Clubs and Associations

This is not intended as a detailed survey. The aim is to provide some information about the founding of clubs and associations. Some did not survive, some failed but were later revived.


Scottish Chess Association 1884 (now Chess Scotland)

Scottish Deaf and Dumb Chess and Draughts Association 1902

In 1929 the title was changed to The Scottish Chess and Draughts Association of the Deaf.

Scottish Ladies' Chess Association 1905

Scottish Universities Chess Association 1907



Aberdeen Chess Club (later, the Bon Accord Chess Club)
Formed 1853
Revived 1887 - Milne's Library, 1 Crown Street.
Activities interrupted by the war years 1914-1918
Re-established 1928

Aberdeenshire Chess Association
Formed 1886


Volunteer Rifle Co. Armoury. Members 24. Pres.: Captain D. Baxter, banker. Sec.: A. McInnes, chemist.

Corn Exchange News Room

The Chess Player's Annual and Club Directory 1889 gave details of another club in the city. The club, formed in 1850), was at the Corn Exchange News Room, 7 Hadden Street. It met every evening and had 30 members. The subscription was 5 shillings. The secretary was A.I. McConnochie, 1 East Craibstone Street.


8 East High Street. Members 35. Pres.: Robert Watt, Solicitor. Sec.: Colin Brown, Solicitor, 14 Broomknoll Street.

Arbroath (new club)

From the Dundee Courier, 14 November 1902, p. 6:

A meeting for the purpose of considering the advisability of resuscitating the old Arbroath Chess Club was held in the Imperial Hotel last night. Mr D. Scott, gardener, Rosely, presided. After several gentlemen had given their opinion on the matter, it was unanimously agreed to form a chess club on the same lines as the old club. Mr Scott was elected president. It was decided that the members meet every Thursday evening at 7.30 in the Imperial Hotel.


From the Falkirk Herald and Midland Counties Journal of Wednesday, 19 September 1906, p. 8:

Ayrshire County Association

This, the first County Association to be formed in Scotland, held its first annual general meeting at Ayr on Saturday, 8th September-Mr W.G. Burgoyne presiding over a good attendance. A constitution and rules were drawn up and left to the committee to consider. Clubs in the county pay an affiliation fee of 5s, the subscription for individual membership being 1s. League home-and-home [sic] fixtures have been arranged, together with a contest for the County Championship Gold medal. A county match is also being arranged with Glasgow Chess Club, and Mr J.H. Blackburne, during his annual Scottish tour, will give a simultaneous exhibition at Kilmarnock. Office-bearers: Mr W.G. Burgoyne, Ayr; vice-presidents, Messrs. W. Craig Steele, Kilmarnock, J. Cook, Ardrossan, and Dr Brown, Dalry; secretary and treasurer, Mr A. Groener, Ayr; the committ representing Irvine, Troon, Prestwick, Dalry, Cumnock, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Ardrossan, and Dalmellington.

The Chess Amateur, October 1906 (p. 7) gave the details of the committee members:

Committee, Messrs. John Bryson, Irvine, W. McQueen, Ardrossan, D. Campbell and D. Macleod, Dalry, W.R. Stewart, Dalmellington, C. Kregar, Troon, J.W. Crawford, Cumnock, G.B. Dunlop, Kilmarnock, and T.C. Giffen, Prestwick.

From The Chess Amateur, November 1906 (p. 43):

The example set by Ayrshire in the formation of a County Chess Association seems likely to be followed. Fifeshire is considering the matter, but finds a considerable difficulty in the very deficient train service given by the North British Railway, though we question if Ayrshire is much better off with the Glasgow and South Western. Stirlingshire likes the idea, but hardly sees the good of forming an Association for only Three Clubs, and one of them not able to compete on anything like level terms with the other two.

From The Chess Amateur, December 1906 (p. 73):

As a "first fruits" of the Ayrshire Association, the old Chess Club of Dalmellington has been resuscitated, and promises soon to be as formidable as it used to be. It has been fortunate in securing Mr W.R. Stewart as President. He was Secretary in the old days when players journeyed from all parts to have friendly tussles in the "Bool-hoose." His reminiscences of doughty deeds done there when "if it hadna been for yon wee pawn," some players, who have since become famous, would have left their laurels behind them, are delightful and well calculated to set the younger members building castles in the air.

(Page 72 indicated that the club would meet every Wednesday evening at 7.30. The Hon. Secretary is Mr Robert Johnson, New Street, Dalmellington.)


From the Paisley and renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday, 14 December 1895, p. 6:

BARRHEAD CHESS, DRAUGHTS AND CHESS CLUB. - A meeting of the above club was held in an ante-room of the Public Hall on Tuesday evening-Dr R. Corbett presiding. The attendance was very small. A letter of apology was read from Mr Z.H. Heys. The Chairman spoke at some length on the need of a club being formed in the district, so that the members could neet and enjoy any of the games specified, irrespective of their political views. The secretary (pro. tem), Mr R. M'Arthur, intimated that fifty gentlemen had promised their support, and that accommodation could be had in the rooms lately occupied by the Conservative Association. The following office-bearers were elected:- President-Mr Z. Hendry Heys; vice-president, Dr R. Corbett; hon. secretary, Mr R. M'Arthur; assistant secretary, Mr W. Bonnar; treasurer, Mr T. Turnbull. The following were elected as the club committee:- Messrs. T. Corbett, J.B. Paton, A. Perry, D. M'Gregor, J. Mitchell and J. Wallace. The club is to be opened at an early date.

From the Paisley and renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday, 21 December 1895, p. 6:

THE NEW CLUB.- The new club was formally opened on Monday evening, when there was a turn-out of about thirty. Cards, dominos, chess and draughts were the vogue.



The Illustrated Berwick Journal of Saturday, 02 October 1858 (p. 4) reported that a meeting was held in the Red Lion Coffee Room (adjoining the Assembly Room) on Friday evening last. There were nine gentlemen. Robert Ramsey was voted into the chair. After discussions, Resolutions were then passed establishing the Club, and regulating its Constitution. R. Ramsey was appointed President for the first year; the Rev. T.C. Durham, Messrs. W. Paulin and James White, the committee; and Mr George Macaskie, Secretary. The entrance fee was fixed at 5s, and the annual subscription also 5s. Members resident beyond 5 miles are not required to pay any entrance fee. Meetings were to be held every Tuesday in the Red Lion Coffee Room, from 7 till 10. There were already 18 members.

The same newspaper, in its 15 January 1859 issue, reported that the club now had 25 members, and planned to introduce Draughts.

Reading Room. Members 30. Pres.: J.D. Chambers. Sec.: G.I. Miller. (1891 reference)

Blairgowrie - Strathmore

Members' houses. Members 9. Pres.: Dr J.C. Rattray, Coral Bank, Rattray, Blairgowrie. Sec.: Rev. F.W. Davis, The Parsonage.


