In the summer of 2021 Jamie Williams posted on the 'Jamaica Plain' Facebook group a question asking who would be interested in gathering in JP to play chess. Ethan George expressed an interest in assisting having taught chess on-line to young players.
After setting an initial gathering date, time and location the event was advertised using flyers throughout Jamaica Plain, postings on Facebook groups, entries on website event sites, and an article in Jamaica Plain Gazette. The article for JP Gazette though was not published until after the first gathering.
July 22, 2021 - The First Gathering
During the summer of 2021, on July 22 at 6:00pm, the club met for the first time outside on the lawn of the historic Loring-Greenough House. There were approx. ten players who attended the gathering underneath the trees. The club used sets on loan from Medford Chess Club and players in attendance. Ethan George, attended the first gathering bringing some of his young chess students from an on-line chess program.
The club continued meeting on the lawn throughout July and August. Jamie approached small local businesses for financial support. The first donor was Pure Dental, the second El Colombiano Coffee and the third was The BYTE Shop. The money raised was used to purchase some sets and clocks.
September 2021 - The Move to the Library
As the days got shorter the club moved to the outdoor terrace of the JP South Street Library in the pursuit for light. The library however was only open until 8:00pm on Thursdays and could not commit to having the terrace available every week. No indoor spaces were available due to the COVID pandemic.
The club opened it's doors early for a junior hour from 5-6pm but due to low attendance this was discontinued.
October 2021 - The Move to J.P. Licks
At the start of October the club moved to the outdoor patio of J.P. Licks where 9 tables underneath the lights were available for use. The club consistently filled all 9 tables throughout October. In November the club moved indoors of J.P. Licks as the evenings got colder.
In October, three months after its first gathering, the club became an affiliate of the US Chess Federation and Ethan George became a certified club tournament director.
November 2021 - The First Blitz Tournament
The colder evenings forced the club indoors. On November 4, 2021 the club had its first 5-minute blitz tournament with 16 participants. The tournament was a 5-round SWISS with each round consisting of two games, one as white and one as black. Sam Shapiro won with 8 points out of a possible 10. There were three players holding 2nd-4th positions with 7 points being David London, Jamie Williams and Isaac Saidel-Goley. J.P Licks provided a surprise prize which was not available on the night but given to the winner the following week. The prize consisted of J.P. Licks merchandise such as a t-shirt, travel mug, ice-cream scoop and plastic sun glasses. In addition to the tournament participants two tables were used for casual chess bringing the night attendance at one point to just over 20 players.
December, 2021- Rapid Rounds and SWISS Slow Chess Start, Club Membership Exceeds Sets, Year End Donation Drive
The club starts two events being the Rapid Rounds and the Slow Winter SWISS Chess tournament. On December 2 the number of players in attendance at one point was 26. With only 11 boards available, players had to wait for a seat. A donation drive on December 7th resulted in generous donations from club members and six additional sets and clocks were purchased bringing the club set and clock inventory to 15. On December 16 the Facebook JP Chess group membership reached 100.
May 2022 - Slow Summer SWISS and In the Globe
JP Chess opens the registration first Slow Summer SWISS tournament which was played over four or five months (June through September). On May 24, a Boston Globe newspaper article lists JP Chess as one of four places to play chess in and around Boston.
July 2022 - Open Streets, CBS News, First Match
On July 10, JP Chess took part in Jamaica Plain's Open Streets by running a morning and afternoon tournament in the street, just outside of J.P. Licks. There were 20 players in each tournament, and the tournaments were split in to Groups A and B based on ability. CBS News featured JP Chess in their opening clip on Open Streets. On July 31, JP Chess played their first match which was against Medford Chess Club. Playing on Medford's home turf, with two horary players, and ten players from JP Chess, JP Chess won 15.5 - 8.5.
August 2022 - Quarterly Blitz and National Master
On August 18 the 2022 third quarter blitz tournament was held. There were 22 entrants including National Master Ryan Young who went on to win the tournament with 8 out of 10 points. Attendance on the night of Aug 25 was over 26 players, and with only 11 boards available there was a line to play. Note that JP Chess would bring 2 folding tables and 4 chairs to each gathering.
February 2023 - Quarterly Blitz and YouTube
On Feb 16, 2023 we held our first quarterly blitz of 2023 which saw 28 players compete. We also launched our YouTube channel JP Chess.