Chess Clubs

[Please note that some of this information may not be up to date.  If you plan to attend, confirm with their contact or website first.  Please let us know of any errors so that we may update the site for other users.]

If you are an adult or your school doesn't have a club, there are still several area playing opportunities:

  • Bradenton Chess Club - meets 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month -- South Manatee Public Library on 26th St. W. from 12:00noon to 2:30pm.   Bring a chess set if you have one.
  • Chess Club at North Port Public Library -- Every Saturday 2-4pm.  Beginners and advanced players are all welcome! All ages. Instruction available.  Please bring your own chess set.  Contact: Pamela Burch/ Shana Hinze.  Contact Number: 941-861-1312
  • Parker's Books and Book Bazaar -- Not a club, but a nice place to play at outdoor chess tables in downtown Sarasota (1488 Main St.).   Facebook page  941-366-2898.

North of us:

  • St. Petersburg Chess Club -- They have held many large well-run full-day scholastic tournaments each month for years. Our kids competed there several times and particularly enjoyed competing as a team, earning individual and team trophies. Since their tournament director Andrew Scherman passed away in 2011, their tournaments went on hold for a while.  They are back now, though much smaller scale.  Tournaments with Open (including adults and high-ranked juniors) and Scholastic sections are held the first Saturday of each month.  For tournaments, go to

  • United Minds Chess Club -- Northdale Recreation Center, Tampa (Carrolwood).  Nonprofit organization with monthly tournaments, even through the summer.  Well-divided scholastic sections of appropriate size (12-20 per section), typically K-5 (U500) / K-8 (U800) / K-12 (OPEN).  12noon-5:30pm.  Recommended, if you don't mind the drive (about 1.5hr from South Sarasota to North Tampa).  Facebook page with info

  • Tampa Bay Chess -- 13910 Nine Eagles Rd, Tampa (Westchester, north of Oldsmar).  They have chess lessons, camps, and run many tournaments, the largest of which is the North Florida Regional Championships, held in February.  Drive time about 1.5hr from South Sarasota to North Tampa.  Generous with trophies.

  • Hoffer's Chess Academy -- Tampa Chess Centre, Busch Commercial Plaza, 5035 E. Busch Blvd., Suite 10, Tampa (Temple Terrace).  They have weekly chess nights and also host tournaments, although some of these are small or have very strongly rated adult participants.  They also offer lessons through Hoffer's Chess Academy, with an impressive list of former student champions.  About 1hr 20min drive from South Sarasota.

  • Central Florida Chess Club -- Orlando.  They host several big well-run tournaments, often lasting a couple days over a weekend, at the International Palms Resort.  About a 2hr drive from South Sarasota.

  • Gainesville Chess Club -- Gainesville, FL.

South of us:

  • SW Florida Chess Club -- Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and Marco Island.  Club meets in Estero, between Ft Myers and Naples.   They host adult and scholastic tournaments the first Saturday of each month. 3 rounds, G/55.  Scholastic section is typically only 4-8 players, mostly under 500 rating.  1 or 2 adult sections with a total of about 10 players, 1200-2100 USCF rating range, about 1500 average.   Their website also has a Scholastic section and some very nice instructional pages in the "Learning" section.

Other Florida chess organizations:

  • Florida Scholastic Chess League -  Host regional scholastic tournaments.
  • Florida Chess Association -- State organization, based in Orlando.  Hosts tournaments and has event listings for USCF tourneys around Florida.