Frank Johnson had a dream. To provide an alternative for Atlanta area chess players given the sagging activity in the city. With the reduced activity at Atlanta Chess & Games, there was a need to provide more opportunities in the greater Atlanta area. After tossing around a number of ideas, Johnson launched chess-coach.net and in January 2011, opened “64 Squares Chess Club” to host activities.
Daaim Shabazz (right) watching the action.
Photo by Frank Johnson.
I officially opened the club in January 2011. I opened the club because I felt like there wasn’t enough opportunity for chess players to gather with one major club in Atlanta. I personally have a lot of semi-retired chess friends who still enjoy being around chess that would benefit from a 2nd/3rd club. The mission of 64 Squares Chess club is to grow chess in the greater Atlanta area and to be a catalyst for chess opportunities on the south-side of Atlanta. We have some big plans for chess near the airport and are planning a major event to take place next year. Without a base of operations this effort would not be as easily realized.
He was able to find a spot in downtown East Point. The day I went down to visit the club was during a street festival on West Cleveland Avenue where various food stands were set up. During the tournament, Parliament’s “One Nation Under a Groove” could be heard blaring from the over-sized speakers. Chess players may be able to block out most distractions, but some of the players were caught bobbing their heads to the music. Funny. However this is not normal and Johnson claims it was merely an oversight that the tournament coincided with the festival.
If you’re in Atlanta, please visit the 64 Squares Chess Club in downtown East Point! It’s off of West Cleveland near the Public Library and off the MARTA train line.
Frank Johnson playing Iyobebe Hanson at 64 Squares Chess Club.
Photos by Daaim Shabazz.
Coach Lionell Lyons manning the chess booth at the street festival.
64 Square Chess Club
1612 W. Cleveland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30344
Hours: Mon – Tues: 9:00 am-5:00 pm