Camerons Hotel, High Street. Sec.: Wm. Jamieson. (1891 reference)

Bridge of Allan


Reading Room. Pres.: J.D. Chambers. Sec.: Geo. Sunderland, Brora. (1891 reference)


The Scottish Referee of 30 January 1893 (p. 4) reported: "A chess club has been formed in Cambuslang which gives every promise of being a success. Intending members should communicate with Mr John Whyte, Leeside, Cambuslang."

On 5 November 1894 Cambuslang was visited by Joseph Henry Blackburne, who was on his regular tour of Scottish clubs. He played 25 boards simultaneously, "winning all but one game in two and a half hours; the draw was made by veteran John Gilchrist, a former West of Scotland champion who was then about 60 years old. [58]" (Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography, by T.D. Harding, McFarland, 2015)



A new club called the Clydebank Co-operative C.C. has just been formed in the populous district of Clydebank. (British Chess Magazine, December 1921, p. 406.)

Singer Factory

It is not known if there existed a club in the usual sense of the word, but there was significant interest in the game, so-much-so that an 18-a-side match was arranged between two departments at the Kilbowie factory in early 1903. (Falkirk Herald, 25 February 1903, p. 8.)


From the British Chess Magazine, May 1889, (p. 183):

A chess club which has recently been formed at Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, played its first match against the neighbouring Airdrie Chess Club on the 8th April. Each was represented by nine players, and Coatbridge won by 8 games to 5.

Several members of the Jonas family were involved in the club's formation.

Coupar Angus

Town Hall. Pres.: Thomas Lowe. Sec.: D. Culross, Post Office. (1891 reference)


From the Dundee Courier, 16 December 1919, p. 6:

A chess club has been formed at Cowdenbeath with the following office-bearers:-President, Mr J.G. Muse; vice-president, Mr David Cook; captain, Mr George Hynd; vice-captain, Mr Geo. Guthrie; secretary and treasurer, Mr A. Nisbet.


The October 1880 Chess Monthly (p. 34) reported on the formation of the Strathearn CC, Crieff. Rules adopted correspond with those of the Glasgow CC. At a general meeting of members, S. Simpson, Esq., was elected President and Mr. John S. Pagan, Rockclyffe, Crieff, Secretary of the Club.

The club was listed in the Chess Player's Annual and Club Directory 1889 (Members' Houses), and John Pagan was still the secretary. However, the club name was missing from the 1891 edition of the Annual.


Fife Chess Club

In reporting on the visit of of Löwenthal to the club in April 1852, the Fife Herald, and Kinross, Strathearn, and Clackmannan Advertiser of 15 April 1852 remarked that "Though the Club was only of a few months standing, it already numbered between 30 and 40 players..."

Mention was made of several of the office-bearers:- Mr Pagan, the President; Mr Russell, the Secretary. Others in attendance included Provost Mitchell, Mr Alexander, Bailie John Mitchell, Dr Johnstone, Mr Page, Mr Brown of Balgarvie, G.B. Fraser, Mr Nicholson, Mr W. Taylor and Mr Landale of Easthall.

The Chess Player's Chronicle (New Series), February 1854, shows a club at the Fifeshire Journal Office, with play every evening. The President was not named; the Hon. Secretary was A. Russell, Esq.

The Fife Herald of 28 December 1854 (p. 3) reported on the annual meeting of the club at the Tontine Hotel on Thursday, 21 December. It mentioned that Mr Brown, Balgarvie, had been the President for the past year. The office-bearers for the upcoming year were:-

President: Mr Barclay, Ferrybank
Chaplain: Rev. Mr Cochrane
Treasurer: Mr S. Philp
Secretary: Mr Russell
Committee: G Brown, W. Pagan, J. Alexander and G. M'Intyre.

The Chess Player's Annual and Club Directory 1891 gives 1886 as the year of formation - perhaps the club had faded and had to be revived. The club met at Duncan's Institute and had 20 members. President: Capt. Bremner; Secretary: Dr C. Douglas, Westbank House.


Black Bull Hotel. Members 80. President: J.D. Chambers. Secretary: Wm. R. Stewart. (1891 reference)


From the Falkirk Herald of Saturday, 1 October 1910, p. 6:

The project for the formation of a chess club was brought to a successful head on Thursday evening. With this project in view, a meeting was held in the Foresters' Hall. There was a fairly goos attendance. It was unanimously decided to form the club, under the title of the Denny and District Chess Club. It was agreed that meetings should be held in the Foresters' Hall each Thursday evening, and that a tournament should be started straight away to fix the relative positions of the players. Mr W.E. Jones was appointed captain, and Mr Robert Clark secretary and treasurer. The appointment of the other officials was left till another occasion. The tournament will commence on Thursday evening.


From the Perthshire Advertiser of Saturday, 20 February 1932, p. 5:

At a meeting on Tuesday eveniing in the Institute it was agreed to form a chess club, and Mr Thomas Lupton, Netherby, was appointed president, with Mr John Stewart, hon. secretary. The club meets on Tuesday evenings at eight o'clock in the Institute, and all interested are invited to join.



Earlston (Berwickshire)

Members' houses. Pres.: J. Mackenzie. Sec.: J. Dunn. (1891 reference)



Edinburgh Civil Service
Disbanded 1915 (war)
Restarted 1921

From Linlithgowshire Gazette, 28 October 1921, p. 6:

After seven years' lapse the Civil Service CC has restarted, keeting twice weekly at 23 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh. There are about 50 members, the committee being Messrs W.L. Gourlay, D.W. Page, J. Rudd, G. Page (treasurer), and J. Stewart (secretary).

Edinburgh University Union

It appears that a University Union club was formed so as to take part in the newly=created Edinburgh League, whose first season was 1903-04.

Edinburgh Working Men's Club

Although the Edinburgh Working Men's Institute had existed since 1880, the chess club within the institute was only formed in November 1901, when a meeting was called by Mr W. Cruickshank, jun. Eight members joined, and in the first season there were no matches, the players practising three times per week. The club was instrumental in helping to form the Edinburgh Chess League.
(Edinburgh Evening News, 12 April 1905, p. 4.)

Leith (merged with Ciity of Edinburgh in 1920)

From The Scotsman, Wednesday, 01 October 1913, p. 7:

At a meeting in South Leith Parish Church Hall last night, it was decided to form a Chess Club for Leith. Mr A.B. Edmonston was elected president, and Mr H.O. Martindale secretary and treasurer. There are already over a score of members.

Moir Memorial Chess Club

A chess club was formed within the Moir Memorial Working Men's Club, which was founded about 1890.

