Back in days gone by, in the romantic era of chess, the game was played in cafes and coffee houses amid the inspirational smoke of cigars and the vapours of heady, intoxicating spirits. Those were the days that produced masterpieces such as the “Evergreen” and “Immortal” games, not to mention some of the magnificent victories of Wilhelm Steinitz. Those were the days when it was manly (if not compulsory) to sacrifice material, and a matter of honour to take up the challenge!

Sadly since the advent of the washy hypermodern school, and the stifling imposition of computer databases, which have all but squeezed the art and zest from this noble game, those swashbuckling days seem like a fresh pint after seven sacrificial swigs.

However, in a little corner of Nottingham city centre, namely the King William IV public house, the spirited and fruity chess of yore still robustuously subsists!

The Nottingham Central Chess Club began (as Bunkers Chess Club) at the Bunkers Hill pub in Nottingham. Unfortunately, following a change of management at the Bunkers Hill, the club was forced to make an emergency move because we could no longer be certain of the venue.

The club has now taken up residence in its fifth venue – The Vat and Fiddle.

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