New Member Information

We appreciate if you are new to chess there is a lot of information to take in so we have included some general information for you to refer to when you are ready:

New Members

To become a new member we suggest that you visit the club for a couple weeks, free of charge, to see if it is a good fit for you. We welcome all ages and any standard of players from beginners to veterans, there will always be a friendly face to give you a game.  You can turn up or contact us via email:

The club meets at St Michael’s Church, Pitts Close, Galmington, Taunton, TA1 4TP on Tuesday 19:30 – 22:30.  A free car park is available and disabled access is included.  We are mindful that playing until 22:30 can be a long night for junior players so you are welcome to leave when you feel the time is right.  We do ask parents/guardians of junior players to stay for the evening as we can not be responsible for their supervision.  Occasionally we will have junior sessions which we will let you know about.

If you feel the club is a fit for you we will ask you to fill out a GDPR members form which can be obtained from the club secretary.  Membership costs £50 a year; collected in 2 installments of £25 in September and January.  If, however, you decide to remain a non-member then there is a charge of £3 per club night.  The clubs season runs from September to the end of May/begin June and we usually have a break for the summer but we can point you in the direction of more opportunities to play during the summer months if you wish.

If you are interested in playing in the club championship tournament or in the Somerset County Chess Association (SCCA) league games you are required to be registered with the English Chess Federation (ECF) at an additional cost.  This will allow your games to be rated and once you have played enough games you will receive an official ECF national rating.

English Chess Federation

The English Chess Federation (ECF) is the governing chess organisation in England and you will need to become a member if you wish to play graded games in the club tournament and SCCA League.  To join please click here.  We usually recommend a bronze or silver membership depending on the various benefits you would like from the membership.  To read about what the ECF do please click here.

Some Chess Etiquette and How To’s

  • Shhhhh! – We are a fun bunch but when it comes to a serious chess game we need a lot of concentration.   So usually you will find the club is very quiet other than the ticking of clocks.  Please don’t be offended if someone asks you to quieten down, it usually means they are at a pivotal point in their game which could mean a win or loss.  We especially ask for quiet when a SCCA league match is being played against a visiting team.
  • Notation – We encourage you to write down the moves you make in your games.  Notation sheets can be obtained at the club or you can easily purchase a bound book online by searching ‘chess notation book’.  To learn how to record your games you can click here to learn the notation or you can always ask your chess opponent and they will be willing to teach you as you play.
  • Clocks – You will notice that clocks are also used as all graded games must be on a timer.  You can learn about how the clocks work by clicking here.  Generally when you have completed your turn always remember to press the clock to stop the clock on your side and to start your opponents ticking.
  • Refreshments – Tea and coffee is provided, all we ask is for a donation in the tin towards expenses and our chosen charity for the year.  We are currently asking members to bring your own mug due to limitations on the dishwashing relating to covid guidelines at the venue.  Packets of biscuits are always welcome too!
  • League Matches – The club currently plays in the SCCA League.  We usually submit 1 or 2 teams (the knights and bishops) depending on interest and the strength of our players.  This tends to be for the more experienced players.
  • Club Tournament – We also run a club tournament split into the Major Tournament for the advanced players and the Minor Tournament for the beginner/intermediate players.  This runs from September to May and is open to all club members.  This is a great opportunity to play other members of all levels and at the end of the season the winners name is added to the tournament trophies.

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