Philosophical Institution

Portobello (Incorporated into the City of Edinburgh in 1896)

From the Portobello Advertiser, 26 December 1890, p. 4:

This club has now been successfully inaugurated. The member ship is already fourteen, Wednesday is the night of meeting, and the president (Ex-Bailie Buchan) has presented the club with two handsome sets of chess men and boards.

Page 1 of the above publication had further information:

President - A.W. Buchan, Esq., 20 Bath Street.
Vice-President - G.S. Mackenzie, Esq., 7 Duddingston Crescent.
Subscription - 5s. Gentlemen wishing to joinmay apply to any of the Office-Bearers or Members.
Geo. E. Dall, Hon. Secy.



From the Elgin Courier, 12 March 1852, p. 3:

We are glad to find that this intellectual game is becoming more known in the north. We understand that at a meeting held here yesterday, it was resolved to establish the "Elgin Chess Club," to meet twice a-week for play; and the following office-bearers were elected:- Charles St John, Esq., president; the Rev John Walker, vice-president; Wm. Jenkins, Esq., Maida Cottage; James Johnston, Esq.; James Grant, Esq. of Prospect Lodge; John Allan, Esq.; John A. Cooper, Esq.; and Charles Barclay, Esq.-council; Alexander Cooper, Esq., treasurer and secretary.

The Chess Player's Chronicle (New Series), February 1854, shows the club meeting at The Institution, with office-bearers given as C. St. John, Esq., President; Rev J. Walker, Vice-President; A. Cooper, Esq., Hon. Secretary.

1885 - The Chess Player's Annual and Club Directory 1889 shows the venue as 'New Club', meeting daily. President: J.D. Chambers; Secretary: J. Cormack, Dentist, Elgin.


From the Falkirk Herald, 3 November 1853 (p. 3)

We have much pleasure in learning that a Chess Club has been recently formed in Falkirk under the most favourable auspices. The first meeting was held on the evening of the 26th ult. in Johnston's Temperance Hotel-Mr Kemp, teacher, presiding. It was then resolved to form a Chess Club, the members of which will meet twice a-week in Johnston's Hotel. Mr Thomas Liston, writer, was elected President, and Mr James Wilson, writer, Secretary and Treasurer.

This club, like many others, lapsed and was later revived, for the Chess Player's Annual and Club Directory 1889 gave 1863 for the club's formation, showing it meeting at the Red Lion Hotel on Mondays and Thursdays.

Another version of the club was formed on Wednesday, 23 September 1896 at Mrs Conochie's Temperance Hotel.

John Craig Allan, solicitor, was in the chair. It was decided to form a club to meet every Wednesday at Mrs Conochie's Hotel. Subscription was fixed at 5s. It was hoped that this low figure would induce many other chess players to join the 17 who had already decided to become members. Office-bearers were selected:-

President: J.C. Allan
Vice-president: Dr Griffiths.
Secretary and Treasurer: J. Mackenzie.
Committee: Messrs Simpson, Coutts, Macdonald and Downie.

After the meeting a number of games were played with Falkirk-born James McGrouther.

Information from Falkirk Herald of September 26 and 30, 1896.

The Simpson referred to above was likely James Simpson (died 1909). He was the father of David Simpson, also a Falkirk CC member before he moved to Edinburgh and joined the leading club in that city.


Fife Chess Association

From The Chess Amateur, December 1906 (p. 73):

A Chess Association has now been formed for the County of Fife with Dr Douglas Cupar, as President, Mr A.S. Coutts, Leslie, Vice-president, Dr Carment, Kelby [sic-Kelty], Secretary and Treasurer, and the Secretaries of the various Clubs joining as a General Council. The entrance fee has been fixed at the nominal sum of 2s. 6d per Club, and it is intended to hold Matches to decide the Club and individual Championship of "The Kingdom." Among Clubs already represented are: Cupar, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Townhill, Kelty, Bowhill and Leslie.

From The Chess Amateur, April 1907 (p. 198):

Townhill are the champions for the first year in the newly-formed Fife League, Kelty being runners-up, and Leslie third. The institution of this League has created a good deal of interest in the game, especially in the Southern and Central districts of the "Kingdom," and hopes are entertained of inter-county matches in the near future.

From the Dundee Courier, 17 November 1919, p. 6:

At a meeting held at Cowdenbeath on Saturday of representatives of the different chess clubs in Fife it was agreed to resuscitate the Fifeshire Chess Association, which has been dormant during the war. The following officials were appointed:-President, Mr George Hynd, Cowdenbeath; vice-president, Mr George Izatt, Townhill; secretary, Mr A.S. Coutts, Coaltown, Markinch; along with a committee consisting of one representative from each club affiliated.


From the February 1903 British Chess Magazine (p. 90):

A new chess club has been formed in Forfar. Hon. President, Rev. A. Cumming; president, Mr A. Hay; secretary and treasurer, Mr S.J. McLees.

Fort William

The Chess Player's Annual and Club Directory 1889 gave 1818 as the year of formation. (Typographical error?)

The 1891 edition of the Annual gave 1881. Both editions showed the location as "Members' Houses." Also in both cases, the President was J.D. Chambers, so it is suspected that 1881 is the correct date of formation; Mr Chambers encouraged the development of chess clubs around the country at this time. (Sec.: D. Fraser.)

The April 1885 British Chess Magazine (p. 143) said:

Many years ago a Club existed at Fort William, near the foot of the lofty Ben Nevis, but, like many other similar institutions, gradually became dormant. Recently, the club has been revived, under the name of the Lochaber Chess Club. The membership already numbers 50.


Fraserburgh Chess and Draughts. Pres.: James Coutts. Sec.: John Brown, Post Office.


Arlington Chess Association

The Chess Player's Companion of 1 June 1880 (p. 134) referred to the Arlington club as "newly formed."

This club was formed by members of the Arlington Baths, Arlington Street, Glasgow (founded 1870). The club played what appears to have been its first match on Saturday, 20 March 1880 at Helensburgh. The team members were:- Brown; Brownlie; Chamberlain; Duvoisin; Eekhout; Dr Lawrie; Maclean; Prevot; Roemmele and Stewart.

The club also played against Glasgow CC in April. As there was no league competition at the time, such friendly matches were common. The club also welcomed Blackburne for simultaneous exhibitions in 1892 and 1897.

At some point there must have been a lapse in enthusiasm, for the Falkirk Herald  chess column of 28 October 1908 reported that 'the Arlington Swimming Club has revived its chess section, which will play in the League, we believe.' The Glasgow Chess League had been formed that month and the Arlington Baths played in the third division.

By season 1911-12 the club had been promoted and they won the second division title.

It appears that World War 1 led to the chess club's demise.

Some of the club's players, in no particular order. Many of them were members of other city clubs.

Bernard [Berend] Eekhout Dr Dunlop T.D. Maclean
Neil Kennedy A. Les Melliet Prevot J.D. Maclean
George Beckett Stewart J.C. Laing
Emile F. Duvoisin Bink A.C. White
George M. Chamberlain J.A. Marshall Andrew T. Reid
John Drummond Johnston W.L. Logan
Brownlie A.H. Buik E.N. Gillies
T. Bost Finlayson J.K. Galbraith
James Mackintosh P. Sandeman C.A. Craig
Carl Hugo Roemmele Phillip Tod J. Barbour
J.M. Finlayson Dr Lawrie G.H. Thomson

The Arlington Baths still exists.

Club members are interested in the history of the chess association. This was partly inspired by learning of the sale of a chess set awarded to Phillip Tod. Details of this set and further information about the chess club can be found here.


The Athenaeum, and educational institution, was opened in October 1847 in the building previously known as the Assembly Rooms in Ingram Street, Glasgow. It contained dining, reading and class rooms, as well as an extensive library. Space was also available for amusements, such as chess and draughts. Subscription fees had to be paid to obtain membership and the full use of the facilities.

The venue was used for special chess events, an example being the dispay by Harrwitz, who visited Glasgow in 1848. Chess players at the Athenaeum would occasionally reach out to other clubs to play friendly matches.

 In January 1888 a move was made to a new building in St George's Place (now Nelson Mandela Place). (Glasgow Chess Club, which had been meeting in Lang's Restaurant in Queen Street, immediately moved to the new facility.)

In 1900 the Falkirk Herald chess column of 24 October reported that a new club had been formed in the Athenaeum. The Athenaeum Chess Club - many of whose members were also associated with other Glasgow clubs - soon proved itself. They reached the 1902 Spens Cup final, losing only after a replay. They won the 1904 Spens Cup, reached the 1911 Richardson Cup final and won the Glasgow League 1st Division championship in season 1911-12.

A few of the members: James Borthwick, W. Bremner, J.J.S. Gray, Robert Angus Blackwood, W.R.C. Murdoch, P.C. Johnson, William Gibson, Carrick Wardhaugh, F.G. Harris, T.C. Rutledge, E. Annan, J.H. Whyte, W.A. Jack. 

Bohemian A detailed history is here.

Bridgeton Working Men's Club
The building of the first Bridgeton Working Men's Club began in 1865, in Canning Street. It contained a library and a reading room, and space for board games.


The Scottish Referee, 19 September 1892 reported that the club had a membership of 31 and that 'the club has had the good sense to award the honorary presidentship to M. [Monsieur] Barbier, from whom it should receive very valuable assistance in many ways.'

After the Canning Street building was acquired by the North British Railway Co. in 1897, new premises were built in Landressy Street; these opened in 1899.


From the Falkirk Herald, 25 November 1908, p. 7:

'A new club has been formed in Bridgeton, and meets for practice on Saturday evenings in the Working Men's Institute. Hon. secretary is Mr James Wilson, 9 Landressy Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow.'

The club motto seemed particularly appropriate for chess:


The club won the Division 2 championship of the Glasgow League in 1932-33, 1934-35 and 1950-51.

Max Pavey, the American student who came to Scotland in 1938 to pursue his studies, represented the Bridgeton Working Men's Club in Glasgow League matches. In the Spens Cup he played for the Glasgow Jewish Institute CC, helping them to win the trophy in 1939. Pavey, an outstanding player, won the 1939 Scottish Championship.

c. 1892-3

Formed by patrons of the Burns Tea Rooms, 245 Ingram Street, Glasgow. 
More information here


The Cabin Chess Club ─ named after the Cabin Tea Rooms in Glasgow ─ was instituted in May 1901. Many of the members had previously been with the Central CC, which became defunct around 1897, at which time these players joined the newly-formed Burns CC. The club did not retain the Cabin name for long, choosing in 1903 to rename the club Central CC (see below).

The Daily Record of 14 May 1901 (p6) gave the office-bearers appointed for 1901-2:─ James Leith, president; J. Cowan, vice-president; James Young, secretary and treasurer. Committee:─T.B. Rigg, J. M'Kie [McKee?], F.G. Harris, and J. Moodie. 


From the Glasgow Herald chess column of 25 September 1953, p7:-

Cathcart Congregational Church, Holmlea Road, have formed a new club who meet there on               Friday evenings. They opened with a simultaneous display by Mr T.K. Blake. The secretary is Mr S. Cairns, 20 Battlefield Avenue, Glasgow S. 2.

(T.K. Blake was a member of the Central Chess Club, Glasgow.)

Cathcart CC web site with history:

Central A detailed history is here.


The December 1894 issue of The Chess Monthly (p. 107) reported on the new City Chess Club having been formed. It met at 94 West Regent Street, Glasgow and its secretary was Mr Butler. Understandably, it was often confused with the Glasgow CC.

At its 1896 annual meeting on 29 September, Alexander Murray was elected president, and Mr A.C. Butler secretary. The hon. treasurer was E. Lacaille.

By the start of season 1900-01, the club had ceased to exist. (Falkirk Herald, 3 October 1900, p. 8.)


A new club is being started in suburban Glasgow this season,-to be called the Dennistoun Chess Club. It will meet in Morton's Tea-rooms, Whitevale [Street], on first Tuesday in October, and every Tuesday and Thursday evening thereafter. We understand the secretary is Mr. Kellock.

Falkirk Herald and Midland Counties Journal, 13 August 1902, p. 8.

In 1904, the club championship was won by W. Bonnar. (BCM 1904, p. 244).

For season 1904-05, the club met at 533 Duke Street every Friday at 7.30 P.M. The secretary was Mr R. Patrick, 83 Findlay Drive (Linlithgowshire Gazette, 21 October 1904, p. 3).

Glasgow Chess Club
1840 [but perhaps 1827, or earlier]

From the unpublished History of the Glasgow Chess Club:

Up to 1908 it had been generally accepted that 1840 was the date of constitution, but the following notice gifted to the club by Mr Robert Pirrie, Hon President 1895-1913, indicates that the club was actually in existence before 1827, there being funds from which tea and coffee were to be provided.
The Notice reads:
                                                                                                                                         "Glasgow, 7th. Nov. 1827"
"The Chess Club will meet in the Royal Hotel Georges Square
"on Monday first the 12th. curt., at 7 o'clock Evening and on
"every following Monday during the season.
"Such of the members as wish it may have Tea or Coffee
"till Eight o'clock from the funds of the Club.
"Jno. Ross, Secretary."

and was addressed to -     

"A. Glasgow, Esq.,
  "Messrs. Frew & Glasgow
     "North Albion Court."

Mr Glasgow, for several years proprietor of Auchenreith, Lanarkshire and afterwards of Old Court, County Cork, was Mr Pirrie's uncle.

Additional note:

The Glasgow Directory 1827-29, p. 84, refers to Alex. Glasgow at Frew & Glasgow's. His home address was 6 Blythswood Hill.

Glasgow Ladies'

Glasgow University

University Union

From the Falkirk Herald of 14 August 1907, p. 8:

This winter will see a Glasgow University Chess Club established for the propagation of chess in collegiate circles. We believe the club has already been formed, and as it has the benefit of the expert assistance and advice of Mr J.A. M'Kee, of Glasgow Chess Club, it has a first-rate chance of development on sound lines.

The November 1908 issue of The Chess Amateur (p. 41) showed Philip Figdor as the contact person. Philip Figdor (1887, Glasgow-1968, Surrey) qualified Bachelor of Medicine and of Surgery at the University of Glasgow. He represented the university when the Scottish Universities Chess Association was formed in December 1907. During WW1 he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. In 1931 he changed his name officially to Philip Figdor Ashton.

Glasgow College CC

"So called to avoid confusion with chess activities run by the University students themselves."

Winner of the Spens Cup in 1951 and 1953; in the latter event they defeated the university's students in the final.

The club's lead player was Prof. Dr Conrad Emanuel Victor Leser (30 March 1915, Heidelberg-01 April 1998, Leeds).

Govan (incorporated into the City of Glasgow in 1912)

A chess club has been formed in the Pearce Institute, Govan, meeting every Monday and Thursday evening. The president is Mr A.W. Farquhar, late of Queen's Park Chess Club, and the secretary Mr J. Maclaren. (Scottish Referee, 20 November 1905, p. 6.)


From the Glasgow Herald chess column of 23 February 1945, p2:-

The new Griffen Club now meets on Tuesday evenings at the Carlton Halls, 144 Wellington Street, where old and new friends and beginners will be welcomed. Secretary, Mr John Burns, 171 Butterbiggins Road, Glasgow S.2.

The Scottish Chess Association Year-Book 1940-46, which incorporated information from before and during WWII, also used the spelling 'Griffen', but it gave 191 Butterbiggins Road as the address for Mr Burns.

The Glasgow Herald chess column of Friday, 28 September 1945, p6, said:-

Griffen reopen on Tuesday at 7 o'clock at 102 Maxwell Street, Glasgow, when the Griffen Cup will be presented to President Mr Wm. Brough, the winner.

The SCA Year-Books for 1948 and 1949 gave the spelling 'Griffin', 102 Maxwell Street, and the contact as R. Ferguson, 6 Budhill Avenue, Glasgow E.2.

In 1950, after a merger, the club was referred to as YMCA-Griffin. The address and contact information was the same. Griffin at the time had one female member, Mrs Steedman, and the merger only proceeded because the YMCA - a male organisation - allowed her to continue as a member.

The SCA Year-Book for 1951 had the same information for the club, but the 1952 and 1953 editions showed the club at The Lyric Theatre, 58 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. R. Ferguson was still the contact. Fire destroyed the Lyric in 1953, but it was rebuilt by its owners, the YMCA, and reopened in 1956. Three years later it was sold for redevelopment.



Several members of city-centre clubs decided they wanted a club in the area where they lived, Glasgow's West End.

From the February 1890 issue of The Chess Monthly (p. 167):

At a meeting held on the 9th ult., at 8, Alfred Terrace, Hillhead–Sheriff Spens in the chair–the “Hillhead Chess Club” was formally constituted. The following office-bearers were elected: President, Mr. Robert Pirie [sic-Pirrie]; members of council, Messrs. Niel [sic-Neil] Kennedy, H.C. Fairlie, J.D. Maclean; treasurer, Mr. W. Seligmann; and secretary, Mr. A. Dickie. The Club will meet on Tuesdays, from 7 to 10 p.m., and on Fridays, from 7 to 10.30 p.m. The subscription is 7s. 6d.

NOTE: 8 Alfred Terrace was the home of Julius Seligmann, a significant figure in Glasgow's music history.

By the start of the 1892-93 season, the club had rooms in the Burgh Halls, Byres Road. 

Hillhead was the first club to admit women. From a report of the Annual General Meeting of the club in the November 1893 British Chess Magazine (p. 472):

"it was determined to allow the introduction of lady members, and a special night, once a month, has been set aside for their benefit. This club is the first in Glasgow to open its doors to ladies, and it is hoped that the innovation will prove as successful as it is sure to be popular.”

Several woman members of Hillhead CC - Mrs Margaret Gibb, Miss Elison Gibb and Mrs Brockett - were responsible for the formation of Glasgow Ladies' Chess Club in 1905.

Some other members: James Birch jnr, William Black, G.F. Krasser, E. Lacaille, A. Bonar Law,
J. Leishman, James Muirhead, John Russell, J. Sandeman, Sheriff Spens, William Tait.

Jewish CC
1926 - revived 1935

North Western

From the Falkirk Herald and Midland Counties Journal, 17 December 1902, p. 8:

Still another new club has been started in Glasgow, with a strong membership in numbers. It styles itself the "North-Western CC," and embraces Maryhill, Possilpark, and New City Road district.

The Falkirk Herald and Midland Counties Journal, 2 November 1904, p. 8, reported that the club had taken new rooms at 236 Great Western Road. President, A.W. Hale; vice-president, Hugh Smith; secretary and treasurer, J. Watson. 

In 1908 it was shown to be at the Blythswood Masonic Hall, 236 Great Western Road, the contact person being Thomas Crone, 860 Garscube Road.

Pollokshields Baths

From the British Chess Magazine 1886, p. 98:

At a meeting held in January last, in Pollokshields Baths (Glasgow), it was agreed to form a Chess Club in connection therewith, to be named the Pollokshields Chess Club. The following gentlemen were appointed office-bearers:-Honorary President, W.M. Dickie; President, P. Fyfe; Vice-President, J.R. Jackson; Secretary and Treasurer, Wm. Heggie; Members of Committee, J. Campbell, W. Roxburgh, junr., R. Harper, R. Hunter, and J. Fulton.

In October of the same year, the club was renamed The Pollokshields Chess, Checker, and Whist Club (BCM 1886, p. 479).


Founded in 1919 and named after their meeting place, John Anderson's Royal Polytechnic, Argyle Street, Glasgow (the site currently - 2019 - occupied by Debenhams).

The Falkirk Herald of 27 October 1920 (p. 4) reported that at the completion of its first year the club had 65 members. The office-bearers were:- Hon. president, Mr E.A. Gamble; president, Mr R.W. Falla; vice-president, Mr F.C. Thomson; hon. secretary, Mr John Park, jun, 802 Pollokshaws Road; hon. treasurer, Mr W.A. Main, 45 Rosslyn Avenue, Rutherglen.

