Live in Canada? Looking to join a community of like-minded individuals? There is a wide selection of chess clubs available across Canada based on your geographic location.
Click here for a comprehensive guide on Canada's Chess Clubs.
Why And How To Join A Chess Club?
There are countless reasons to join a chess club:
You will build new friendships and chat with people with similar interests as yourself.
You will get help and advice from individuals with more experience and/or general chess rating.
Never played classical chess before? Get pushed out of your comfort zone to try something new.
Run and participate in tournaments with others in the same area easily.
You get to face opponents that may challenge you and help you identify your weaknesses.
You can also borrow resources such as chess equipment (clocks and boards)
A welcoming community that encourages and supports your growth.
Only played online chess? Chess clubs are a great way to start over the board chess in a casual yet competitive way.
A future post will cover more about the benefits of joining a chess club and chess in general.
When I Join, Where Do I Play?
Most clubs are now transitioning back to over the board. If clubs are doing in-person events, they usually have a set location that members play. On the other hand, if your club is doing online tournaments, they likely have a set of rules on their website. Most clubs doing online events use Lichess instead of Chess.com because of the intuitive nature of its tournament system. It is important that you play games to get comfortable with the online style. Remember that you should join your club on a Lichess account sometime before the tournament starts in case any problems do occur. If your not sure your online rating, you can approximate the rating based on your past experience. Ultimately before being able to join your club, there may be a requirement of games (ex. 20) that you must play in rapid, classical or blitz format to participate in these tournaments. These games will move your rating closer to your skill level.
Does It Cost Money?
Usually, the club will charge you a membership fee to join and a CFC fee. However, most clubs will not force you to pay on your first day or event playing with them. If you contact club organizers, they may be able to give you a discount or free membership based on your circumstances. Look at the club you are interested in to find the cost.
You can also email us and we can provide you membership based on your financial situation.
What is CFC?
CFC refers to the Chess Federation of Canada, most clubs in Canada use this rating system for most of their tournaments since it is the most renowned rating system in Canada. The CFC rating system is also easier to find any suspicious behaviour or cheating to occur with the program they provide clubs. This membership usually requires an additional fee. Learn more about CFC here.
Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can likely join a municipal club, a club in the same province or somewhere completely different. Don't limit yourself, as some clubs are doing online chess tournaments. These tournaments are a incredible way to face a completely different group of people to test your skills. Most clubs will allow you to join their club
despite being in a different geographical location.
Important Reminder: These clubs may be playing in a different time zone then yourself, so remember to check the timezone differences so you are ready for the tournament.
Below are just some chess clubs, press on the photos to be sent to their respective websites.
Thornhill Chess Club (Thornhill, Toronto)
Description: Don't hesitate to take the opportunity to play against Canada's finest online players at the Thornhill CC Bi-weekly CFC rated Rapid tournaments (schedule may change if it conflicts with other club's schedule like the Maritime CC or Hamissauga CC). The Thornhill Chess Club is a a positive community that usually has two sections to each event: amateur and pro. For more information you can contact Shon Laz, the organizer.
Maritime Chess Club (Halifax, New Brunswick)
Timezone: EDT (usually)
Description: Similarly, the Maritime Chess Club is filled with players from a variety of backgrounds and skills. The club features a large amount of players every tournament to provide you a great tournament experience. They also have events along the way on their Lichess. You can contact Fred McKim, the organizer for more information.
Hamissauga Chess Club (Mississauga, Ontario)
Description: This club has over 15 participants in their online tournaments. If you enjoy a smaller environment, this club may fit your interests.
BC Chess Federation (British Columbia)
Description: The BC Chess Federation not only has great tournaments, but an informative newsletter you can sign up for to get the most recent chess information. They provide news on different clubs and activities across BC.
Chess Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia)
Description: Chess Nova Scotia represents news on chess in the Nova Scotia area. The club features many tournaments and are slowly transitioning back into in-person events. They have a fun environment to check out.
Calgary Junior Chess Centre (Calgary, Alberta)
Description: Live in Calgary? The club highlights youth activity in chess, they have lessons and tournaments that you can participate in.
More Calgary specific clubs will be posted soon!
Annex Chess Club (Toronto, Ontario)
Description: The Annex Chess Club hosts a lot of chess tournaments in the Toronto area and have many notable players in their tournaments.
Manitoba Chess Association (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Description: This represents the body of chess in Manitoba and hosts various tournaments and activities throughout the year!
LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE?
If none of these clubs match your interest, there are many more clubs in Canada. Usually a quick google search "chess clubs" will show your closest chess club in your local area. You can also email us if you have any questions at email@example.com