Come and Make Your Move!

BREAKING NEWS : The 2022 Summer Chess Season has just begun at The Bookshop. Just as soon as the weather warms up a bit, we will be playing outside again by the lights of The Bookshop on Tuesday evenings from 18.30pm for juniors and 19.30pm for adults. All are welcome to come and play a little, or a lot, of al fresco chess this summer.

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May 2022

What a year The East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club has had.

A successful 2021 summer season was followed by over fifty people signing up for our Winter Season. Tuesday nights have never been so vibrant, and it has been a joy to see you all enjoying your chess so much.

When Mid Sussex  finally launched its match playing league in January 2022 The Bookshop was proud to field two junior teams, and even one adult team for the first time ever, and as that season draws to end all our teams have put in creditable performances. Be sure to let me know if you fancy playing league matches from this September.

In a year of such national and global adversity, our chess club has triumphed and grown thanks to all of you. You have given me so many highlights and firsts for the club, but I must champion the fantastic achievements of our junior players.

Niamh Grace, has not only won a chess scholarship to Brighton College in September, but she became a national chess champion when she played on board two in the Sussex team that won The Nationals in April. She joins Toby Appleton and Cillian Nagy both of whom have previously achieved that accolade.

And what can we say about Luke Freeman wo has just made it into the England team, the first of our players to have ever done so.

I am so proud of all of you, you are a credit to yoursleves and to our club. Such success and achievements never crossed my mind when I and two children started playing chess one Sunday morning, sitting outside The Bookshop on East Grinstead High Street.

Who could have imagined such things ?

Let`s dream big.


Chess Pieces

6th May 2021

It has been a long lockdown this last one, but it will end for us chess players on Tuesday 18th May 2021 at 18.30pm when over the board chess will resume inside The Bookshop.


6th November 2020

The pandemic has really had a big impact on chess at The Bookshop. In March The Bookshop had to close its doors to everyone, customers and chess players alike, but by April we were up and operating an East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club online at https://lichess.org/team/east-grinstead-bookshop-chess-club and holding Arena Rapid Play Tournaments on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings.

Once The Bookshop reopened in June the challenge was how to bring back over the board chess on East Grinstead High Street so that it was safe.. To that end I set about making oak blocks to hold acrylic screens so that players could safely face each other and play outside, and after much trial and error we were able to have sixteen players playing outside at any one time.

With the new season fast approaching and the weather turning colder we looked to bring the chess inside The Bookshop once again. New one metre wide tables, temperature checks, handsanitiser, isopropanol cleaning fluid, adequate,ventilation and strict adherence to the government guidance on groups of six, together with the acrylic screens allowed us to do so.

The relaunch of The East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club on Tuesday nights in September proved very popular, with our junior section already full and operating a waiting list, and our new senior section really attracting a lot of interest, with a good attendance every Tuesday night.

What is more, being one of the only chess clubs able to play, it was lovely to be able to invite young chess players from Crowborough Chess Club to come and play in two matches held on Sunday afternoons in October. There will be more just as soon as this latest Lockdown is lifted.

Chess has ,of course, been temporarily suspended during this latest Lockdown, but the Lichess tournaments will be up and running from Tuesday 10th November, start time is 18.30pm , don`t be late.

Let`s hope we can resume our over the board chess just as soon as the current restrictions are lifted on 2nd December.

Until then, stay home, stay safe and keep playing chess.




The Junior Chess Club meets on Tuesdays between 6:30-7:30pm, and Sunday mornings from 10:30-11:30am

If you've never played chess before, we can help, come and see if chess is for you.

If you've played at school and would like to play more, we can help, The Bookshop is the place to come and improve.

If you want to get into the county squad or county team, we can help, we already have several children representing Sussex at under 12 level, and they are National Champions.

If you want to play in the local league, we can help, the East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club has this year entered a team in the Mid Sussex League. 

Release your inner Magnus Carlsen here at The Bookshop.

Get in Touch


East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club was founded in September 2019 and meets at The Bookshop, an amazing sixteenth century black and white timber-framed building, the quintessential English bookshop, full to the rafters with wonderful books. It really is a unique venue. 

Club night is Tuesday night from 7.30

pm until the last game ends. We play with beautiful triple weighted wooden Staunton chess sets on lovely wooden boards.

For those free on Wednesday afternoons, the East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club convenes at The Bookshop from 2:30pm until close of business at 5:30pm. 

As an added bonus, members can come and have a game at The Bookshop any time they choose during normal shop hours. John, the owner, can always be persuaded to have a game when he's not working. 

Get in Touch
Chess Pieces


For people travelling by car, there is parking right outside of The Bookshop. If there are no available spaces, you can use the Chequer Mead Theatre Car Park.

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01342 322669

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