The club has been outstandingly successful; it won the Spens Cup in 1931, 1935 and 1955 and has won the Richardson Cup 16 times (as of 2019).

In the Glasgow League, the club showed its strength in 1939; only 20 years after it was founded its teams won all three divisions. At the time of writing (2029) it has won the 1st Division championship 22 times.

Some other important figures in the club's history: Mrs F.F. Thomson, A.A. Thomson,
J.S. Macmartin, F.G.H. Nicholson, J. Aitchison, J.W. Hastie, R.W.B. Roy, Alexander Whyte, Peter Lyon, James Dickson, Arthur F. Cariss.

Queen's Park


The Glasgow Herald chess column of November 10, 1944 reported on the formation of the Shettleston club '(Mr B. Nelson, 2 Strowan Street, E. 2) which, with 34 members, meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings in the Miners' Welfare Rooms, Amulree Street.'

Bruce Nelson would later serve 17 years as Secretary of the Glasgow Chess League, retiring in 1968 at 83 years of age as he wanted more time for golf! (SCA Bulletin 25.)


Met at Park Villa Institute, 110 Paisley Road, Glasgow (which opened 1863).

St Mungo

The Glasgow Post Office Directory for 1853-54 shows the St Mungo Chess Club at M'Callum's Coffee House, Glassford Street, Glasgow. The secretary was James H. Ferguson. The 1854 Chess Player's Chronicle shows 26 Glassford Street.


From The Scottish Referee, 17 April 1893, p. 1:

'The new chess club which has been formed in Tollcross and district has been named the Westthorn. Mr G. Rodger is president, Mr W.H. Blackstock vice-president, and Mr W. Wingate secretary and treasurer.'


From the Glasgow Herald chess column, June 28 1941:

'A large and enthusiastic membership promises well for the success of "The Virginians," a new club just formed from frequenters of the Trades House Restaurant, Glasgow. The secretary and treasurer is Mr J.M. Horn, and Mr A.M. Dowell is president.'


Reading Room. Pres.: J.D. Chambers. Sec.: J. Stewart, Sheriff's Office, Golspie. (1891 reference)


From Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Friday, 6 January 1888, p. 2:

A meeting to promote a Chess Club in Gourock will be held in the Gamble Institute on Tuesday, 10th, at 8 p.m. Those favourable who cannot attend please communicate with EDWIN GOSSMAN, Victoria Road.

The same newspaper, in its issue of 7 February 1888 (p. 3) noted that "A chess club had lately been started in Gourock", noting that it had taken up its home within the Gamble Institute.

The February 1888 British Chess Magazine (p. 90) said it was "under the presidency of Provost Binnie."

From the July 1903 British Chess Magazine (p. 315:

The annual general meeting was held on June 16th, when Mr William Sharp, the president, presented the prizes to the winners. Club championship and Scottish Chess Association silver medal, Robert Porter; handicap tournament, 1st Edward Annan, 2nd Andrew Patterson, 3rd Captain Murray and Robert Porter (equal); flashlight tournament, 1st W. Barrowclough, 2nd Robert Porter. The following were elected for 1903-4 as office-bearers: president, Thomas Steel; secretary, William Sharp, Caddlehill, Greenock.

From the July 1908 issue of The Chess Amateur (p. 290):

The closing meeting of the twenty-first season was held of the Gourock Chess Club in the Gamble Institute, the President, Mr A. M'Vicar, being in the chair. The prizes were presented as follow:- Championship, C.E. Stewart. Handicap Tournament: 1st, or President's prize, J. M'Millan; 2nd, A. M'Alpine; 3rd, P. O'Donovan; 4th, D.R. Holmes. Flash-light Tourney (club prizes): 1st, C.E. Stewart; 2nd, J. Graham; 3rd J. Marquis. Flash-light Tourney (Mr Jas. Methven's prizes): 1st J. Graham; 2nd A. M'Alpine; 3rd J. M'Millan.


Grangemouth Chess Club

From the Falkirk Herald of Wednesday, 20 June 1900, p. 8:

A meeting took place in the Lesser Town Hall on Wednesday evening for the purpose of forming a chess club in Grangemouth. There was a good attendance and Mr James Robertson occupied the chair. It was formally moved and agreed that such a club be formed, and the office-bearers of the club were appointed as follows:- President, Mr James Robertson; vice-president, Mr J. Gloag; secretary, Mr George Clark; treasurer, Mr J. Downie, jun.; committee, Messrs A. Lawrence, J. Gloag, James Matthew, and George Hastie. Over twenty members have been enrolled.

An advertisement on p. 1 of the Falkirk Herald of 05 October 1901 provided the club's meeting times at the Town Hall, and said the annual subscription was 5s.

The club must have faded because the Falkirk Herald of 28 October 1905 (p. 5) had the following:

A meeting of the Grangemouth Chess Club, which has been resuscitated, was held in the small club room, Kerse Road, on Thursday evening, and the club will now meet there every Thursday night.

An advertisement on p. 1 of the same newspaper gave the club meeting times at 44 Kerse Road, and indicated that Wm. Fleming was the Secretary.

Grangemouth YMCA

The Falkirk Herald of 13 December 1930 (p. 8), reporting on a match between Grangemouth YMCA and Scottish Dyes, remarked that both clubs were in their first year of play. The members of the Grangemouth team were:- Auchinachie, Calder, Culley, Jeffrey, Wilson, Dunn and Fairley.

The Falkirk Herald of 09 May 1931, p. 8, said:

YMCA Chess Club-The Grangemouth YMCA Chess Club has completed its first session. The handicap competition was won by Mr A. Findlater, who gave odds to all the other members, and received the prize kindly presented by Mr P. Auchinachie, the president of the club.


From the Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Friday, 31 August 1900, p. 2:

A meeting was held in the Temperance Institute last night to consider the advisibility of forming a Chess Club in Greenock, and after discussion it was unanimously resolved to form a club, to be called the Greenock Chess Club, to meet every Tuesday during the winter from the hours of seven to ten in the Lesser Hall of the Temperance Institute. The following office-bearers were appointed:-

Mr J.W. Bennett, president
Mr T. M'Cracken, vice-president
Mr Archd. M'Vicar, secretary, 2 Ford Place, Finnart Street

Committee- Messrs F.W. Leckie, R. Porter, and J.T. Graham

The club will open on September 18th, when new members will be enrolled.

A formal opening of the club did take place on that date, with Provost Black, the Hon. President, presiding.

It is also known that chess groups/clubs were formed within the

Greenock Conservative Club and Greenock Y.M.C.A. The first of these is mentioned in match reports from 1891, the second from 1892.

