The Four Corner Outdoor Chess Club is a very enjoyable thig to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It meets at noon in St. John’s Square, a short walk from Farringdon station, a part of the city that is quiet at the weekend. It is free and you don’t need to book – just turn up and take part. The atmosphere is fun and friendly, it doesn’t matter whether you are a good player or a complete beginner, you will find a game. To be honest, you don’t even have to play, there were some people who just came to watch.
They say that chess is good for keeping the brain active, and in that respect, this club would certainly be good for the over 55s. The chess sets are laid out on a small wall and have a natural seat on one side, on the other side the player will have to stand, so if you have a back problem you may have to ask to be on the seated side. I can’t imagine that anyone there would have a problem with this though, everyone was very helpful and friendly.
The setting is lovely, a tree lined square, there is even a beautiful quiet, contemplative garden on one side, where you could go to gather your thoughts after a particularly tricky game. It was a warm sunny day when I was there, and it was an idyllic way to spend time – it might be a bit different on a damp winter day, although I suspect that they have a friendly pub nearby that they can adjourn to. The Four Corner Club also meet on a Wednesday evening at 6pm in Granary Square, near Kings Cross station – perhaps I’ll see you there!