Chess in the Valley

Posted by phultstrand // August 12, 2014 // in WOD Media // 0 Comments

Chess in the Valley! The Phoenix Chess World! 

By John Paul Ried

Chess is a passion in the city of Phoenix AZ. Thousands of children and adults play chess in official tournaments and belong to chess clubs in both schools and community centers. Chess is the ultimate intellectual game where two people match their wits against each other with no random factors such as dice involved. Quoting the emotionally unstable yet invincible chess master Bobby Fischer - "Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent's mind." Chess can be ruthless, exciting and especially incredibly FUN!


The organization that practically has the monopoly on chess in Phoenix is the Chess Emporium. Founded by Mr. Scott Freneaux in 1993, the Chess Emporium has two store locations and coordinates hundreds of children's chess clubs within public schools from Surprise AZ to Mesa AZ and beyond. With over sixty chess coaches and annual programs set with most of the local Phoenix public school districts, the Chess Emporium instructs thousands of children beginning to learn chess from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. The Chess Emporium also hosts weekly chess tournaments for both children and adults at their two locations. The website for the Chess Emporium is: and their two store locations are:

10801 North 32nd Street, Suite 6

Phoenix, AZ 85028

(602) 482-4867

Hours are M-F 10AM-8:30PM and Sat 12Noon-6PM.

Sundays by appointment only.


1835 E Elliot Road, Suite 103-104

Tempe, AZ 85284

(602) 482-4867

Hours are Tues,Wed & Fri 3:30PM-8PM, Sat. 3:30PM-8:30PM,

Sun, Mon, & Thurs by appointment only.


There are many other options for additional chess play including local restaurants and coffee houses. One such venue is Summer Chess Fun every Monday from 11AM-1PM located at Giant Coffee house at 1437 N. 1st Street, Phoenix AZ 85004. Hosted by Mr. Hugo Medina and his wife Ms. Kira Olsen, this weekly unofficial tournament has been drawing imaginative people.

The history of chess is an amazing story. Did you know that many Popes, Caliphs, Kings and Maharajahs over the centuries have both endorsed and condemned chess play as either essential or heretical? The game of chess originated in India supposedly about 500BC and many crusader knights brought home chess sets to Europe after 1100AD. Benjamin Franklin was an avid chess player who enjoyed playing especially with beautiful women and even published a pamphlet entitled 'The Morals of Chess,' in the Columbian Magazine in December 1786. French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte also enjoyed playing chess though many of his Field Marshals were afraid to best him. For an excellent chess history resource, David Shenk's book entitled The Immortal Game published first in 2006 is a terrific read for more information.

What most people do not realize is that the game of chess is for everyone. Anyone may learn how to play chess is about twenty minutes and then you can spend the rest of your life trying to get better at it. Mr. Magnus Carlson is the reigning 2014 World Chess Champion and International Grandmaster. Mr. Carlson is from Norway and is only in his mid twenties. Whether you are a novice learning the game for the first time or perhaps you have not played chess for decades and wish to resume playing, there are many exciting chess venues, events and tournaments to enjoy here in Phoenix AZ. The sixty four squares and thirty two pieces can become addicting. In 1927, the French artist Marcel Duchamp's new bride glued his chess pieces to his chessboard to remind him that they were on their honeymoon. Duchamp got a divorce three months later. Chess can change your life!

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