Monday 24 May 2021

On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at

 Opening a dedicated 'Chess Centre' is a bit of a risk, as without a large (paying) membership, generating enough income to keep it going can be a bit of a challenge. However, some enterprising lads in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley have taken a risk and opened The Chess Centre. It is a modest sized venue (fitting around 16 players inside) but from the look of the pictures (and a report by ChessExpress's intrepid correspondent Rupert Jones*) it seems to be a very stylish club. When visiting the old country, I do on occasion travel to that part of the UK, and when restrictions are lifted I am keen to drop in.

The news from Ilkley inspired me to look at what is on offer in Canberra, in terms of space and cost for a similar venture. The main challenge is in finding an affordable, but desirable location. The best I can find in my near vicinity is around 90sqm of space for $500 pw in Gungahlin, and something similar (but a little smaller) in the City (and zoning may be another issue). At that size around 40 people could fit in (based on 6sqm per 4 players), but whether that is enough to support such a centre is another question. Food and drink sales would help (if allowed), but even then, it looks more like a labour of love than a commercial success!

(*Rupert Jones also managed 6-0 in local cricket match, taking a hat trick along the way!)


No comments: