New members are welcome to join Downend & Fishponds Chess Club at any time. We play at The Fishponds Club on Wednesdays, 7.30pm - 10.30pm. There is no formal sign-up procedure required beforehand - you can just turn up!
That said, we appreciate it can sometimes be a bit daunting to turn up to a new club without knowing anyone, so we recommend emailing the Club Secretary, John Paines, a few days before you intend to come along. John can pair you up with an existing member who will get you settled in, introduce you to other members and show you where to find boards and chess clocks.
As The Fishponds Club is a licensed premises, players under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult (the club cannot provide independent supervision for minors).
When and where do you meet?
The club meets on Wednesdays, 7.30pm - 10.30pm. Our venue is The Fishponds Club.
How much are club fees?
Our club fees are currently £40 per annum (£20 for juniors). If you wish to also play in the local Bristol Chess League or other local tournaments, you will also need English Chess Federation membership (at least Bronze).
There is, however, no rush to buy either membership before coming along to the club. We usually give new members a few weeks’ grace on fees so that they can see if they like the club before needing to pay up.
Can I compete for the club?
Absolutely. Downend fosters a friendly but competitive environment and we encourage everyone who wants to do so to represent the club in the local Bristol league.
The league is separated out into divisions and Downend, as one of the largest Bristol chess clubs, enters teams into all of them. This ensures that everyone can experience competitive chess at a level which is enjoyable for them - newcomers don’t need to worry about getting blown off the board by grandmasters and experienced players can be assured of some exciting and challenging chess-pgns.
Are junior chess players (under 18) welcome in the adult section?
They are indeed - subject to the point above about the need to be accompanied due to the fact that we meet in a pub.