Club faces a fight for its future as urgent search for venue stepped up

One of Shropshire’s oldest and most decorated chess clubs is at severe risk of folding unless a new venue can be found over the summer, it has been revealed.  Shrewsbury Chess Club officials have issued a rallying cry for help after it was revealed that the club’s existing venue the 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 have 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.

Prospective venues would need to have a suitable sized room to accommodate at least two league matches of five boards each. 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, while function rooms at pubs would also be 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 they moved to the Nerdy Café in December 2021.

It comes after the club enjoyed its most successful season for many years. Shrewsbury A secured its first top three finish in division one of Shropshire Chess League for 10 years thanks to a final day draw with Newport A. Email Mr Smith with suggestions on

Meanwhile, the Shropshire Minor Individual competition was this week coming to an exciting climax. Shrewsbury’s Robert Green has moved into the outright lead on 6/7 after defeating Ian Jamieson of Maddocks in his final round match, and contenders Joe Greenwood (Newport) and James Holyhead (Telepost) were facing each other this week with both needing a win to catch Green.

The draws have also been made for the summer knockout competitions. In the cox Trophy for division one clubs, league champions Maddocks A face a club derby with Maddocks B, Newport A will hoist Shrewsbury A and Telepost B will play Oswestry A. Telepost A have been handed a bye.

In the Minor Knockout, Telepost D will play Telepost C, Telepost E will host Newport B and Maddocks C will be at home to division two champions Telford A. Telford B will have a bye.

The Shropshire Megafinal of the UK Chess Challenge will take place at Charlton School in Wellington on Saturday. There will be sections for youngsters from eight to 18 with players competing for the chance to qualify for the regional and national stages of the tournament.

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