone with ideas or potential venues to get in touch as a matter of urgency.

Club secretary Mark Smith said unless a new venue could be found, the club could end up folding over the summer.

The club said that prospective venues would need to have a suitable sized room to accommodate at least two league matches of five boards each.

Club member Peter Kitchen added: "Ideally it would be away from other social gatherings to allow for a low level of noise, and have access to either a bar or facilities to make hot drinks."

So far rooms at community centres have been investigated by the club, while function rooms at pubs are also considered a possibility.

The club was based in portable buildings on the site of the former Shelton Hospital for many years before moving to the newly-built Redwoods Centre.

But the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic saw the club forced to leave, and it moved to the Nerdy Café in December 2021.

The situation comes after the club has enjoyed its most successful season for many years, with Shrewsbury A securing its first top three finish in division one of Shropshire Chess League for 10 years.

Anyone who can help the club in its search for a new home can e-mail Mr Smith with suggestions at markpsmith77@yahoo.com.