Beautiful Image of The City of Montreal that has Chess Players, Chess Clubs, Chess Classes and Groups

Best Places to Play Chess in Montreal - Ultimate Guide

I'm a 20+ years resident of Montreal and I have spent 15+ years playing chess in person all over Montreal. In this blog I will reveal all of the secret spots that I have uncovered where people meet up and play chess.

P.S. Read carefully the description of each chess group because they all operate differently

Student Groups

McGill Chess Club - Free

Average attendance : 30 people

Thursdays 16:00 to 18:00 @ Trottier Cafeteria

People are very friendly and the average level is surprisingly good! There are a few beginners, a good amount of players have a rating between 1700 and 2100 online. The strongest player I encountered there was rated 2300. The boards, clocks and the pieces are brought by the club and in a big enough quantity so that there is always a few boards free. The event is free play so you decide if you want to play with or without a clock and the amount of time you want to play with. 

Learn More Here

Concordia Chess Club - Free

Average attendance : 25 people

Fridays 16:00 to 19:00 and/or Tuesdays 15:00 to 17:00 @ hall building, 7th floor

The people are nice and there are people at every skill level. The chess materials are brought by the club and usually there are enough boards for everyone but you can bring your own chess set just in case. The event is also free play.

Learn More Here

UdeM Chess Club - Free

Average attendance : 10 people

Fridays 18:00 to 20:00 @ Jean-Brillant, Cafeteria 2nd floor

The people are friendly and it is calmer than the other university's chess club events. There are several regulars have a good level, around 1900 and 2000, and they are always willing to help out the new players learn about chess. Usually there are enough boards for everyone but you are invited to bring your own chess set and chess clock if you have one.

Learn More Here

Other Schools

I haven't found any other universities that have Chess Groups that meet up on a regular basis. 

For Cegeps, usually there are chess clubs but they aren't always active so you can try to organize a few events if no one is doing so already.

For Primary Schools & Secondary Schools (high schools), usually schools have chess classes as part of their extracurricular activities. If your school doesn't have any chess classes in their extracurricular activities program, you can contact Chess Seed here so that we can help organize the classes at your school.

Other Groups

MeetUp Group Montreal Chess - Free

Average attendance : 10 to 20 people

Wednesdays 18:00 to 20:00 @ Esplanade Tranquille, Montreal, QC

Great place to go since it is downtown and it is near a lot of other different activities. There is a self-serve library, cafés, restaurants, a refrigerated skating rink in the winter, and a cozy terrace in the summer. There is also a multipurpose pavilion with common areas for resting where chess is played. Intimate performances put on by the numerous festivals and events held in the Quartier are another aspect of Esplanade Tranquille's year-round joyous side.

You are also invited to buy a drink or some food.

Learn more about MeetUp Group Montreal Chess

Ahuntsic Chess Club - 20$ to 35$ for a 8 month membership after a free first visit

Average Attendance : 15 to 20 people

Saturdays 12:30 to 17:00 @ Ecole Saint-Martyrs-Canadiens, 9930 Rue Parthenais, Montréal, Québec H2B 2L4

The club has been founded 20+ years ago, people of all ages gather to play chess. There are frequent semi-rapid tournaments and free play chess. First visit is free but after you need to pay 35$ for the season (middle of September to end of May). If you are 20 years of age it's only 20$.

Learn more about Ahuntsic Chess Club Here

Longueil Chess Club - 2$ per tournament after a free first visit

Average Attendance : 15 to 20 people

Tuesdays 7pm and Saturdays 9:30 and 13h30 @ Maison le Réveil, 930 rue St-Jacques, Longueil, Québec J4H 3E2 

The club does almost only tournaments either within their club, sometimes against other clubs. Tuesday afternoons you play semi-rapid tournaments either 20min+10sec or 15min+10sec. Saturdays there are two tournaments, first a semi-rapid tournament with the same format as the one on Tuesdays and second a slow, more classical tournament that are played over the course of several weekends format is 1h + 30s. Sometimes there are also blitz tournaments during the weekends. Finally there is also a annual chess tournament.

Learn more about Longueil Chess Club Here

Loisirs Saint-Henri - Free

 Average attendance : depends on the time of day and on your luck

Tuesdays 16:00 - 20:00, Saturdays 11:00 to 17:00 and Sundays 11am to 5pm @ at Parc Daisy Peterson Sweeney until the construction at this other place that doesn't seem to have a name but is closer to the Atwater Market. It is at these specific coordinates on google maps : (45.48050082850392, -73.57357234698026

People like to meet up at this place to play chess because there are several long tables, small chess tables and a big tent which allows people to play in different types of weather (Really bad weather can still affect the availability of the event). After a few chess games, you can go buy some food at the Atwater Market and go for a walk along the many parcs along the canal Lachine. 

Learn more about Loisirs Saint-Henri Here 

Libraries - Free

Libraries are a public place where you can meet up with a friend to play chess. Most libraries have a chess set that you can use to play but sometimes they require some sort of identification to let you borrow a chess set. You can find people playing chess sometimes but it is not a guaranteed. Therefore I wouldn't recommend visiting libraries as a top choice to find people who like playing chess.

Downtown Events - Free

There are organized chess events from time to time in Montreal. Some are happen annually while some are one time events. The best way to keep track of them is to frequently check the Montreal News.

My favorite event is the giant chess games at Place-Des-Arts. Most summers, usually during May and June, at the quartier des spectacles (45.508350611597265, -73.56525356970825) giant chess sets are installed and people come play. Since a lot of people pass by the quartier des spectacles there is always a few people watching the games and someone who is willing to play. 

This is also very close to the Esplanade Tranquille so there are a lot of other activities that you do after you have played a few chess games.

MeetUp Group MICC - 12$

Average attendance : 8 to 12 people

Inconsistent schedule, usually Fridays sometimes Thursdays or Saturdays 18:30 -  21:00 @ Insiders Café (St-Denis location)

For 12$ you get a nice drink and some snacks to enjoy.

 Learn more about MeetUp Group MICC Here

Lakeshore Chess Club - 40$ to 90$ for a membership

Thursdays 19:00 – 22:00 @  720 boulevard Montreal-Toronto Dorval  H9S 1A1

It is a great place to go play chess if you live in the Dorval area. They welcome people of all ages but they don't have any regular free chess events. 

 Learn more about Lakeshore Chess Club Here

Tiers lieu Montréal - price 5$ 

Wednesday 18:30pm - 00:30 @ 5035 Saint Denis St, Montreal, Quebec H2J 2L9

This event is organised by a coop called Un Tiers Lieu à Montréal - TLM. They organise chess nights and other socio-cultural events each week. On average, for the chess nights 5 to 10 people show up to play.

Double check if the chess night is happening here

Honorable Mention

Café Pi would of been at the top of the list if it wasn't closed. I heard a lot about it and that it was really popular but I never had the chance to go there because it closed during the COVID pandemic.

 

If you are looking for chess lessons go visit ChessSeed.com

 

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2 comments

There’s a very cool chess club in Montreal called “Iconoclast Chess Club”. They have chess events every Friday evening:

https://www.meetup.com/iconoclastchessclub

https://www.instagram.com/iconoclastchessclub

https://m.facebook.com/groups/iconoclastchessclub

Ben

Our coop hosts a chess night every Wednesday on St-Denis above ‘’la Petite marche’’ near métro Laurier, generally 5-10 players (and growing) in the 1200-1800 range, if anyone’s looking to play. Place is called ‘’Tiers lieu Montréal’’ at 5031 Saint Denis, link to event: https://fb.me/e/27GLvbfT1

Karel Langlois

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