How to Join the Club

and other FAQs


1. How do I join the club?


Just turn up when we're open and go from there. The Chess Club is up the stairs on the first floor. We have three playing rooms, of which at least two are usually silent with league matches or internal tournament games being played. You are welcome to watch or play or just find out more about the club.


2. Can I try the club before I join?

New would-be members can visit three times before deciding whether to join. Occasionally we have New Members' Nights too - see Events Calendar tab above.

3. When is a good time to come?

Drop in between 7:00 and 10:00 on Thursday evenings. There will always be someone there to welcome you and either give you some friendly games or find you a suitable opponent.


4. How much does it cost and how do I pay?

Adult membership: £60, after Christmas £40, after Easter £25.

Full-time students, advanced juniors and those in receipt of means-tested income support: £40, after Christmas £25, after Easter £15.

Thursday Junior Club:  £3 per session to the coach.

The year starts on 1st September when all subscriptions become due (prompt renewals at a £5 discount).

Subscriptions can be paid in cash or by cheque at the club or by bank transfer.

These very low rates reflect the fact that no one in the club or the league gets paid for their work in keeping it going.


5. Will I have to join the English Chess Federation (ECF)?


Joining the ECF is quite separate from joining the club and can be done via the ECF website. You don't have to join both but if you want to play in any graded competitions in the club then you do. It's £18 a year online for the level you need at the club - i.e. BRONZE - and the ECF year runs in line with ours from 1st September (no discounts for joining later). Juniors are £6. 


6. Does the club play in a league?


Yes, we currently have four teams in the Mid-Sussex Chess League and some playing for teams in Sussex County Chess.


7.  Will I be good enough?


Unless you're a junior coming for coaching, we're not for beginners. New members should definitely know how to play, either from playing casually or online, e.g. on - excellent training for beginners and beyond. But don't let lack of experience put you off - you have to play to improve - it's best just to come along and try for yourself. Look out for our New Members' Nights on Thursdays if you're still not sure (see Events Calendar tab above).

8. Does the club provide coaching?


The club itself provides no instruction beyond informal chat and the occasional seminar between members. If you are looking for private coaching see the ECF website for a list of coaches, or see below for juniors.


9. Does the club run sessions for juniors?


We run a Junior Club on Thursday evenings in term time from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, see Juniors tab above for further details. We also recommend Sussex Junior Chess who are brilliant and cater for 5-18s. For fun learning online try 

10. Do you teach adults how to play?


No, but it's relatively easy to teach yourself the basics with a book, DVD, computer programme or the internet - is very good for learning and see the Brighton and Hove Chess Club page. After that come along and see how you get on.


11. Why so few women in chess? Can they play? Are they welcome? etc.


The ratio nationally is about 10:1 but a greater proportion have organisational roles, in additiom to playing. This anomaly should disappear as more girls play at school and in junior clubs so in the long-term things should improve. But be assured women are always made to feel very welcome - the old men's club is a thing of the past!


12. Is the club accessible for wheelchair users?


Yes, there is a low ramp into the building and we can generally have the use of a room on the ground floor. There is a gents on the same level and a ladies a few steps down. If you are a member of a visiting team or need to be sure of the ground floor room please contact us in advance, particularly on a Thursday. It is usually free on Saturday afternoons.


13. Is there a bar? 


Yes, in a separate room on the ground floor. It also serves tea, coffee, chocolate and crisps.


14. Will you run my ad or put a link to my website or blog?


The website exists solely to serve the club and all links have a direct connection to it.  All members can post to the club blog and include any interesting links there if they wish.

15. Do you loan or rent out your equipment?

No, we don't. It's cheap enough to buy and you may find your school or uni. will fund it if you want to start a club. See

16. Do you accept donations or bequests?


Yes we do! We are also happy to accept unwanted chess books and DVDs for our library. All our rent and other expenses have to be met by members' subscriptions or donations - we receive no council or government grants or sponsorship of any kind.

17.  Are we open during a pandemic?​

No, we're not, but we hope to be able to re-open soon. Any news will appear first on the Members Blog page.

SEC  18.8.21.