However, earlier attempts to form a chess club were made as far back as 1858. The following excerpts are from the Greenock Advertiser:-

26 November 1858

A meeting of gentlemen disposed to form a chess club in Greenock will be held in the committee room of the Watt Institution, on the evening of Friday, 26th instant, at eight o' clock.

It is not known how successful this effort was, but the wording in the next example is interesting.

03 December 1861

A meeting of gentlemen favourable to the re-formation of a chess club in Greenock, will be held in the Watt Institution, on the evening of Friday first, 6th inst., at a quarter past eight o'clock. All chess players are invited to attend.

10 December 1861

The adjourned meeting of those desirous of forming a chess club in Greenock, will be held in M'Kinlay's Temperance Hotel, Cathcart Square, on the evening of Friday, the 13th inst., at half-past eight o'clock. All interested in the game are specially invited to attend.


The Chess Player's Annual and Club Directory 1889 gave 1878 as the year of formation, but the entry suggested that this was more of an informal gathering of chess enthusiasts, as they played at members' houses. J.D. Chambers was shown as President, and A. Vernon was the Secretary.

The 1891 edition of the above volume gave 1880 as the year of formation and said the club met at the Wilton Mill Restaurant. The Secretary was J.J. Vernon, 81 High Street.

The club faded and was revived several times. The Hawick News and Border Chronicle of 24 October 1941 (p. 6), quoting from the newspaper 50 years earlier (1891), said:

A new draught and chess club has just been formed, with Samuel Johnstone as president; Alex. Walker, treasurer, and J.C. Brown, secretary. Mr Brown, at times, was considered to be the Borders Draughts Champion.

The Southern Reporter of 10 October 1901 (p. 3) reported:

Hawick Chess Club has been resuscited, with the following office-bearers:- President, Rev. J.W.T. Hart; secretary, Mr J.J. Vernon; treasurer, Mr J. Paton, solicitor. About twenty members have joined.

The same newspaper, in its 29 September 1904 issue (p. 1) reported:

Hawick chess and draughts players have resolved to form a club of the devotees of these games, provided a sufficient number can be secured as members.

The Hawick News and Border Chronicle of 03 October 1919 (p. 3) reported that, once again, the club had been revived:

The inaugural meeting of Hawick Chess Club was held in the Public Library hall on Monday night, when there were 19 members present.

Sir Thomas Henderson made some remarks, including the comments that "he had great pleasure in being present at the opening meeting of the resuscited Hawick Chess Club. During a period of about 17 years there had been no club in existence, but the players had kept the game alive all the time, and none had given up hope of re-starting-even the bak balance having handed itself cheerfully over ready to carry on again."

Others present were Rev. Mr Dunnett, St. John's Parish Church and Bailie Renwick. The secretary, Mr J.J. Vernon, was absent.

Sir Thomas Henderson, and Messrs C.J. Wilson, Peter Scott, and I. Gray Wallis each presented the club with a chess board and set of pieces.


From the Glasgow Herald of 21 Sept 1874 (p. 5):

Newly formed, opening meeting in the King Street Hall on Saturday (19 Sept). H.E. Crum-Ewing, non pres, in the chair. Sheriff Spens gave a lecture and then played 9 game simul. About 100 guests were present.

Interest in the club must have faded, as evidenced by a report in the Falkirk Herald and Midland Counties Journal, 6 November 1895 (p. 8):

A new chess club, which promises to be a strong one, has been started in Helensburgh, and its first meeting takes place to-morrow evening at 8 P.M. The leaders are all influential gentlemen-the President of the Glasgow club, Mr A.B. Law (who is a partner of our late, lamented county member, Mr Jacks), having identified himself closely with the movement. [Law and Jacks were partnmers in the iron business.]


From Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 07 June 1840, p. 2:

We have to acknowledge the receipt of the printed laws of the Inverness Chess Club.

Reference is made to William Grant, Castle, Inverness - presumably the secretary.


Islay Chess Association. School House, Port Ellen. Pres. J.D. Chambers. Sec. Joseph Mackenzie, Ardbeg, Port Ellen, Islay. (1891 reference.)


The Jedburgh Gazette of 10 February 1933 (p. 3) reported that discussions were ongoing about the possibility of forming a club in the town. The same newspaper, in its 29 September 1933 edition (p. 2), had an advertisement:-

Any Persons interested in the proposal to form a CHESS CLUB are invited to attend a meeting in the LIBERAL CLUB PREMISES (Reading Room) on WEDNESDAY FIRST 4th Oct., at 8 p.m.

T. Colledge Halliburton

The 13 October 1933 edition (p. 2), announced that the playing season would commence on Wednesday, 18 October in the Jed Cafe, Market Place.

In its 30 March 1934 edition (p. 3), the newspaper reported on the end of the club's first season. A p[rize was presented to the winner of the club's tournament, Mr I. MacNiven. The prize considted of an inlaid board with engraved silver plate, and was a gift of the President, ex-Provost J.S. Boyd. Others mentioned were Mr T.C. Haliburton, a vice-president, and Mrs Mackenzie and the staff at the Jed Cafe.

The Southern Reporter of 11 October 1934 (p. 5) reported on the AGM:

At the Annual General Meeting of the club on Friday, 28 September 1934, the following office-bearers were elected for the ensuing year:-

President: ex-Provost J.S. Boyd
Vice-presidents: Messrs W. Hartley and T. Colledge Halliburton
Hon. treasurer: Mr H. Cairns
Hon. secretary: Walter Easton, jun.


It is interesting to note a report in the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 6 April 1861, p. 3:-

An association has been formed in Kilmarnock to promote the study and practice of the game of Chess. Mr John Montgomrie [sic], Glasgow & South-Western Railway, has been named President, Mr Hugh Shaw, Commercial Bank, Secretay, pro tem.


From the Fife Free Press & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday, 13 October 1906, p. 4:

A representative meeting of the chess players in Kirkcaldy was held in the Institute, Glasswork Street, on Monday evening, when it was unanimously agreed to form a chess club in connection with the People's Club and Institute. It was arranged to have a meeting for practice every Thursday evening during the winter in the Institute rooms, commencing on Thursday, 18th October, at 8 p.m. ... The acting Secretary, Mr J. Munro, 2 Junction Road, will be pleased to hear from any chess players in the district.


Beginnings (from the club web site)

Lanark Chess Club is one of the oldest of Scotland's chess clubs, having been in continuous existence for more than sixty six years. The Club was founded on 10th November 1944 when a group of about 15 people who were interested in chess met at the Bonnington Hotel in the town. This inaugural meeting was chaired by Dr. D. V. Maxwell Adams, who was elected the Club's first President. The annual subscription was set at 5 shillings (25 pence)!

[The secretary was Mr J.G. Anderson, 23 Hope Street, Lanark. - AMcG]

By the Club's first AGM on 23 March 1945 it had 26 adult members and 7 junior members. At that meeting a decision on a proposal to purchase equipment (members had been bringing their own boards and sets) was deferred until chess equipment, which was expensive and in short supply because of the war, became cheaper and more plentiful.

The members of the Club's committee for the 1950-51 season bought and presented a cup to the Club, which became the club championship trophy. The cup is still played for today, some 60 years later.

For additional historical notes see


From the Motherwell Times of Friday, 13 September 1901, p. 2:

This club was formally inaugurated at a meeting in the Young Men's Institute on Thursday evening-Dr Kay presiding. Office-bearers were elected as follows:- Hon-president, ex-Bailie Findlay; president, Dr M'Donald; vice-presidents, Dr Kay and Mr James Wilson; secretary and treasurer, Mr Ross, 3 Park Street; additional members of committee, Messrs John Craig, Paterson and Muir. The headquarters of the club is the Young Men's Institute, and a tournament for the championship is being arranged to start at an early date.

The same newspaper, in its issue of 25 April 1902 (p. 3), reported on the close of a successful first season with a social evening at the Young Men's Institute. Membership was now twenty-five. Mention was made of Dr James M'Donald (president), Alex Ross (secretary), and Provost Findlay (honorary president).

First Division results: 1. Jas. Wilson; 2. John Paterson.
Second Division results: 1. John Kay; 2. Wm Jeffrey.


Paisley CC

From the Daily Record of Saturday, 23 January 1897, p. 8:

We hear of yet another new club, viz., "The Paisley Chess Club," which started at Christmas and has already over 20 members. We wish them all success, and hope they will be able to arrange a match or two before the season closes. The club meets every Tuesday in the George Hotel, from 7.30 to 11 p.m.

From the Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette of Saturday, 8 May 1897, p. 4:

At a social meeting of Paisley Chess Club held in the George Temperance Hotel on Wednesday evening, Mr H. Grunewald, who is leaving town to take up business in Lochgilphead, was presented with a set of Staunton chess-men and a full-sized board-both suitably inscribed-in recognition of the services rendered by him as secretary to the club since its formation.

The same newspaper reported in its 18 December 1897 edition (p. 2) that J.B. Richardson had presented a silver inkstand to the recently-formed Paisley Chess Club, to be competed for by the members in a tournament.

Paisley YMCA

The Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette of Saturday, 19 October 1901 (p. 7) reported that a chess class had been started within the Paisley YMCA, with A. Stevenson as the teacher. It was expected that some members of Paisley CC would give assistance with demonstrations and lectures. A. Stevenson was also a member of the Bohemian CC in Glasgow's city centre.


As per reference in the Falkirk Herald of 29 November 1905, p. 8.


From the Dundee Courier of Wednesday, 11 June 1884, p. 3:

Last night a number of gentlemen met in Laidlaw's Temperance Hotel to consider a proposal as to the formation of a chess club in the city. A good number were present, and it was unanimously agreed to constitute a club to be known as the Perth Chess Club. Mr Thomas Chalmers, solicitor, was appointed President; Mr Robert Stewart, bookseller, Vice-President; and Mr James Barlas, bookseller, Secretary and Treasurer; and it was remitted to them to draw up rules for adoption at another meeting on Tuesday next. The annual subscription was fixed at 5s, and the members will meet regularly for play in Laidlaw's Hotel. The club starts with a membership of about twenty.

From the same newspaper, 15 September 1905, p. 4:

A meeting was held in the Grand Temperance Hotel, Perth, last night, for the purpose of restarting the Perth Chess Club. There was a good attendance, and Mr H.L. Forbes presided. The follllowing office-bearers were elected, viz.:-Hon. president, Lord Kincairney; president, Mr R.D. Pullar, Brahan; vice-president, Mr James G. Dewar; hon-secretary and treasurer, Mr J. Bailey, Perthshire Constitutional; with an executive committe of five.

Port Glasgow

Moffat Library Chess Club

From the Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette of Saturday, 04 February 1888, p. 3:

A meeting of members of the Moffat Library interested in the formation of a chess club in connection therewith was held last night in the Smoking Room, when it was unanimously agreed to form a chess club for the cultivation and practice of the game of chess. A secretary (pro tem) having been appointed, all the gentlemen present enrolled themselves as members. Rules were then read and approved of. Office-bearers were elected, Dr James Grieve being elected honorary president and Mr Dan. R. Maclelland president.


From the Southern Reporter of Thursday, 13 December 1934, p. 6:

It was decided to form a chess club in Selkirk at a special meeting held on Thursday, and a committee was formed to make arrangements for a place of meeting, etc. Mr William Hunter was elected president, Mr Pulford secretary and treasurer, and Mr Lunn auditor. Committee members are Messrs Stewart Davidson, W.D. Hogg, and Wm. Smith.


The Stirling Observer of 8 May 1915 said:

In Stirling a club existed over half a century ago, and met in the High School. It was started by a military officer in Stirling Castle, and there are two local gentlemen still alive who were members of the club, which only existed for two or three years, and the boards and pieces were then divided.


From the 1893 British Chess Magazine, p 472: “…a new club, which promises to be very successful, has been formed at Stirling.”

Townhill (Fife)

The Dundee Courier of 12 February 1894, p. 7, referred to the club as having been "recently formed."

The village of Townhill is on the edge of Dunfermline. It appears the local Church of Scotland minister - likely this was Jacob Primmer - managed to persuade some of the local Draughts enthusiasts to try Chess (Evening Telegraph, 16 April 1900, p.3), and the game was certainly taken up with some enthusiasm. The early years saw the club play friendly matches with the Stirling and Perth clubs, but they also reached the semi-final of the Richardson Cup in season 1898/99. Later, they played in the Spens Cup, reaching the final of that competition in 1907/08.

The Fife Chess Association, formed in 1906, arranged for individual and club competitions in the county; other clubs in the region were Cupar, Kirkcaldy, Kelty, Bowhill and Leslie.

Townhill, whose members were chiefly miners, won the club championship in the first three years of the event; 1907, 1908 and 1909.

Some of the members: James Hunter, James Hutton, snr and jnr, Charles Hynd, George B. Hynd, W.B. Hynd, W.M. Hynd, James Izatt, William Izatt, A. Wilson


At the Royal Hotel, 20 members. President: G.M. Cruickshank. Secretary-Treasurer: W. Grimshaw. (1891 reference)


1891 reference - Episcopalian House. Pres. Rev. Conon. Secs. Alex. Rae, Northern Ensign Office; A. Larnoch, Telegraphist, Wick.


Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland

updated 12/02/2022